The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will take place in Toronto, Ontario at Air Canada Centre as a pre-season clash of the nations. Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe, Team North America, and Team Russia will duke it out for international supremacy. Just announced, the Russians will have the following players representing their country.
2016 Team Russia World Cup of Hockey Roster
Evgeni Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
Vadim Shipachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow (KHL) *
Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Nikolai Kulemin, New York Islanders
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens * 6’2″ 214-lb 0G, 12P 30
Alexey Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings * 6’3″ 210-lb 2G, 11P 24
Slava Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) * 6’0″, 194-lb 0G, 7P 26
Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs * 6’1″ 174 8G, 26P 24
Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers 6’0″ 204-lb 1G, 17P 25
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens 6’0″, 194 lb 5G, 44P 37
Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals 6’0″ 212 lb 8G, 29P 24
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Up front, the Russians will be skilled as always with nine 20+ goal scorers, with four of those scoring 30+ markers. Down the middle, Kuznetsov and Malkin will form a strong playmaking top-six with Anisimov solid in his own right playing most of the season with Patrick Kane and Panarin, the likely MVP and Calder Trophy winners. Speaking of youth, the team will have just three players (Malkin, Ovechkin, Datsyuk) over thirty in their forward group with six 24 and younger. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have big-time snipers Ovechkin and Tarasenko slotted into your top six, too.
On defense, not many of the players are known for their offensive abilities, as they scored just 24 goals combined. The size is there, however, for this to be a shutdown group as they average 6’1″, 200 pounds each. Emelin ,30, and Markov, 37, teammates in Montreal, will be called to lead this young group of defensemen. The rest of them are 26 and under. Though Voynov was named to the team, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly mentioned that he may not be admitted to play due to an ugly domestic violence situation that saw him cut ties with the Kings after they suspended him for the rest of the season as he faced jail time.
In goal, Russia has three viable tenders should one or multiple goaltenders get injured as Bobrovsky and Varlamov did at times this season. The former had a rough season with the Blue Jackets, suffering from a groin injury three different times posting a .908 save percentage. That includes the dreadful start in October, which saw the Jackets go 0-7 and Bobrovsky post an .865 save percentage during the month. The latter has a career .916 save percentage in five seasons with the Avalanche, including a Vezina nomination in 2013-14. Vasilevskiy, well at 21 years old all he did was relieve Ben Bishop and take the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final in a series where they were outshot 269-178.