Seven players were added, four defensemen and three forwards. They are Alexei Emelin, Alexei Marchenko, Vyacheslav Voynov, Nikita Zaitsev on the blue line; Vadim Shipachev, Evgeny Dadonov, and Ivan Telegin as forwards.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens
Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers
Alexei Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
Vyacheslav Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg
Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs
Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks
Evgeny Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Nikolay 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
Vadim Shipachyov, SKA St. Petersburg
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow
“Our team will feature a good mix of veterans and youth,” FHR president Vladislav Tretiak said about the team. “Most of the players represent NHL teams, and considering that the tournament will be played on small ice with NHL rules, most of the guys know what they’ll have in front of them. This way before the Olympics we can test three units made up of NHL players, and one unit made up of KHL players. We still don’t know the NHL will participate in the Olympic Games in South Korea, therefore we have to be ready for any scenario,” Tretiak added.
The two biggest snubs are of course Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov. The two players didn’t skate at the recent IIHF World Championship with Team Russia, and may be considered out of shape. That claim may be a bit suspect, though, considering that we are still three months from the start of the tournament.
Vadim Shipachev and Evgeny Dadonov may be a surprise for some readers. They are, however, among the top players not playing in the NHL, and they performed very well at the IIHF World Championships, with Shipachev finishing the tournament as the top scorer. Moreover, they always shown a great chemistry with Artemi Panarin, so their inclusion isn’t really a surprise.
That’s not the same situation with Ivan Telegin. The former Jets prospect had a very good season in the KHL and played well at the World Championships too, and he makes for a great addition for a fourth line with his energy and scoring touch around the net.
The bottom line
The goaltending and forwards are great, but not so much for the defensive corps. Oleg Znarok will have to work things out so that the team won’t get outmuscled and outplayed, trying to play more of a possession game to unleash their offensive potential. It will be a difficult tournament for the Russians, but such an offensive lineup can’t be ignored, and their goalkeepers will allow the team to stay afloat even if they don’t score.