CGD: A New Hope (Canada vs. Russia)

It’s the most wonderful time of year! The World Juniors are back, and with them, we can all unite in arguing with each other about which teenagers carry the best passports. For Canada, the land that occupies most of our hearts, that two-week journey begins with their game against the Russians at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Team Canada

Name Team POS Hand Age HT WT DRAFT
Carter Hart Everett (WHL) G L 18 6’1″ 170 Phi 2016
Connor Ingram Kamloops (WHL) G L 19 6’1″ 195 Tam 2016
Jake Bean Calgary (WHL) D L 18 6’1″ 170 Car 2016
Thomas Chabot Saint John (QMJHL) D L 19 6’2″ 188 Ott 2015
Kale Clague Brandon (WHL) D L 18 6’0″ 177 LA 2016
Dante Fabbro Boston University (NCAA) D R 18 6’1″ 190 Nsh 2016
Noah Juulsen Everett (WHL) D R 19 6’2″ 185 Mtl 2015
Jeremy Lauzon Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) D L 19 6’2″ 207 Bos 2015
Philippe Myers Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) D L 19 6’4″ 206 Phi 2015
Mathew Barzal Seattle (WHL) F R 19 6’0″ 187 NYI 2015
Anthony Cirelli Oshawa (OHL) F L 19 6’0″ 165 Tam 2015
Dillon Dube Kelowna (WHL) F L 18 5’10” 180 Cgy 2016
Pierre-Luc Dubois Cape Breton (QMJHL) F L 18 6’3″ 202 Clb 2016
Julien Gauthier Val d’Or (QMJHL) F R 19 6’4″ 224 Car 2016
Mathieu Joseph Saint John (QMJHL) F L 19 6’1″ 171 Tam 2015
Tyson Jost North Dakota (NCAA) F L 18 6’0″ 190 Col 2016
Michael McLeod Mississauga (OHL) F R 18 6’2″ 187 NJ 2016
Taylor Raddysh Erie (OHL) F R 18 6’2″ 209 Tam 2016
Nicolas Roy Chicoutimi (QMJHL) F R 19 6’4″ 202 Car 2015
Blake Speers Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) F R 19 6’0″ 184 NJ 2015
Mitchell Stephens Saginaw (OHL) F R 19 6’0″ 195 Tam 2015
Dylan Strome Erie (OHL) F L 19 6’3″ 194 Ari 2015

Roster courtesy of TSN.ca. Lines yet to be released.

Canada, unsurprisingly, doesn’t really have draft-eligible talent for you to salivate over. But they’re stacked with some of the highest profile names in the prospect world; which should make them tough to beat. Dylan Strome (Arizona) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus) are probably the biggest names to watch.

Team Russia

Name Team POS Hand Age HT WT Draft
Anton Krasotkin Yaroslavl 2 (RUS-JR) G L 19 6’0 179 2017
Ilya Samsonov Magnitogorsk (RUS) G L 19 6’3 205 Was 2015
Vladislav Sukhachyov Chelmet (RUS) G L 18 5’10 181 2017
Artyom Chymkhov CSKA (RUS D L 19 6’2 198 2017
Grigoriy Dronov Magnitogorsk (RUS) D L 18 6’2 207 2017
Vadim Kudakov Cherepovets (RUS) D L 19 6’1 179 2017
Yegor Rykov St. Petersburg (RUS) D L 19 6’2 216 Njd 2016
Mikhail Sergachev Windsor (OHL) D L 18 6’3 216 Mtl 2016
Mikhail Sidorov Kazan (RUS) D R 19 6’0 214 2017
Artyom Volkov Balashikha 2 (RUS-2) D L 19 6’1 183 2017
Yegor Voronkov Chekhov (RUS) D L 19 6’0 183 2017
Sergey Zborovskiy Regina (WHL) D R 19 6’4 194 NYR 2015
Denis Alexeyev Ryazan (RUS-2) F R 19 6’0 183 2017
Kirill Belayev Khanty-Mansiysk 2 (RUS-JR) F L 19 6’2 218 2017
Denis Guryanov Texas (AHL) F L 19 6’3 201 Dal 2015
Kirill Kaprizov Ufa (RUS) F L 19 5’10 192 Min 2015
Pavel Karnaukhov CSKA (RUS F L 19 6’3 205 Cal 2015
Danila Kvartalnov CSKA (RUS F L 19 6’1 183 2017
Alexandr Polunin Yaroslavl (RUS) F R 19 5’9 172 2017
German Rubtsov Podolsk (RUS) F L 18 6’0 190 Phi 2016
Yakov Trenin Gatineau (QMJHL) F L 19 6’2 205 Nas 2015
Kirill Urakov Nizhny Novgorod (RUS) F L 18 5’11 163 2017
Mikhail Vorobyov Ufa (RUS) F L 19 6’2 207 Phi 2015
Danil Yurtaikin Ryazan (RUS-2) F R 19 5’11 170 2017

Roster courtesy of TSN.ca. Lines yet to be released.

On the other hand, the Russians are going to be a really interesting team full of players who are ripe for the picking this year. Outside of their stacked goaltending platoon, a player I’d recommend keeping an eye on is Alexander Polunin; the 19-year-old wasn’t drafted this year, but is having another decent season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. To be a regular contributor in the second best men’s league int he world as a 5’9 teenager is pretty impressive, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does this year against players his own age. Last year, he had three goals in 7 games.

Throwback Moments

The last time the two countries faced off in this tournament in Toronto was during the 2015 Gold Medal Game. Canada, of course, came out victorious.

Perhaps their most famous matchup of this generation, though, was a semifinal game. Who could forget 2009? Say 5.4 seconds to any Canadian hockey fan and they’ll tell you their vantage point.

What To Look Out For 

We all know how Canada/Russia goes. Thre’s an insane amount of passion involved, especially when one team has home ice. This time, Russia will be looking to upset their biggest hockey rivals in their own building, while Canada looks to not be dealt an embarrassing situation like that.

Combined with the fact that this will be the opening game of the tournament for both, and with kids on both sides looking to make an immediate impression, just about anything can happen.

Ultimately, though, I’m going to lean towards the Canadians, barring a lights-out performance from Samsonov in goal. This isn’t their best team ever, but the firepower is definitely there. Puck drop is at 8:00 PM in Toronto (7:00 in Winnipeg, 6:00 in Alberta, 5:00 in Vancouver), and you can catch the game on TSN.

  • LukeWarmWater

    Fellow posters my prayers and best wishes go out for my brother Lukedadrifter who lives in the Philippines, which was ravaged by a horrific typhoon over Christmas. Luke take care brother, you are one tough Maple Leaf fan. Like a Bobby Baun, a broken leg wouldn’t bother you as you would just get a shot of novacaine and go out and play in o.t. and score the game winner. For younger posters in 1964, Bobby Baun a key cog in the leaf defence broke his leg in a playoff game against Detroit. He went into the dressing room and after getting some shots to ease the pain dragged his broken leg out on to the ice and scored the key goal in a playoff game for the leafs in o.t. The leafs would go on to win the cup that year.

  • Baalzamon

    Dylan Strome (Arizona) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus) are probably the biggest names to watch.

    Mat Barzal is probably more worthy of that distinction than Dubois. Dubois is actually having a pretty poor season.

  • Optos

    Disappointed that Ethan Bear wasn’t chosen to represent our country. I know he’s not your typical sexy first or second round draft pick, but he should of got at least a camp invite. Off to a great offensive year with the T-Birds.

  • jakethesnail

    Russians have 13 players whose draft year is 2017!
    Canada has 11 players who were drafted in 2015.
    Should be a one-sided game for Canada, but I won’t count on it.

    Nice of WJC to schedule Canada-Russia on a 0 game night in the NHL.

    Go CANADA GO!

  • McRib

    (For Flames Fans) Dillon Dube looked like one of Canada’s stronger Even Strength fowards (1 Assist, Drew Two Penalties, Constant Offensive Zone Pressure, etc). Depeding on where his offensive game goes in next couple of years, worse case he projects well as an energy forward at the NHL in 3-4 years time.