Calgary Flames draft pick (and Calgary Hitmen forward) Pavel Karnaukhov has found himself in a unique situation in terms of his international eligibility. A dual citizen, he’s eligible to suit up for either Belarus or Russia at the World Juniors. But due to International Ice Hockey Federation rules, once Karnaukhov chooses a country to represent, he’d only be able to play for that country internationally from then on.
His decision has been postponed for awhile, as Karnaukhov shared with the assembled media following the annual Teddy Bear Toss game that he would not be attending the World Juniors this winter.
The fifth round selection of the Flames in this past NHL Draft, Karnaukhov missed 17 games with an upper-body injury – missing roughly six weeks. A native of Minsk, Belarus that came over to North America in last year’s CHL Import Draft, Karnaukhov had 42 points in 69 games last season and has 9 points in 12 games thus far this season.
While Karnaukhov’s holiday season won’t involve any overseas travel, it won’t be uneventful, as his father’s coming to visit for the second time since he joined the Hitmen.