Karnaukhov, Kylington invited to World Junior camps, Tuulola not invited

Two more Calgary Flames prospects are in contention for roster spots at the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament, while another has not been invited to try out for his national team.

Pavel Karnaukhov has been named to Russia’s preliminary roster and Oliver Kylington has been named to Sweden’s preliminary roster, while Eetu Tuulola was not invited to Finland’s camp.

Kylington, 19, was one of two Flames second round selections in 2015, along with fellow Swede Rasmus Andersson. Now in his second full season with the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat, he’s been strong offensively and reportedly has really tidied up his defensive game. 

He was passed over for a World Junior invite last year, but will likely be released by the Flames organization for the tournament under the terms of the NHL/Sweden transfer agreement. (The agreement is weird and technical, but the gist is if Kylington wants to go and Sweden invites him, the Flames have to release him for the tournament.)

Karnaukhov, 19, was Calgary’s fifth round pick in 2015. After two seasons with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen as an import, he returned home this fall to play in Russia. He’s currently bouncing around CSKA Moscow’s organization and has played here and there between their KHL club, the MHL club and their VHL club. He’s been a point-per-game player on their junior team, but hasn’t produced a ton in either of the pro levels yet. 

Born in Belarus but considered a dual citizen, him suiting up for Russia in an IIHF tournament will lock in his hockey citizenship from here on out – meaning he’ll only be able to play for Russia for the rest of his international career.

Tuulola, 18, was Calgary’s sixth round pick in 2016. He’s currently with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips as an import after playing in Finland to this point. He’s been good, albeit inconsistent, and that inconsistency (and some time lost to an early-season injury) probably kept him off Finland’s roster this year. He’ll likely be in the mix for a World Junior roster spot next winter.

Dillon Dube has been invited to Canada’s World Junior camp, while USA Hockey will announce their camp roster later this afternoon.

  • Baalzamon

    Looks like Sweden is at least attempting to correct the obvious mistake they made in selecting last years’ team. I wish Hockey Canada would do that.

    In other news that is not in any way related to this, the Flames’ least impressive goalie prospect (McDonald) is, once again, out-performing Zach “Confusing Hype Machine” Fucale in the same league.

  • Ole YELLEr

    Good for Klyington I hope he makes the team. He might enjoy playing people his own age for once. I was really hoping Tuulola would make the team, I’m rooting for the kid.

    I’m looking forward being able to watch more Flames prospects than usual this year it always adds something to the games, particularly the ones Canada isn’t playing in.

  • L13

    Rafikov is actually doing pretty well in Russia this season. He’s establishing himself as a top-4 defenceman on one of the better teams in the KHL.

    Unfortunately for the Flames this means he’s extremely unlikely to sign with them next summer to play in the AHL. (A number of Russian players even prefer the KHL to the NHL and practically all of them view the AHL as a step down from being an established KHLer and not something worth uprooting your life for.) And since the Flames are not going to offer him ice time in the NHL, his rights will expire.

    The only thing that gives them hope is that his contract with Lokomotiv expires after this season. But I’m pretty sure he’ll happily renew it or move on to a different KHL team.

    • KiLLKiND

      Thanks for the update I always wished Rafikov took a chance and came to the AHL. He looked great in the World Juniors really calm and would make the safe play to get the puck out, all in all very reliable for almost every situation except PP of course. It’s a shame his rights will expire without Calgary ever signing him, but who knows maybe if he does decide to try and make the NHL he will remember that the Flames took a chance on him and still supported his decision to play in Russia despite knowing that it most likely end his time as Flames property.