A recent Calgary Flames draft selection has a shot at representing his country at the 2021 World Junior Championship. Defenseman Yan Kuznetsov, a second round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, will be attending Russian’s selection camp for the tournament.
Our preliminary roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship, which will begin in Canada in late December, has been confirmed by the management group!
— Russia Hockey (@russiahockey_en) November 20, 2020
A sophomore for the University of Connecticut – go Huskies! – the 18-year-old Kuznetsov is one of 10 defensemen invited to the camp. World Junior rosters have been expended to 25 players for the bubble tournament in Edmonton, with the theory being that teams will carry 3 goalies, 8 defensemen and 14 forwards. That means that as long as Kuznetsov isn’t one of the two worst blueliners, he’ll be representing Russia at the tournament. The camp begins Nov. 29 in Novogorsk, Russia, so Kuznetsov will be leaving school fairly soon in order to attend.
The other defensemen on the Russian camp roster are:
- Roman Bychkov (Buran Voronezh, VHL / 2019 fifth round pick by Boston)
- Alexander Kirpichnikov (Traktor Chelyabinsk, KHL / undrafted)
- Kirill Kirsanov (SKA St. Petersburg, KHL / 2021 draft eligible)
- Yegor Shekhovtsov (SKA St. Petersburg, KHL / undrafted)
- Shakir Mukhamadullin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL / 2020 first round pick by New Jersey)
- Ivan Rogov (Severstal Cherepovets, KHL / undrafted)
- Nikita Sedov (HC Sochi, KHL / undrafted)
- Daniil Chayka (CSKA Moscow, KHL (on loan from the OHL’s Guelph Storm) / 2021 draft eligible)
- Semyon Chistyakov (Avangard Omsk, KHL / 2019 fourth round pick by Nashville)
Kuznetsov has a pretty good shot at being one of the eight players headed to Edmonton.
Fellow Flames prospects Ilya Nikolayev and Daniil Chechelev weren’t invited to camp.