CGD: A New Hope (Canada vs. Russia)

Jeff Veillette
December 26 2016 01:26PM

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.

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Managing Editor of Hockey Content at the Nation Network. Just here so I'll get the opposite of fined. If you'd like to collaborate or simply have a question, email me at jeff@veillette.me
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#1 baggedmilk
December 26 2016, 02:12PM
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GOILERS! Oh, we don't have any prospects in this game? Dammit.

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#2 Explicit
December 26 2016, 02:43PM
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With Barzal playing i'm curious how many times the Reinhart trade comes up in the next couple weeks. My guess is a thousand

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#3 Baalzamon
December 26 2016, 02:54PM
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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.

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#4 Optos
December 26 2016, 03:03PM
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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.

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#5 Burnward
December 26 2016, 03:05PM
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@baggedmilk

Ha! I like your humour way better than your prospect pool BM!

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#6 jakethesnail
December 26 2016, 04:30PM
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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!

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#7 X Man
December 26 2016, 04:59PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

GOILERS! Oh, we don't have any prospects in this game? Dammit.

Correct, Nolan Patrick, this years projected first overall pick is out with an injury...

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#8 Burnward
December 26 2016, 07:12PM
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The Letterkenny boys do comedy and hockey cheering the correct way.

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#9 Burnward
December 26 2016, 08:01PM
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@Explicit

If only the Oilers had a chance to find someone like Barzal to play with McDavid.

Ha!

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#10 Arminius
December 26 2016, 08:23PM
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Leaving Barzal on the board for Griffin. Wow. Barzal's gonna be a player. Griffin..not so much

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#11 McRib
December 26 2016, 08:35PM
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(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.

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#12 Boom or Bust
December 26 2016, 11:34PM
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Arminius wrote:

Leaving Barzal on the board for Griffin. Wow. Barzal's gonna be a player. Griffin..not so much

No one cares about what you say here...or in any article. You're an idiot

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#13 The Real Slim Brodie
December 27 2016, 12:40AM
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@Boom or Bust

I care

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#14 The Real Slim Brodie
December 27 2016, 12:41AM
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@X Man

That was epic!!!!!!! Good job

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#15 Boom or Bust
December 27 2016, 01:26AM
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The Real Slim Brodie wrote:

I care

Well you shouldn't....he's a idiot of epic proportions!

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#16 Whackanuck
December 27 2016, 08:37AM
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@Boom or Bust

Wow. Eleven comments before someone called someone an idiot.

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#17 Boom or Bust
December 27 2016, 09:39AM
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Whackanuck wrote:

Wow. Eleven comments before someone called someone an idiot.

Yea...whoopie do!! Is there some kind of unwritten rule book of comments aloud before you can call the most heinous idiot troll on the site an idiot...which he clearly is...and if you dont believe...just go look at some of his other wonderful comments in the last week. The guy is scum and I will say what I want about him

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