0Team Russia

CanucksArmy World Junior Recap: Belarus 2 – 5 Russia

Team Russia went into the tournament with a disappointing 5-4 loss before beating Switzerland 5-2 in their second game. Against Belarus, the victory was never in doubt, although the end result was closer than it had to be.

Undrafted Alexei Polodyan gave Russia an early 1-0 lead before Philadelphia Flyers prospect German Rubtsov made it 2-0 on a beautiful play.

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Team Belarus did score a couple and had some chances to keep the game close, but they struggled to get the puck in the net.

Mostly thanks to Rubtsov and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Artur Kayumov, as well as St. Louis Blues prospect Klim Kostin and 2018 top prospect Andrei Svechnikov, the Russians never let the game slip out of their hands. Russia led the game 3-0 and 4-1, and finished with a 5-2 score.


German Rubtsov (2016 PHI 1st)

Rubtsov was outstanding tonight. He had a goal and an assist and created danger every time he stepped on the ice.

What’s more, Rubtsov battled hard in all areas of the ice to give his team a competitive advantage. He won puck battles in the corner and in front of the net, which also led to the 4-1 goal by Kayumov.

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Artur Kayumov (2016 CHI 2nd)

While Rubtsov stood out as a hard worker with a scoring drive, his linemate Kayumov excelled as a high-end skater with excellent puck skills and vision.

Kayumov was great at keeping Russia in possession. At times, he could skate around the offensive zone as long as he wanted or until he found the right passing lane. Kayumov has just one goal and two points in 15 KHL games with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl so far this season, but we have every reason to believe he can go on to have a successful professional career – hopefully at the NHL level.

Klim Kostin (2017 STL 1st)

Kostin was injured for a large chunk of his draft season, where he appeared in a total of 18 games across the KHL, MHL and VHL in Russia. In those games, he had just one goal and two points.

Just looking at those numbers, even the 31st-overall pick seems high and risky for Kostin. But watching him play, he’s making us ask “how the heck did he drop this far?!”

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Kostin’s line was absolutely dominant tonight. His personal highlight of the game: This laser of a shot to put Russia up 5-1.

Andrei Svechnikov (2018 NHL Entry Draft eligible)

The second player to make Kostin’s line dominant was once again Andrei Svechnikov, the top forward for the 2018 NHL Draft. The duo has outstanding chemistry and made Team Belarus look like kids for entire shifts.

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Svechnikov has a very balanced skill-set and can set up chances as much as he can create danger by himself.

Andrei Grischenko (2017 Undrafted)

If you can stand out as a goaltender with five goals against, that certainly means something. Grischenko looked excellent throughout the game, as he did a terrific job tracking the puck and moving around the crease to make saves.

Grischenko is playing for Belarus’s under-20 team in the country’s top-tier men’s league, so he doesn’t get as much exposure as North American players or those in the Nordic countries. With performances like this, however, he can get himself on the radar with NHL scouts.