Askarov named to Russia World Junior Championship selection camp


Iaroslav Askarov is one of four players selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft named to the Russia selection camp for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The camp will start Nov. 29 in Moscow and continue after Russia arrives in Edmonton on Dec. 13.

Askarov became the highest-drafted Russia-born goalie in NHL history when the Nashville Predators selected him with the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had been the highest-drafted Russia-born goalie; he was selected with the No. 19 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Joining Askarov will be forwards Rodion Amirov (No. 15, Toronto Maple Leafs) and Yegor Chinakhov (No. 21, Columbus Blue Jackets), and defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin (No. 20, New Jersey Devils).

Askarov is one of three players returning from the team that lost 4-3 to Canada in the championship game of the 2020 WJC, along with Vasily Podkolzin (Vancouver Canucks) and Maxim Groshev (Lightning).

Askarov was 2-1-0 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .876 save percentage in five games but was pulled from two of his four starts. Podkolzin scored five points (one goal, four assists) in seven games; Groshev had two shots on goal in seven games.

This season, Askarov is 4-3-0 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .962 save percentage in seven games with SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League. Askarov also helped Russia win the Karjala Cup, a four-team tournament with the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland held Nov. 5-8, going 3-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA and a .962 save percentage.

Defenseman Daniil Chayka, who received an A rating from NHL Central Scouting for the 2021 NHL Draft, will be at the camp. Chayka (6-foot-3, 187 pounds) scored 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 56 games with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League last season. 

The 2021 WJC will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton from Dec. 25-Jan. 5 with no fans in attendance. Russia will play in Group B in the preliminary round, starting with the United States on Dec. 25. It also plays the Czech Republic (Dec. 27), Austria (Dec. 29) and Sweden (Dec. 30). Group A consists of Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.



GOALIES: Artur Akhtyamov, Irbis Kazan, RUS-JR. (Toronto Maple Leafs), Iaroslav Askarov, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (Predators); Vsevolod Skotnikov, Zvezda Moscow, RUS-2 (2021 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Roman Bychkov, Yaroslavl 2, RUS-JR (Boston Bruins); Daniil Chayka, Guelph, OHL (2021 draft eligible); Semyon Chystyakov, Omsk, KHL (Predators); Alexander Kirpichnikov, Chelyabinsk, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Kirill Kirsanov, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Yan Kuznetsov, UConn, HE (Calgary Flames); Shakir Mukhamadullin, Ufa, KHL (New Jersey Devils); Ivan Rogov, Cherepovets, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Nikita Sedov, Sochi, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Yegor Shekhovtsov, Neva St. Petersburg, RUS-2 (2021 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Mikhail Abramov, Victoriaville, QMJHL (Maple Leafs); Egor Afanasyev, CSKA, KHL (Predators); Rodion Amirov, Ufa, KHL (Maple Leafs); Danil Bashkirov, Ufa, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Zakhar Bardakov, Podolsk, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Yegor Chinakhov, Omsk, KHL (Blue Jackets); Vladislav Firstov, UConn, HE (Minnesota Wild); Arseny Gritsyuk, Omsk, KHL (Devils); Maxim Groshev, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (Lightning); Marat Khusnutdinov, SKA St. Petersburg 2, RUS-JR (Wild); Takhir Mingachyov, Zvezda Moscow, RUS-2 (2021 draft eligible); Vasily Podkolzin, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (Canucks); Vasiliy Ponomarev, Shawinigan, QMJHL (Carolina Hurricanes); Ilya Safonov, Kazan, KHL (2021 draft eligible); Yegor Spiridonov, SKA St. Petersburg 2, RUS-JR. (San Jose Sharks)

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