Ukraine finished fourth in this group last season, with a couple of victories in regulation enough to see them retain their status after gaining promotion the year before.
Their head coach is Alexander Godynyuk, who might be a familiar name to you as he spent some of his playing career in North America. He represented the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Hartford Whalers during his time in the NHL before eventually finishing his career in Germany.
Godynyuk is currently coaching Molodaya Gvardiya Donetsk in the MHL and has been involved with the Ukraine junior teams since 2010.
Ukraine have one of the “bigger rosters” of the teams going into this tournament.
Of the 28 man roster that was released, 17 of those are 6’0” or above, with Sakharov a giant at 6’5”.
The majority of the squad either plays for Molodaya Gvardiya Donetsk or HK Kremenchug with a few notable exceptions which I’ve listed below.
Maxym Martyshko is one of the veteran’s of this team at 19 years old and this will be his seventh junior campaign having represented the U18 and U20 teams three times a piece.
In 2011/12 he captained the U18 team to the Gold Medal and was the leading goal scorer with five tallies. Plays his junior hockey with his coaches team Molodaya Gvardiya Donetsk.
Mikhail Shevchuk was a standout between the pipes in Ukraine’s last campaign.
In five games he recorded a 1.16GAA and 0.965SV% with the latter being the best of the tournament.
Awarded the best player on his team and best goaltender of the tournament.
Also plays for Molodaya Gvardiya Donetsk.
Viktor Zakharov has been a part of Ukraine’s junior teams since 2010.
In the 2011-2012 U20’s campaign he was named the best forward of the tournament as well as recording the most points and goals. Also represented the full Mens team for the first time and despite not registering any points, was part of the team that won the gold medal and gained promotion.
Started this season well making his debut in the KHL for Donbass Donetsk, making six appearances and recording three assists.
Mykyta Sheptitsky is one of two players on the rosters to be playing their hockey in North America.
Playing his first season in the WSHL for Missoula Maulers, the youngster has made a good start, registering eight points in twelve games. All three of his goals coming on the power play.
This will be his first time representing the U20 team and making his debut for the U18’s in the last campaigning where he averaged a point per game and wore the “A.”
Pavlo Padakin is the best known player on the roster.
The right winger is in his second season with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and is having another fair season after a good debut year.
That debut season of 38 points (22G/16A) in 70 games earned him a spot on the Calgary Flames development camp this past summer.
I haven’t seen him play myself but he’s reportedly a big strong forward who goes to the net.
Get plenty of time on the penalty kill and has a penchant for scoring short handed goals.
This will be the first time he’ll have represent Ukraine since the 2011/12 campaign and other teams should be worried as he’s always performed at these events.
Japan Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-9F
Kazakhstan Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-9I