IIHF Mens U20 World Championship Team Preview
Kazakhstan have finished second in this group for the two previous years and again will prove a tough nut to crack as they look to gain promotion by finally taking the gold medal.
Their roster is split between players who are on the junior teams of Barys Astana and Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk.
They are currently coached by Sergei Starygin who has been involved on and off, at national level since 1998. This will be the first time however that he takes the head coaching reigns of the U20 team.
On quirk of the squad yet to be whittled down to the final selection, is that it contains just five players who shoot right handed.
So who do we need to look out for?
Nikita Mikhailis is sure to be an offensive threat if he carries on his recent form.
Last season was a breakout for the 18yo forward with 37 points in 60 games in his first year in the MHL.
Taking his offensive talent into the national team he was a standout for the U18 team with 12 points in 5 games and earned himself a spot in the U20 side where he accrued 4 points.
He’s made another good start in the MHL with 11 goals and 6 assists in 26 games.
Kirill Savitsky captained the U18 Kazakhstan team last year and led from the front with three goals in four games. Like Mikhailis he made the jump up to the U20 team and adapted well.
Has a little VHL experience which will stand him in good stead.
Semyon Koshelev is just 17 years old but the forward has made a very good start to his VHL career with 9 points in 22 games.
It’s been reported that CSKA Moscow picked up the rights for the youngster, with him not being drafted by an NHL team.
Recorded 13 points in 5 games for the Kazakhstan U18 last year.
Valeri Sevidov recorded some great numbers between the pipes for Kazakhstan during the last campaign. Winning all fours starts for the U18, in the process recording a 2.50 GGA, 0.897SV% and a single shut out. He stepped up and played every game for the U20 team with even better statistics of 1.10GAA and 0.949SV%
His counterpart is Yuri Volosenko who is having himself a good start to this current MHL season
In 22 outings he’s a 2.04GAA and a 0.925SV% to his name.
Made one start for the U18 team last campaign and allowed a single goal for a 0.950SV%.
Daniyar Kairov is perhaps the most experienced player on the roster.
The 19yo defenseman has 137 MHL games under his belt as well as a solitary game in the KHL.
Has featured for the Kazakhstan junior teams since 2009 and this will be his sixth game.
Forwards Askhat Baubekov and Nurlan Kabiyev, along with defenseman Daniyar Kairov all have three seasons in the MHL and will provide a backbone of further experience for the team to rely on.
Japan Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-9F
Ukraine Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-9N
Italy Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-9T
France Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-a4
GB Men’s U20 Team http://wp.me/p2gDti-ab