Russia Save Face By Edging Canada For Bronze

(photo courtesy of The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)

Hockey’s biggest international rivals found themselves in unfamiliar territory playing each other for a medal that wasn’t gold for the first time ever in World Junior competition. What many expected to be the final game of the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships had to settle for the third place fixture as both teams failed to get the job done in the semi’s.
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Three Russians Drafted in First Round of 2012 NHL Draft

(courtesy of Getty)

For the first time since 2004, three Russians were selected in the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Much speculation was made beforehand as to whether the Edmonton Oilers would trade their first pick having picked first the past two years. Any suspicion was quickly put to rest when GM Steve Tambellini announced 18-year-old Nail Yakupov’s name making him the third Russian to ever be picked first overall in draft history.
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Russia Avoids Collapse; Advances to Gold Medal Game

(Courtesy of JC Pinheiro/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Last time Russia met Canada at the Junior World stage it took a five goal rally by the Russians to clinch their first gold medal since 2003. Last night, the Russians avoided a similar rally at the hands of the Canadians when their 5-1 lead entering the third period quickly vanished.
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Nail Yakupov – Let the Hype Begin

The coming out party for Nail Yakupov happened last season.  Solidifying himself as the best player on the Sarnia Sting, the flashy forward posted 101 points, leading all rookies in scoring by a whopping 18 points – the next closest being linemate, Alex Galchenyuk.  The dynamically offensive winger has been the focal point of much hype during the off-season.  Questions were raised: Can he do it again?  Is he a one-hit wonder?  How many points will he score this season?  Will he be the OHL’s best player?  How high will he get drafted?  Is he better than Ovechkin?
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Buffalo means “Disappointment” in Russian

(courtesy of (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

It had always been a dream of mine to go to the World Junior Championships to watch some of the best young talent in the world assembled on their respective national teams.  Along with my trip to the games, FRWG is starting a new section of the site that focuses on Russian prospects from around the world, so what better place to start an article than with the Russian National Junior team. 

This event once showcased the likes of Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin who were the last ones to bring Gold for Russia at the World Juniors.  Needless to say, this Russian team had some shoes to fill, considering they organized a lackluster effort the year prior, failing to bring home a medal. 
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