Nemchinov Discusses Russia’s Team for the 2009 World Junior Championships
Thursday August 21st 2008, 8:03 am
Photo: Russian Hockey Federation

Photo: Russian Hockey Federation

Two-time Stanley Cup winner and former New York Ranger Sergei Nemchinov, who will once again reprise his role as head coach of the Russian under-20 team this season at the World Junior Championships in Ottawa, has gathered a group of 35 prospects for this year’s squad in Novogorsk to begin evaluating players and preparing for the upcoming Four Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic next week. Among the camp attendees is New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov. Missing are 2008 NHL Draft picks such as Columbus’ Nikita Filatov and the Rangers own Evgeni Grachev, both of whom will leave Russia to play in North America this season, along with the likes of Andrei Loktionov, Vyacheslav Voinov and Dmitri Kugryshev. “This year more than ever before, many youngsters have left for abroad. And the majority of them are candidates for the country’s national team” Nemchinov pointed out in one of two articles posted at Only five 1990-born players have joined the team in Novogorsk this week. “I talked to many of the [1990-born] kids, they literally leave [for overseas] any day now” he offered as explanation for the perceived lack of depth on the camp roster. But he noted that many would join the national team later in the year, contradicting rumors from earlier this summer that players who left for North America would be suspended from the national team. “In November, we will hold six exhibition games in Canada. There we will have the opportunity to involve those who are playing in the [Canadian] junior league.” While he admitted it would be impossible for those who make their respective NHL rosters to join the team at the World Junior Championships, he remains hopeful that those who end up in the AHL will once again be allowed to join the squad, as Rangers’ prospect Artem Anisimov did last year. “The players playing for farm clubs cannot help us with exhibition matches [in November], but for the World [Junior] Championships all of them will arrive. The same situation as in this past year. I hope that the North American clubs will not prevent it this year.”

As for Cherepanov, Nemchinov is hopeful that after an off-year at last year’s tournament, due in part to a bout with bronchitis, he will be able to return to the form he displayed in the 2007 tournament. When asked as part of the second article at if he though it was possible Nemchinov replied “I hope for it,” adding “Maybe the example of Jagr will help Cherepanov.” The author of the article, Alexei Shevchenko, noted the following about the young Russian: “By the way, Cherepanov has changed noticeably. He grew up, perhaps. It is visible even in his behavior. He became a more serious person than a year ago.” For his part, Cherepanov is happy to be back with the junior national team, despite rumors of conflict between him and Nemchinov and a late withdrawal from a Four Nations tournament last April. “I always go to the national team with pleasure” he explained, and reiterated a goal he set and hoped to achieve before leaving for the NHL “I dream of getting to the World Championships.”

The Russian junior team will play an exhibition match against Moscow Dynamo’s farm team tomorrow, August 22nd, before leaving for the Czech Republic on August 25th. Once there they’ll play three games as part of the Four Nations Tournament: August 26 vs. Finland, August 27 vs. Sweden, and on August 28 they’ll finish up with a match against the tournament hosts.

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10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

    Good job as always Laurie

    I will enjoy covering Grachev while he learns the North American game under Stan Butler and the Brampton Battalion

    Comment by Jess 08.21.08 @ 3:58 pm

    Thanks Jess. I’m going miss getting to follow him in Yaroslavl! ;)

    Comment by laurie 08.21.08 @ 4:30 pm

    I’m not sure I understand why the players who plan on playing in North America this season could not have participated in the training camp nonetheless. For example, Filatov doesn’t leave for NA until September 7. What on earth does that trip have to do with him missing the training camp? Same goes for the rest.

    Also, Filatov is the only one of those players that has even an outside chance of making their NHL club. The others will all likely play in the CHL. They certainly will be available for the junior national team, if they are chosen. Will they be chosen though? What players playing in farm clubs is Nemchinov talking about? It seems to me that Filatov is the only one that isnt a lock to be playing juniors. Unless the Kings send their kids to Manchester, but they’ve already been drafted by CHL teams, right?

    Re Cherepanov, I wonder if one of the reasons he had a subpar tournament last year was because of Nemchinov’s insistence of rolling four lines and of using Cherry on the 2nd PP unit? If only Russian coaches would stop with that nonsense and coach based on the situation. Cherry should be far and away the best forward in the tournament this year.

    And many thanks for the translations and the site. Great stuff here.

    Comment by Rajeev 08.21.08 @ 6:34 pm

    Laurie, thank you as always.

    Rajeev, as Nemchinov said these players are leaving for NA anyday now. You got to remember they have to settle in first here in NA on many different levels. Or do you want them to look for apartments, buying furniture, looking for places to eat, etc at the same time as when their training process begins? It’s maybe a given to you but that would be a major distraction to any 18 year old, no?
    Re. Cherepanov – it was his second year playing at that level. Maybe it was the reason for overall subpar season.

    Comment by Kovazub94 08.21.08 @ 7:26 pm

    do we have any news on tomas kundratek? last i heard was that he was planning to come to north america to play in the CHL for medicine hat, but i was under the impression that he was still under contract to trinec.

    Comment by Amos 08.21.08 @ 8:40 pm

    Thank you, Laurie.
    Your translations are perfect as always.

    Comment by Russki60 08.22.08 @ 11:35 am

    It’s interesting to see the reporter’s observation that Cherepanov seems to have matured a bit.

    Comment by Goalie 08.22.08 @ 12:30 pm

    But i dont think they are leaving for NA any day now. Filatov has been in Moscow since the draft and isnt leaving to Toronto until Sep 7. Why couldnt he go the training camp? Why am I afraid he wanst invited?

    Comment by Rajeev 08.22.08 @ 12:33 pm

    And believe me, I think it’s got to be difficult as hell to make the transition that they are about to. If I was them, or their agent, I would be advising them to get to NA as early in the summer as possible. I know FIlatov was working for a while on getting his visa, but I’m not sure that would have required him to stay in Moscow all of August. Couldn’t he have gone to Novogorsk for the camp? Anyway, they do things a little differently over there, which is probably why I love them. I hope Filatov makes the Columbus team, but if he doesn’t, he should be fun to watch at World Juniors.

    Comment by Rajeev 08.22.08 @ 12:38 pm

    Cherpanov dead and Filatov lightin up the NHL

    rusia is dire need for some younger players to step up this World Juniors

    Comment by Tyler 12.03.08 @ 8:30 pm

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