Anisimov invited to join Team Russia
Friday April 09th 2010, 11:33 am

New York Rangers rookie center Artem Anisimov has been invited to join the Russian national team for a pair exhibition games scheduled to take place in Italy later this month. The games are part of Team Russia’s preparation for the 2010 IIHF World Championship, which begins in Germany on May 7th.

Anisimov joins a group of primarily young players on Russia’s preliminary roster for the event.  The list includes Florida defenseman Dmitri Kulikov, Columbus forward Nikita Filatov, Minnesota goaltender Anton Khudobin and 2010 draft-eligible forward Vladimir Tarasenko — all of whom will be making their debut with the senior national team.  Should the Rangers miss the playoffs or be knocked out early, Anisimov will join his fellow first-timers when they face the Italian national team on April 23rd in Asiago and April 24th in Bolzano.

The opportunity to stay with the team for the World Championship could follow, depending on the players’ performance in Italy and on which Russian NHL players are available for the start of the tournament.

Team Russia assistant coach Andrei Nazarov, who was hired following Russia’s failure at the Vancouver Olympics to scout and serve as liason to Russian players currently playing in the NHL, was in North America late last month to talk to potential national team candidates. Anisimov was included on his list of players to visit.  The former NHL pugilist and current head coach of KHL squad Traktor Chelyabinsk was impressed with the young center after watching him in the Rangers’ 5-0 trouncing of the Islanders on March 24th.

“Anisimov’s play was a revelation to me,” Nazarov told Sport-Express after seeing the young forward score what would become his second game-winner of the year.  “Artem got 12 minutes of time, but every shift he worked from start to finish, like our players do on Traktor (laughs).  I’m very glad that Anisimov scored off a pass from my good friend, the “policeman” Jody Shelley, who I’ve had occasion to “dance” with on the ice in the past,” Nazarov continued.  “In the coming days, I’ll call Shelley and ask him to keep a closer eye on the young Russian star, since they play on the same line.”

Team Russia Preliminary Roster

Koshechkin, Vasily 27.03.1983 200 91 Metallurg Mg
Khudobin, Anton 07.05.1986 178 77 Minnesota Wild
Bobrovsky, Sergei 20.09.1988 188 87 Metallurg Hg
Kulikov, Dmitri 29.10.1990 185 84 Florida Panthers
Atyushov, Vitaly 04.07.1979 188 88 Metallurg, Mg
Korneev, Konstantin 05.06.1984 180 85 CSKA
Kulyash, Denis 31.05.1983 189 106 Avangard
Biryukov, Evgeny 19.04.1986 185 92 Metallurg, Mg
Denisov, Denis 31.12.1981 183 84 Dynamo
Vorobiev, Dmitri 18.10.1985 188 99 Dynamo
Ryacensky, Evgeny 18.07.1987 178 80 Neftekhimik
Belov, Nikolai 13.08.1987 191 81 Neftekhimik
Afinogenov, Maxim 04.09.1979 183 87 Atlanta Thrashers
Kylemin, Nikolai 14.07.1986 185 83 Toronto Maple Leafs
Artyukhin, Evgeny 04.04.1983 195 115 Atlanta Thrashers
Anisimov, Artem 24.05.1988 194 89 New York Rangers
Tarasenko, Vladimir 13.12.1991 182 85 Sibir
Filatov, Nikita 25.05.1990 183 85 CSKA
Gorovikov, Konstantin 31.08.1977 183 81 SKA
Parshin, Denis 01.02.1986 179 69 CSKA
Rybin, Maxim 15.06.1981 174 85 SKA
Skatchkov, Evgeny 14.07.1984 184 88 Traktor
Krisanov, Anton 25.03.1987 190 80 Dynamo
Varnakov, Mikhail 01.03.1985 176 91 Torpedo
Svitov, Alexander 03.11.1982 192 106 Avangard
Saprikin, Oleg 12.02.1981 186 81 SKA
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