With the annual World Junior Championship less than a month away, countries are beginning to announce the rosters of players they have invited to camp and intend on bringing to the World Juniors. On Monday Team Canada named their U20 team for the tournament which will not feature any current Buffalo Sabres prospects but Team Russia is a different story as they have invited Nikita Zadorov to their camp.
A few weeks ago the Buffalo Sabres reassigned Zadorov to the OHL where he would be able to further develop his game and that opened
the door for him to join team Russia at the World Juniors. Zadorov has been playing well with the London Knights notching 2 goals and five points in 5 games, and had a solid showing in the Subway Series for team Russia.
Zadorov is a punishing defenceman who loves to throw the body but needs to learn when to hit and when to back off as his hits often left him out of position. He will be one of the top defencemen on team Russia called upon to play big minutes as Russia looks to defeat Canada and team USA. Zadorov is on the doorstep of the NHL and will look to show that he can compete against the best of the upcoming NHL talent.
Mikhail Grigorenko is also eligible to join Russia’s world junior team but the Buffalo Sabres have yet to sign off on the move and as of right now Grigorenko has not been named to their 23 man camp. Sending Grigorenko to the World Juniors would be an excellent way for the Sabres to send Grigorenko to the juniors to gain that valuable playing time he needs.
Starting December 26th you will be able to see Nikita Zadorov and team Russia challenge for gold at the World Junior Challenge.