Do we love to dream? And let’s dream about what the Russian national hockey team would be like a dream team today.
We are forming our team according to an understandable criterion – the Olympic hockey tournament includes 23 people in the application: 3 goalkeepers, 13 forwards and 7 defenders. Let’s take this format as a basis. Moreover, the new agreement of the overseas league, according to which the NHL will release players to the next two Olympics (2022 and 2026), warms up thoughts about the strongest roster with all NHL players. Who are they – the coolest Russian warriors on the ice right now.
There has probably never been a goalkeeper question in Russian hockey. Today’s times are no exception. Sergei Bobrovsky and Andrei Vasilevsky will easily demonstrate their skills while guarding the national team’s gates , busily flashing three Vezins for two (Vezina Trophy is the prize for the best goalkeeper of the regular season in the NHL). The first two positions do not require any discussion, both will be in full bloom and years in Beijing in 2022.
But who is the third issue (who knows, maybe not the third in a couple of years) is an open question. We now have a lot of young goalkeepers who have not yet had time to show themselves fully – Ilya Samsonov, Alexander Georgiev, Ilya Sorokin. We must not forget the youngest candidate for our team – Yaroslav Askarov, selected in the first round of the NHL draft. And, of course, the experience in choosing the third candidate for the goalkeeper’s line definitely votes for Semyon Varlamov. Who will be in the end? As an author, I stake on a trio: Bobrovsky, Vasilevsky, Varlamov. I’ll bet on the match itself on the Parimatch bookmaker’s website.
In Russian hockey for the past 10 years, there was a question about quality defenders. Today the issue seems to be in the process of being resolved. We’ve got some young, interesting back-row players who have had a taste of the NHL experience. We will focus on them in our composition. We have Dmitry Orlov from Washington, who played well against Alexander Ovechkin. New NHL champion Mikhail Sergachev. Nikita Zaitsev from Ottawa, who is going through a difficult stage in his career and life. Do not forget Nikita Zadorov. Ivan Provorov became a real top player in Philadelphia. In the new season, promising Alexander Romanov is expected in Montreal. And then there is the rapidly progressing Vladislav Gavrikov. Our experienced fighter plays in Winnipeg. It’s about Dmitry Kulikov. Okay, let’s look at the KHL too. There is someone to look at: Vyacheslav Voinov, Maxim Ozhiganov. Nikita Nesterov returned to the NHL this offseason. He will now play for Calgary.
Finally, we will form pairs like this: Orlov – Provorov, Zaitsev – Sergachev, Zadorov – Gavrikov, spare – Kulikov / Romanov.
The most interesting, as they say, is for sweets. There are terribly many options for maneuver, a lot of candidates. But I will be brief. The triples are:
- Ovechkin – Kuznetsov * – Kucherov
- Panarin – Malkin – Dadonov
- Gusev – Governors – Svechnikov
- Buchnevich – Anisimov – Nichushkin
* Evgeny Kuznetsov has been disqualified until 2023 from international tournaments.
Yes, let’s go over the other candidates. Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, Denis Guryanov, Alexander Radulov, Vladislav Kamenev, Ilya Mikheev, Ilya Kovalchuk (I would very much like to). All of them (and maybe someone else) will undoubtedly apply for the place in the national team both now and in 2022 at the Beijing Olympics.
This is how our Dream-Team of the Russian national team turned out. I would like to see new names constantly appearing, and finding this or that even the coolest player in the national team was not unconditional.