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Yakupov, Grigorenko to play in 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge

Jul 31, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Nail Yakupov Getty Images

When Canada and Russia’s junior programs face off in Yaroslavl and Halifax, N.S., August, the Russian team will have a decidedly NHL feel.

Today, it was revealed Nail Yakupov — taken first overall by Edmonton at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — will be joined by fellow first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall, Buffalo) on the Russian squad.

More, from’s Mike Morreale:

The 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge will have Canada and Russia’s national junior programs face off in two games in Russia (Aug. 9-10 in Yaroslavl) and two in Canada (Aug. 13-14 in Halifax, N.S.). The event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, an unforgettable eight-game series held in September 1972. Canada won that series, 4-3, with one tie.

Also on the Russian team is Tampa Bay draftee Andrei Vasilevski, the 19th overall selection and first goalie off the board at the draft.

  1. elemeno89 - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    give my boy grigs some play. i want him ready for october!

  2. danbroadus - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    “One name notably absent from the Russian roster is that of Alex Galchenyuk, taken third overall by Montreal. It’s not entirely surprising he was left out, though, after missing most of last season to an ACL tear.”

    This is even less surprising when you consider that Galchenyuk is actually American.

    • Mike Halford - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      The copy has been edited. My apologies for the error.

      • danbroadus - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        Just trying to help!

  3. danbroadus - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Could this Russian team actually win the Challenge this year? Given the dominance of what was essentially this same team at the Juniors, I could honestly see Canada losing this one… 😦

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Are rosters posted already somewhere for this tournament?

  5. murtdurt - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    What about Canada’s roster? Is there no talent on that team worth reporting?

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