Last week, we had Try-Fix Wolansky named to Team WHL and today we learned he will be facing off against a couple fellow Blue Jackets prospects. Daniil Tarasov and Kirill Marchenko will be making the trip over to North America as part of Team Russia.
Russia's roster for the Canada-Russia series including CHL entries. Translated from Russian in case not perfect English. pic.twitter.com/naWqEsm6DE
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) October 24, 2018
This is an excellent opportunity to see these players in action. Even in the digital age, it can still be difficult to watch their games on a regular basis. Now everyone will get a chance to see them in prime time, against players their own age.
Traditionally, Russia doesn’t bring greatest team to these events as their best young players are playing in the KHL and aren’t released from those teams. That's still the case this year, but with Marchenko and Tarasov, Russia does have two studs who can take over games.
Tarasov, the 10th ranked prospect in the system, has played eight games this season in the VHL (one level below the KHL). He has a .908 save percentage in those eight games. Tarasov has faced some of these Canadians before when he was the starting netminder for Team Russia at the U-18 tournament in 2015-16 as a 16-year-old. It was only five games, but he at least has some experience with the North American game.
Marchenko would have seen some of these players before as well, as he took part in the U-18 tournament this past season. He had six points in five games at the tournament and he should be leaned on heavily for the Russians up front. Russia has a lot of smaller speedy forwards and can get pushed around by the Canadians. Marchenko, at 6-foot-3 provides size and skill, and that combination is why we ranked him as the fourth best prospect in the Blue Jackets system.
Marchenko has been playing in the MHL, Russia’s junior league and has been good. He has 16 points in 12 games while also playing six games in the VHL.
Marchenko is going to be in tough to make Russia’s World Junior team as they almost exclusively bring 19-year-olds (remember Vitali Abramov didn't make the team as an 18-year-old) but a strong showing at this event might give him an outside chance at cracking the roster.
Tarasov should crack the roster, but it remains to be seen if he will be the starter or not – but a strong showing against the Canadians could change that.
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