This 2016 team was probably weakest in last 6 years. Wonder they got silver and its like gold for them really.
But now 1998 and upwards Slepets, Abramov, Rubtsov, Provorov, Sergachyov, Kaprizov, Polunin etc looks much better.
I have not thought about this very deeply yet. Please add names I have not considered.
In no particular order.
Yakov Trenin (QMJHL)
Dmitri Zhukenov (QMJHL)
Vitaly Abramov (QMJHL)
Nikita Popugaev (WHL)
Vladimir Kuznetsov (QMJHL)
Artem Artemov (OHL)
Vladimir Bobylev (WHL)
Dmitri Sokolov (OHL)
Ivan Provorov (likely in the NHL)
Mikhail Sergachev (OHL)
Sergei Zborovsky (WHL)
* I am probably missing some valid '97-born names.
the first one is american and played for usa already. the second isn't that good. i'd glad to see karnaukhov play for belarus
Yan played at non-IIHF tournaments, so he is still eligible for Russia. Last thing I heard about him was that he hasn't decided which country to represent. Imo, if he decides to represent Russia, it should be done already this spring, as probably Bragin won't wait for too long. I'm not actually sure we need him, but him being over 1,5 ppg at QMJHL this season makes me think he could be useful.
In other words, Yan can pick either of the countries at the moment. However I will not add him to my list until I see that he commits to Russia.
Yeah, I totally agree with that approach.
Abut the list itself, some possible additions:
Mikhail Maltsev (he is listed as W at your list, whie I've seen him only playing at C, maybe I'm wrong though)
Not exactly sure what Platonov and Zhebelev are doing on your list, I mean, I know that Bragin is a magician, but so far he wasn't practicing necromancy.
Overall looks like we're looking rather deep at RW (which is usual) and at C (maybe not exactly depth here, but I expect Trenin, Rubtsov and Vorobyov to be a solid top centers and for the 4-th position competition is good enough). LW position has Kaprizov and Polunin which kind of limits other not too physical player opportunities, as Bragin rarely goes with more than 3 of those kind of guys (which is understandable actually). In goal we should have an undisputed number one in Samsonov. Situation at D is rather tricky, but at least we have some valid candidates this time even without Provorov. Hopefully Rykov, Voronkov and Zborovskiy will step it up as currently they look promising, but kind of shaky. Of course, high hopes for Sergachyov too.