With the NHL season likely starting in January or February and the OHL, WHL, USHL, and NCAA seasons in limbo, clubs will be hoping that their top prospects will get some game action in international tournaments that are currently scheduled to take place.
The Karjala Cup tournament between Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic takes place in Helsinki next week and two Leafs prospects have been selected to participate. 2020 first rounder Rodion Amirov and fourth-rounder Artur Akhtyamov have been selected for Team Russia.
The roster choices may be an indicator of who will be selected for the 2021 World Junior Championships in Edmonton, as Russia’s club includes first-rounders Amirov, Yaroslav Askirov, Yegor Chinakhov, and Shakir Mukhamadullin, but the rosters for Finland and Sweden are comprised of 16 and 17-year-olds instead of 18 or 19-year-olds like Alexander Holtz, Lucas Raymond, Anton Lundell, Leafs prospects Mikko Kokkonen (who played for Finland in the WJC last December), or 2020 picks Roni Hirvonen, Topi Niemela or Veeti Miettinen, who are playing in the Swedish Hockey League or Finnish SM-Liiga.
Nick Robertson should be a shoo-in for Team USA this December after scoring five points in last year’s WJC in the Czech Republic and leading the OHL with 55 goals. 2019 fourth-rounder Mikhail Abramov should be on the radar for Russia after scoring 76 points with Victoriaville in the QMJHL last season, but the Russians sometimes ignore players who choose to play in North America instead of staying home.
Listen to the Off the Post podcast with JD Burke of EP Rinkside, who takes a closer look at the Leafs 2020 Draft
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