Semyon Varlamov may have had two rough outings in a row for his Colorado Avalanche, but he's still one of the best Russian goaltenders in the sport of hockey. Early Wednesday morning, 1:00 AM MST to be exact, officials released the first sixteen names of the roster they'll use to compete against the best in the world in September last this year. Varlamov will split time in net with Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Tampa Bay Lightning backup, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Seven more players will be added to the roster at a later date.
Varlamov is having a down year following a superlative stretch between 2013 and 2015. He's averaging 2.79 goals allowed per game, .21 higher than his career average, and has a save of .912, his lowest since his injury plagued 2012-13 season.
Household names like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Pavel Datsyuk headline the roster alongside up-and-coming names like Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Russia is expected to a favorite to contend for the championship, which will be held in Toronto in late September prior to the NHL season.
Teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and the United States are also expected to announce rosters today, as well as two 23-and-under rosters from both North America and Europe.
***Update: Russia also announces their World Cup jersey