KHL representatives: Juho Olkinuora (Metallurg); Mikko Lehtonen (SKA), Petteri Lindbohm; Marko Anttila, Hannes Bjorninen, Veli-Matti Savinainen, Iiro Pakarinen (all — Jokerit), Miro Aaltonen, Niko Ojamaki (both — Vityaz).
Team Finland’s head coach Jukka Jalonen and GM Jere Lehtinen called the most KHL representatives, excluding Russia. The Finnish will feature a five-man contingent from Jokerit, plus Vityaz’s dynamic duo of Aaltonen and Ojamaki, Lehtonen from SKA, and Olkinuora between the piping. The Finnish will also feature several former KHL players like Harri Pesonen or Saku Maenalanen. Expect the Leijonat to fight for first place at the home stage of the Euro Hockey Tournament.
KHL representatives: Yaroslav Askarov (SKA), Vladimir Galkin (Avtomobilist), Dmitry Shugayev (Severstal); Alexander Nikishin, Yegor Savikov (both — Spartak), Sergei Telegin (Traktor), Shakir Mukhamadullin (Salavat Yulaev), Semyon Chistyakov (Avangard), Nikita Novikov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexander Yelesin (Lokomotiv), Arseny Koromyslov, Nikita Smirnov (both — SKA), Vladimir Grudinin (CSKA); Ivan Chekhovich (Torpedo), Vitaly Abramov, Nikita Tertyshny (both — Traktor), Artyom Galimov, Dmitry Voronkov (both — Ak Bars), Nikita Chibrikov, Fyodor Svechkov, Marat Khusnutdinov, Matvei Michkov (all — SKA), Maxim Fedotov (Torpedo), Nikita Guslistov, Daniil Vovchenko (both — Severstal), Dmitry Rashevsky (Dynamo Moscow), Vasily Ponomaryov (Spartak), Ivan Zinchenko (Vityaz).
The Russians will bring Helsinki an experimental roster, with the U20 national team head coach Oleg Bratash behind the bench. On goal, two Galkin and Shugayev will join Yaroslav Askarov, while on defense, several Alexander Yelesin will be the leader, with many younger options, including 2022 WJC candidate Shakir Mukhamadullin.
One of the most awaited forwards will naturally be Matvei Michkov. The 16-years-old sensation will be the tournament’s younger player, and it will be exciting to see how he will fare against pro players at the national team level. Other exciting options for the Russians include Nikita Tertyshny from Traktor and Dmitry Rashevsky from Dynamo Moscow. Torpedo’s Ivan Chekhovich has been on top form recently, and he may be a surprise for the Russians.
The 2021 Karjala Cup starts on November 11 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The four teams will compete on a three-game round-robin through Sunday, November 14. In the meantime, the second Russian national team will line up at the 2021 Deutschland Cup against the hosts Germany, Switzerland, and Slovakia.