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Sergachev highlights Russia’s World Junior camp invitee list

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Mikhail Sergachev, the talented blueliner taken ninth overall by Montreal at this year’s draft, headlines a list of 28 players chosen to participate in Russia’s World Junior training camp, per NHL.com.

Sergachev, 18, thoroughly impressed Habs brass during the exhibition campaign, and make the club out of training camp. He then proceeded to appear in three games for the Canadiens before GM Marc Bergevin sent him back to OHL Windsor.

With the Spits, Sergachev has seven points in his first 11 games.

He isn’t the only intriguing prospect named to Russia’s camp. Goalie Ilya Samsonov — taken 22nd overall by Washington in 2015 — is also there, and in the midst of a terrific KHL campaign. With Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Samosonov has 11 wins this year, with a 2.14 GAA and .934 save percentage.

Denis Gurianov, the forward taken by Dallas with the 12th overall pick in ’15, will also be at camp. Gurianov is currently plying his trade with Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Texas, where he has nine points in 19 games.

There is a fourth first-round pick in the mix as well. That’s German Rubstov, who Philly took at No. 22 this past June. Rubstov has split the year between the KHL and Russia’s junior league, and has emerged as a point-per-game player in the latter.

Barzal, Strome, Patrick among invitees to Canada’s World Juniors camp

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Mathew BarzalDylan Strome, Nolan Patrick, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Tyson Jost, Sam Steel, Jake Bean and Thomas Chabot are among the recognizable names that have been invited  to Canada’s World Juniors selection camp in Blainville, Quebec, from Dec. 10-14.

Canada is hosting the 2017 tournament (in Montreal and Toronto), hoping to bounce back after getting knocked out in the quarterfinals by Finland in 2016.

Patrick, likely to be selected first overall in the 2017 NHL draft, is the youngest invitee. The 18-year-old forward is currently out with an upper-body injury, so his participation at the camp remains in question.

Click here for the full camp roster.

Related:

Isles return Barzal to junior club

Coyotes send Dylan Strome back to junior

Draft-day shocker: Blue Jackets take Dubois over Puljujarvi

Isles bring back Steve Bernier on two-way deal

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After attending training camp on a PTO, Steve Bernier has signed with the Isles.

On Monday, the club announced Bernier had agreed to a one-year, two-way deal, which gives him a second go-round with the club. Last year the veteran forward caught on with the club and proceeded to score six points in 24 regular-season games, and appear in six playoff contests.

A former first-round pick, Bernier’s deal comes with the Isles dealing with a few injuries up front — Shane Prince is currently week-to-week with a lower-body injury, and Mikhail Grabovski is out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.

The Bernier deal could also give the Isles flexibility with their two 19-year-old rookies, Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal, as both are eligible to be returned to junior (and the Isles would prevent “burning” a year on their entry-level deals if they do it before the nine-game threshold.)

That said, Beauvillier is off to a terrific start, with five points through five games. Barzal has been less effective, dressing just once.

 

 

‘Canes drop Torres from PTO, send first-rounders Bean and Gauthier to junior

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Raffi Torres’ time as a Hurricane is over.

On Thursday, Carolina announced that the veteran forward has been released from his training camp tryout, after appearing in a handful of preseason games.

Torres, 34, did look as though he sufficiently recovered from a knee injury that’s cost him most of the last three seasons. Those knee problems, along with various suspensions, have limited him to just five regular season games since ’13-14.

But even with those problems solved, Torres didn’t show enough to stick with a Carolina club that’s got plenty of youth — and speed — at the forward position.

And speaking of youth, Carolina’s first two picks at this year’s draft — defenseman Jake Bean (13th overall) and forward Julien Gauthier (21st) — have been sent back to their junior teams in WHL Calgary and QMJHL Val d’Or.

Bean, 18, was the third defenseman off the board at the June draft, behind Vancouver’s Olli Juolevi and Montreal’s Mikhail Sergachev. Gauthier, also 18, was one of the most physically imposing prospects taken this year — he stands 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, and comes from a lineage of bodybuilders (both his dad and grandfather competed).

In addition to Bean and Gauthier, other touted prospects were sent packing from ‘Canes camp today as well. They include Aleksi Saarela (acquired in the Eric Staal-to-New York trade) and Valentin Zykov (acquired in the Kris Versteeg-to-L.A. trade).

Team Canada stuns Team Europe with late comeback to claim World Cup

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John Tavares hit the post on a wide open net. Steven Stamkos whiffed on a one-time slap shot attempt. And Team Europe shut down every other player wearing red and white — for about 57 minutes.

Yup. It looked like it would be that kind of night for Team Canada.

After running through the World Cup competition during the round robin and semifinal portions, Canada was facing the possibility it could suddenly be forced into a third and decisive game against an underdog Team Europe.

Cue an improbable comeback.

Down 1-0 and finding it difficult to get anything going offensively, it started for Team Canada with a power play goal on a deflection from Patrice Bergeron. And then, with 44 seconds remaining in regulation time, the Canadians struck again, this time on the penalty kill, as Jonathan Toews set up Brad Marchand for what turned out to be the winning goal.

Team Canada, which has won back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics, claims the World Cup, winning Game 2 on Thursday by a final score of 2-1. Sidney Crosby was named tournament MVP.

As per David Amber of Sportsnet, Crosby joins Joe Sakic as the only two players to win the World Cup, Olympic gold, world championships, world juniors, Stanley Cup, Hart Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Team Canada had surged by its opponents thanks to such a deep, skilled lineup and the goaltending of Carey Price. But after taking the first game of this best-of-three series, the Canadians looked completely out of sync in the second act.

They weren’t the faster team, especially in the first period.

They turned the puck over. They gave up too many odd-man rushes. Their power play didn’t capitalize — until it mattered the most.

If it weren’t for the play of Price, this one could’ve been a blowout. His best save came off Marian Hossa late in the third period.

Since the elimination of Team USA, Team North America, Team Russia and Team Sweden, it seemed like the drama would be drained from this tournament as it came to its close, the Canadians looking like a runaway champion.

The final seemed like it was only a formality.

For a long time Thursday, it looked like Team Europe could actually force a Game 3. But Canada has found another way to win.

But this time, it was far from a dominant effort.