Yakupov, Grigorenko to play in 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge


When Canada and Russia’s junior programs face off in Yaroslavl and Halifax, N.S., August, the Russian team will have a decidedly NHL feel.

Today, it was revealed Nail Yakupov — taken first overall by Edmonton at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — will be joined by fellow first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall, Buffalo) on the Russian squad.

More, from NHL.com’s Mike Morreale:

The 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge will have Canada and Russia’s national junior programs face off in two games in Russia (Aug. 9-10 in Yaroslavl) and two in Canada (Aug. 13-14 in Halifax, N.S.). The event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, an unforgettable eight-game series held in September 1972. Canada won that series, 4-3, with one tie.

Also on the Russian team is Tampa Bay draftee Andrei Vasilevski, the 19th overall selection and first goalie off the board at the draft.