Anisimov, Bobrovsky to play for Russia at IIHF World Championship
Solid seasons by two Russian-born Blue Jackets put them on the radar for this year's IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Both Artem Anisimov and Sergei Bobrovsky - who also represented their native Russia at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi - were named to the country's world championship roster. The tournament begins this Friday in Minsk, Belarus, and there are some big names on the roster for the Russians.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin leads the way and he will serve as Russian's captain for the tournament. While it's little solace for the Russian Hockey Federation after a disappointing showing in the Olympics, the Russians should be a motivated group with another international tournament close to home.
Anisimov, 25, signed a three-year extension with the Blue Jackets last summer and he paid off the faith shown in him by the coaches and management with a strong 2013-14 campaign. He broke out in a big way, scoring a career-high 22 goals and proving that he can be a reliable, two-way center capable of playing in all situations.
He was a top-of-the-rotation penalty killer for Todd Richards and also one of his go-to guys on the power play, making him one of the Blue Jackets' more versatile forwards.
Bobrovsky, who has a few more weeks left with the "reigning Vezina Trophy winner" title, followed up a spectacular 2012-13 campaign with another very good year for Columbus. His best work was done after the new year, when he returned after a five-week absence (groin injury) to help lead the Blue Jackets into the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.
The 25-year-old netminder went 32-20-5 (setting a new career high for wins) with a 2.38 goals-against average and .923 save percentage - eighth-best in the NHL. His five shutouts were also a career-high in 2013-14 and were the fourth-most among all NHL goaltenders.
Here is the complete Russian roster:
Sergei Bobrovsky, Andrei Vasilevsky, Anton Khudobin
Anton Belov, Denis Denisov, Nikita Zaitsev, Andrei Zubarev, Alexander Kutuzov, Evgeny Medvedev, Dmitry Orlov, Maxim Chudinov, Egor Yakovlev
Artem Anisimov, Alexander Burmistrov, Evgeny Dadonov, Danis Zaripov, Ilya Zubov, Sergei Kalinin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nikolai Kulemin, Andrei Loktionov, Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Plotnikov, Viktor Tikhonov, Vadim Shipachev, Sergei Shirokov
Russia begins its 2014 IIHF World Championship schedule against Switzerland on Friday.