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In two weeks, the second round of the hockey draft starts in Russia
In two weeks, the second round of the hockey draft starts in Russia. Due to the ongoing NHL lockout, foreign hockey stars might decide to play in Russia like the ones who joined the Russian Super League at the beginning of the current season. Players like goalies Nicolai Khabibulin and Yevgeni Nabokov, defensemen Darius Kasparaitis, Oleg Tverdovski, Dmitri Yushkevich, Andrei Markov, Vitali Vishnevski, Fyodor Tyutin (SKA), and forwards Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexey Kovalev, Maxim Afinigenov, Pavel Datsyuk, Nikolai Zherdev, Alexander Frolov, Oleg Saprykin and Viktor Kozlov joined Super League teams at the beginning of the season. Anaheim Mighty Ducks star forward Sergei Fedorov, whose younger brother plays for Spartak (Moscow), Boston Bruins forward Sergei Samsonov, Dallas Stars forward Valery Bure, the younger brother of the Russian Rocket Pavel Bure, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Alexey Zhitnik have also considered returning to Russia. For various reasons, Russian fans will not be able to see such long-time NHL players as Alexander Mogilny, Sergei Zubov and Alexei Yashin playing for Russian clubs. Some foreign hockey stars also expressed their interest in joining the Russian Super League. In particular, we might expect Czech New Jersey Devils forward Patrick Elias to come, although the legendary Jaromir Jagr playing in Omsk will probably overshadow Elias's arrival in Russia unless the famous Czech goalie Dominik "The Terminator" Hasek decides to play in Russia when he returns to ice in the middle of January. He has not decided where his will play, but Russia might be one of his options. Three Swedish hockey superstars, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forwards Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg, are still not playing on a team. Even though they repeatedly expressed their desire to play in Sweden, the salaries offered by a Russian team might tip the scale in favor of Russia. Another member ofthe Swedish national team, forward Mikael Nyulander, will probably decide to leave Finland, where he is currently playing, and try the Russian Super League. There is even the possibility that Finnish hockey superstar Teemu Selyanne might play for Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl). Finnish Kari Heikkilya currently coaches the team. American stars Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richard and Garth Snow, who are currently playing in Russia, might inspire other Americans like goalie Martin Brodeur and forwards Joe Sackic, Paul Karia and Jeremy Roenick to do the same. Many of these players might have their first shot at Russian hockey on December 11 and 12 as members of the World Stars team play the Russian national team, or on December 13 during a farewell game for legendary Russian forward Igor Larionov. Overall, Russian fans will certainly see world-class hockey
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