Nashville Predators Prospects Who Made the Cut for 2021 WJC

: Egor Afanasyev #11 of the Windsor Spitfires (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
: Egor Afanasyev #11 of the Windsor Spitfires (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

As an appetizer to the upcoming NHL season for the Nashville Predators, the 2021 World Junior Championship rosters are set.

The future of the NHL is going to be on full display at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and there will be a few representatives of the Nashville Predators in the tournament.

There’s been some hiccups along the way due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it appears we’ll be seeing some exciting international hockey in less than two weeks up in Edmonton, Alberta.

The teams will report to the bubble format, much like the NHL’s Return-to-Play format over the summer, tomorrow and be there into the new year.

Plenty of representation for the Predators

For the Predators, they have been methodically building up their prospect pool in recent years. The team is undeniably shifting to a younger generation of talent, and some of them made the final roster cuts for their respective countries.

The biggest headliner on this list by far is Philip Tomasino for Team Canada:

The Canadian squad is stacked as usual, and Tomasino figures to be a vital piece of that squad that also includes highly-touted prospects such as Kirby Dach (Blackhawks), Quinton Byfield (2020 2nd-overall pick by LA Kings) and Jamie Drysdale (2020 6th-overall pick by the Ducks).

Tomasino managed to make a very competitive roster for Canada, so major kudos to him. His trajectory into the NHL in short fashion continues to trend upward.

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The Predators’ top draft pick from 2020 (11th-overall) Iaroslav Askarov will also be competing in the 2021 WJC, representing Team Russia at goaltender.

Askarov is ripping through the KHL so far this season with an incredible .962 save percentage and 0.96 GAA in seven games for SKA St. Petersburg.

All eyes will be on Tomasino and Aksarov and how they handle the pressure on the big stage of the WJC.

Other prospects who made the cut

Team Russia will be well-represented by Predators prospects with Egor Afanasyev and Semyon Chistyakov also on the team that should be one of the top challengers to Team Canada.

Afanasyev has been a rising star in the prospect pool for the Predators since being drafted in 2019 in the second round. His action this season has been limited overseas, but has seen some brief time in both the KHL and MHL leagues.

Chistyakov is a defenseman who was also drafted in 2019 by the Predators in the fourth round. He’s gotten a considerable amount of playing time for Avangard of the KHL this season with 28 games played and 27 hits.

Another 2019 draft pick by the Predators will see action in this year’s WJC with seventh-round pick Juuso Pärssinen representing Team Finland. He has an impressive track record playing internationally for Finland and is currently playing in Liiga, the top league in Finland.

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Team USA starts off their tournament run against Team Russia on Christmas Day, while Team Canada will start off on December 26 against Team Germany.

We’ll need both Team USA and Team Canada to advance out of their different groups to get rewarded with their rivalry matchup.

Tomasino and Askarov will attract most of the spotlight for Predators fans, but keep an eye on the other prospects on this big stage. Happy for these guys to get to represent their home countries in a year that’s been challenging for all of us.