ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov will represent Russia at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus. The World Championship begins on May 9 and concludes on May 25.
Ovechkin, 28, will be making his 10th World Championship appearance and will serve as the team’s captain. The Moscow native has registered 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists) in 56 career games at the World Championship and captured a gold medal with Russia in 2008 and 2012. Ovechkin was named to the tournament’s Media All-Star Team in 2006 and 2008, won a silver medal in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2005 and 2007. Ovechkin has represented Russia in three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), three World Junior Championships (2003, 2004, 2005), nine World Championships (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and the World Cup of Hockey (2004).
This season, Ovechkin scored 51 goals to capture his second consecutive and fourth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. Ovechkin won the award previously in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2012-13. He became the 11th player in NHL history to record five 50-goal seasons and just the fifth to do so in his first nine seasons, following Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (8), Guy Lafleur (6) and Brett Hull (5). Ovechkin registered his third career four-goal game on Dec. 10 against Tampa Bay and scored his 400th goal Dec. 20, becoming the sixth-fastest player in NHL history (and seventh-youngest) to achieve the milestone (634 games played). The 6’3”, 235-pound forward led the League with 24 power-play goals, marking a franchise record and the most by any player since Steven Stamkos scored 24 in 2009-10. Since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (422), points (814), power-play goals (151) and game-winning goals (69).
Kuznetsov, 21, will be making his third World Championship appearance. The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 games at the tournament and won a gold medal with Russia in 2012. Kuznetsov has represented Russia at two World Championships (2012, 2013), two World Junior Championships (2011, 2012) and two World U18 Championships (2009, 2010). The 6’3”, 187-pound forward made his NHL debut with the Capitals this season on March 10 against Pittsburgh and earned his first NHL points with three assists on March 14 against Vancouver. Kuznetsov became the first NHL rookie since Anze Kopitar in 2006 to record three or more assists in one of his first three NHL games. In 17 career NHL games, Kuznetsov has tallied nine points (three goals, six assists).
Orlov, 22, will represent Russia at the World Championship for the first time. Orlov has represented Russia at two World Junior Championships (2010, 2011) and two World U18 Championships (2008, 2009). The Novokuznetsk, Russia, native won a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championship and was named to the Media All-Star team. Orlov played in 54 games with the Capitals this season, registering 11 points (three goals, eight assists).