Team Russia has finally announced their captaincy group, and making an appearance is one of the LA Kings’ newest additions to the prospect pool, Kirill Kirsanov.

Kirsanov, 19, has been named the alternate captain for the team in his second U20 tournament. Kirill made an appearance at the highly-respected tournament last year, where he tallied 2 points in 7 games.

He will be wearing number 20 in the tournament.

Joining Kirill Kirsanov in the assistant captain’s role will be New Jersey Devils prospect Shakir Mukhamadullin, Winnipeg Jets prospect Nikita Chibrikov, Vancouver Canucks prospect Dmitri Zlodeyev, and undrafted forward Ivan Zinchenko. Minnesota Wild prospect Marat Khnusnutdinov will serve as captain of the Russian junior team.

About Kirill Kirsanov:

Kirill Kirsanov was drafted in the third round (84th overall) by the LA Kings in the 2021 NHL draft. Known for his physical and strong defensive presence, Kirsanov has appeared in 24 KHL games this year with SKA St. Petersburg where he’s had no goals and four assists. For comparison, he had 29 games in the KHL last year and had 3 points then. 

This will be Kirsanov’s second outing to the tournament, as he joined team Russia for last year’s tournament as well. He played a third-line/7th defenseman role last year, but you can expect him to play way more than he did previously, as he’s developed quicker, and looks to prove himself in a few days. 

Kirill has been regarded as one of SKA’s key pieces to playing a shutdown role in the KHL this year, and it’s all thanks to his masterful defensive play. You won’t see Kirsanov put up points and go berserk on everyone, but if you pay attention to the little things he does in his own zone, you’ll realize that it’s like he’s got a second brain made just for defense. He also knows how to break the puck out without being rattled or getting stripped off the puck, which will be something to watch this year. 

Big congratulations to Kirsanov, as his hard work and dedication seems to be finally paying off. The new alternate captain and his group will face off against Team Canada in their exhibition game on Thursday. The full schedule for Kings prospects in the exhibition games is below:

WJC Exhibition Schedule, 30-Game Mark Analytics, and Other LA Kings Bullets

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