Belarus will need KONSTANTIN KOLTSOV (28), the former 1999 first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penquins, to step up now that two top Belarussian forwards are out of the Vancouver Games with injuries. Koltsov, who has appeared at seven major international tournaments for Belarus, competes for powerful Russian club Salavat Yulayev Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League.
BELARUS — final roster for 2010 Vancouver Winter Games
Coach — Mikhail ZAKHAROV —— Asst — Dave Lewis
- # 1 — Vitali KOVAL — Dynamo Minsk
- # 31 — Andrei MEZIN — Dynamo Minsk
- # 37 — Maxim MALIUTIN — HK Vitebsk
- # 4 — Alexander MAKRITSKY — Dynamo Minsk
- # 5 — Nikolai STASENKO — Amur Khabarovsk
- # 7 — Vladimir DENISOV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 24 — Ruslan SALEI — COLORADO
- # 25 — Sergei KOLOSOV — Grand Rapids (AHL)
- # 33 — Andrei KAREV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 43 — Viktor KOSTIYUCHENOK — Spartak Moscow
- # 52 — Alexander RYADINSKY — HC Yunost Minsk
- # 8 — Andrei MIKHALEV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 10 — Oleg ANTONENKO — Dynamo Minsk
- # 11 — Alexander KULIKOV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 18 — Alexei UGAROV — HK MVD Balashikha
- # 19 — Dmitri MELESHKO — Dynamo Minsk
- # 21 — Konstantin ZAKHAROV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 22 — Sergei ZADELENOV — Dynamo Minsk
- # 26 — Andrei STAS — Dyanmo Minsk
- # 28 — Konstantin KOLTSOV — Salavat Yulayev Ufa
- # 59 — Sergei DEMAGIN — Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
- # 71 — Alexei KALYUZHNY — Dynamo Moscow
- # 74 — Sergei KOSTITSYN — MONTREAL
The injury bug bit Belarus hard the past few months; top forwards MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI of the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as ANDREI KOSTITSYN of the Montreal Canadiens will miss the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
A pair of Dynamo Minsk players — 27-year old DMITRI MELESHKO, who has appeared at five major international tournaments already for Belarus, in addition to former St. Louis Blues 3rd round draft choice and 24-year-old coach’s son KONSTANTIN ZAKHAROV — are the replacements for the injured pair of NHLers.
Zakharov, who previously skated 92 American Hockey League games (12 go 16 as, 28 pts) over the course of two seasons for the Worcester Ice Cats and Peoria Rivermen, has spent most of this season with Dynamo Minsk’s farm club, HC Yunost Minsk (29 ga, 7 go 15 as, 22 pts) of the Belarus elite league.
Meanwhile, half of the defense corps originally named to the Olympic team two months ago has turned over for Belarus and coach MIKHAIL ZAKHAROV.
Two of the new blueliners are, not surprisingly, from the Dynamo Minsk club of the Kontinental Hockey League. 38-year-old ALEXANDER MAKRITSKY, having first competed for Belarus at the C Pool of the 1994 IIHF World Championships, is heavily experienced if aging while 30-year-old ALEXANDER RYADINSKY has appeared at five major internationals for Belarus, as well.
23-year-old Detroit Red Wings farmhand SERGEI KOLOSOV of the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins is, perhaps, the most promising long-term prospect of the substitutes.
25-year-old ANDREI KAREV has spent most of this season (and career) with HC Yunost Minsk.