Colorado Avalanche first round pick Mikhail Gulyayev will be playing some real hockey, real soon.
The 18 year old defenseman has been selected to the U23 team for Russia’s Sochi Hockey Open.
Gulyayev, who the Avalanche selected 31st overall last month in the 2023 NHL Draft, is one of 10 defensemen on the roster. He is the highest drafted defenseman on the roster, but that might not mean much to the coaches of the team.
The tournament will take place from August 3-August 8. The U23 team will play against Sochi, Admiral Vladivostok, Avangard Omsk and SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. It will be a nice test for Gulyayev, who is expected to take on a bigger role in the KHL this year.
Gulyayev finished last year having played 13 games in the KHL, 12 games in the VHL, and 22 games in the MHL, where his dad is the assistant coach. He plays for Avangard Omsk, so he should be playing against some of his teammates in this tournament.
Gulyayev is under contract in Russia until 2025, so it will be a few years before we see him in North America. Despite not speaking English, he was extremely popular during Development Camp earlier this month with his future Avalanche teammates. He seems like quite the personality.
Stay tuned to CHN as more news continues to come in.
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