Can the Eastern European country advance to the playoff rounds for a second straight year?

Barys was the lone European representative in the 2021 World Selects Trophy in Nashville, coming to the U.S. from Kazakhstan. This spring, players from the eastern European country return to the Music City, this time as one of a dozen international programs in the field of 2007-born teams.

Based out of the capital city of Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan is located south of Russia and west of China. Its selects program has competed in World Selects tournaments dating back to 2014, and last year, the ‘06 squad went 2-3-0 in pool play. Abzal Alibek was one of the leading scorers in the tournament and the team snuck into the playoffs as the 15 seed before being eliminated by eventual champion DraftDay-Black.

This year’s 2007 squad comes to the U.S. with a strong roster and looks to improve upon their countrymen’s performance from a season ago. Names like Dulat Yerkinov, Artur Glukhikh, Dinmukhamed Akhalbekov, Beibarys Chokparov and Ilkhyon Ten will hope to play impactful roles at the Ford Ice Center. Certainly, some challenges lie ahead from playing on a smaller rink — European hockey is typically played on an Olympic sheet, whereas North American hockey is generally NHL-sized — as well as differing styles of play. 

Can Kazakhstan Selects overcome those challenges are return to the elimination rounds for a second straight year? World Hockey Hub will have exclusive coverage leading up to, and throughout, the 2022 15U World Selects Trophy. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for previews, updates, top prospects, highlights, interviews and more!

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