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Russian Ice Hockey Federation to suspend 2008 draft picks?

Five Russians who were selected in the 2008 National Hockey League draft are being pressured to stay in their homeland.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation is reportedly threatening some of its best young players. Word is that if they come to North America and don’t make the NHL next season, they will be suspended from playing for Russian national teams for four years.
One of the players in question is defenceman Vjateslav Voinov, who the Moncton Wildcats hope to have in their lineup next season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. They made him the fifth overall pick in the 2008 Canadian Hockey League import draft last week.


Read the article here.

It is not known at this point if the Russian IHF is bluffing, posturing or is serious in its plan to suspend Russian players who decide to leave their Russian Super League/Continental League opportunities for the National Hockey League. However, with the recent changes to Russian Labour Laws, it appears that Russian officials are getting more serious when it comes to keeping their homegrown talent at home.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.