Namestnikov Cut from Team Russia

In surprising news this morning, Lightning 2011 first rounder Vladislav Namestnikov was cut from Russia’s representation for the upcoming U20 World Junior Championships.

The news was reported by respected Russian hockey journalist Dmitry Chesnokov, who is based in the U.S.

Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) called the move a “surprise,” saying he was told Namestnikov was viewed as a first/second line forward and “there are players on those lines better than he is.”

Namestnikov was originally practicing on Russia’s top line. He had a penalty in Russia’s first pre-tournament game and was not on the scoresheet in their second contest.

2011 second rounder Nikita Kucherov, who has two goals and two assists in two pre-tournament games, and 2011 fifth rounder Nikita Nesterov both made Team Russia.

"Back to London," Namestnikov tweeted after the news was released.

Namestnikov returns to the London Knights of the OHL where he has 40 points in 33 games.