NHL notes: Nail Yakupov on Russian roster

Nail Yakupov, who captained Team Russia during his return to Sarnia for the Super Series, was named...

Nail Yakupov, who captained Team Russia during his return to Sarnia for the Super Series, was named to the preliminary roster for the World Junior Hockey Championship. (KYLE MacKINNON/QMI Agency photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:30 PM ET

Nail Yakupov, taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL draft, was named Wednesday to the preliminary roster for the Russian team that will play in the world junior championship.

Yakupov, Buffalo Sabres first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko and Tampa Bay Lightning first-rounder Andrey Vasilevskiy, one of three goalies invited to try out, are Russia's top returnees from the 2012 squad that lost the gold-medal game. Returning goalie Andrey Makarov, a Sabres prospect who is playing for Saskatoon of the WHL, is also on the roster.

Ten players from last year's team were named to the 31-player preliminary roster.

Top 2013 NHL draft prospects, forwards Valeri Nichushkin and Bogdan Yakimov, were also invited to the selection camp, which will be held in Novogorsk Dec. 7-20.

The world junior championship starts Dec. 26 in Ufa, Russia. It's the first time since 2001 that the tournament will be held in Russia.

GIROUX BACK IN OTTAWA

The lockout has dragged on just long enough that one of the NHL's best players may now be ready to return from injury when it ends.

Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux joined his fellow union brothers in a practice with the Carleton Ravens Wednesday for what was his first skate since leaving a game in Germany almost three weeks ago with what was feared to be another concussion. After the 90-minute session, Giroux said he felt fine.

"I'm doing better, but it's a process," Giroux said. "I need to understand that. (Tuesday), I had to go back to the gym slowly, and (Wednesday) was just a little skate, some flow drills and stuff. It was good. Hopefully, it keeps getting better."

Giroux, who missed four games last December with a concussion, said the injury was a result of taking an elbow in the shoulder/neck area during a faceoff.

"Right away, I knew something was wrong," he said. "So I got off the ice."

He left the Berlin Polar Bears, with whom he had 19 points in nine games, and flew to see a concussion specialist in Atlanta.

"He's a good doctor," Giroux said. "Going over there, we did a lot of treatments that focus on the neck. I think it was good for me."

Asked if he had an idea when he'd be ready for game action again, Giroux said: "It's hard to say right now. Obviously, I'm doing something every day to make sure I get back in game shape. I still have some things to do to make sure I'm 100%."

PROSPECT BACK IN 'PEG

Alex Burmistrov has taken an unplanned visit to Winnipeg.

The talented Russian forward suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury Sunday in a game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and flew to Winnipeg Monday to be checked out by Winnipeg Jets doctors and medical staff.

Burmistrov, 21, has two goals and 11 points in 22 American Hockey League games with the St. John's IceCaps.

IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said in a text message that he hasn't heard back from the Jets about the severity of the injury.

When asked by Robin Short of the St. John's Telegram if the injury was serious, given he was flown to Winnipeg to be treated rather than be looked at by IceCaps doctors, McCambridge said "I wouldn't read anything into it."

Burmistrov, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, had 13 goals and 28 points in 76 games with the Jets last season.

BRIEFLY

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dana Tyrell became the fourth locked-out NHLer to sign with Slovakian team Banska Bystrica. He'll join Michal Handzus, Clayton Stoner and Tanner Glass with the team ... Rehabbing Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Andreas Lilja (off-season hip surgery) is set to join Adirondack of the AHL on a conditioning stint. He will practice with the team but not play any games ... Mikael Granlund, one of the Minnesota Wild's top prospects, will return to the Houston Aeros lineup Friday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Granlund missed 12 games with an ankle injury.


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