International Ice Hockey Federation

A Swede for Kazakhstan

A Swede for Kazakhstan

Henrik Karlsson gets Kazakh citizenship

Published 15.08.2018 07:31 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
A Swede for Kazakhstan
Henrik Karlsson has been playing two seasons for Kazakh club team Barys Astana and may soon play for the national team. Photo: Alexander Ovcharov / RIA Novosti
Swedish-born goaltender Henrik Karlsson received Kazakh citizenship and will be eligible to represent Kazakhstan internationally.

Karlsson played exhibition games for Sweden in the past but has never played in an IIHF tournament before. The 199 cm tall goaltender played in his native country until moving to North America in 2010 where he played 26 NHL games for the Calgary Flames before returning to Europe in 2013.

Since 2014 the 34-year-old Stockholm native has been playing in the KHL and since 2016 for Barys Astana, Kazakhstan’s KHL team in the Russian-based league.

Eligibility to play for Kazakhstan was also confirmed for several Russian-Kazakh players who have been playing for Kazakh club teams for several years including defencemen Roman Rachinski, Yegor Shalapov as well as forwards Dmitri Gurkov and Yegor Petukhov.

Kazakhstan will start this week in the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Budapest and aim for a return to the top division. The best two teams from the group that also includes Slovenia, Italy, Poland, host Hungary and Great Britain will be promoted to the top-level 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia.


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