Updated at 22:06,23-05-2018

US defenseman agrees to play for Belarusian national ice hockey team


US ice hockey defenseman Nick Bailen has agreed to obtain Belarusian citizenship and play for Team Belarus.

The 24-year-old player joined Belarus' flagship team Dinamo Minsk this summer after a successful season with Finland's Tappara. He has yet to play his first official game for the Belarusian club.

Dinamo General Manager Uladzimir Berazhkow expressed hope that Mr. Bailen and Canadian-born forward Charles Linglet, who was granted Belarusian citizenship in early 2012, would help Team Belarus qualify for the 2018 Olympics.

The national team lacks high-quality defensemen at present, said the former journalist.

Mr. Berazhkow said that the US defenseman had not demanded anything in return for receiving Belarusian citizenship.