Tournament Review: 2019 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Jokke Nevalainen

2019-08-11

 

The 2019 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup is now over. Russia won, Canada finished second, and Sweden finished third. Here are my thoughts of the most interesting prospects who played in this tournament.

 

Team Russia

 

As mentioned, Russia won the tournament, and the one player who was mostly responsible for their win was their superstar goalie Yaroslav Askarov. He won all four games he played, and his 0.960 save percentage was by far the best we’ve ever seen in this tournament as the previous record was 0.942. Askarov may just be the best goalie prospect we’ve seen since Carey Price in 2005. Goalies don’t usually get drafted in the top ten but he could get there. First he beat the best ever U.S. NTDP team at the U18 Worlds and now he beat what was said to be one of the best Canadian teams at this level. Those are two massive victories that in my opinion no other goalie prospect could have earned.

 

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Winger Alexander Pashin led the Russians in scoring. He had seven goals and eight points in five games. Seven goals was just one behind the tournament record. Pashin was 23rd in our ranking of European prospects with a projected draft range of 60-80. He is an undersized (5-8, 154) winger with excellent speed, very good hands and a great shot. His size might be the only thing holding him back. If he can continue playing the way he did in this tournament, he could be moving up the draft rankings.