The World Juniors Championships provide one of the biggest stages for junior-aged players to put their skills on display and make their mark on the world stage. It’s a chance for a player to enamor teams with a great performance on the biggest stage of junior hockey. For some players, it’s the chance of a lifetime.
Every year players stick out and seem to be ‘the guy’ in the big moments even if they aren’t the team’s best players. These players capture lightning in a bottle and have their best stretch of the season while representing their country. they are the X-Factor. Who has the chance to be their team’s X-Factor?
Justus Annunen, Goaltender, Finland
If the Finns have a chance to repeat as champions, the bulk of the success will be driven by the young netminder. Justus Annunen has had an absolutely stellar season in the Liiga, earning the reigns as the starting netminder for Kärpät. The young Finn hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game all season in Liiga play and at one point had four straight shutouts. Annunen has been popping up on the radar of more and more fans and analysts alike this season and the World Juniors could be his coming out party as one of the best goaltending prospects in the world.