2020 WJC Recap: Preliminary Round, Group B

Jokke Nevalainen

2020-01-01

 

The preliminary round is now over, so let’s go through the performance of each team and their top performers. In this article, I’ll go through Group B which includes Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic and Germany.

 

There are no games in the tournament today. All four quarterfinal games will be played tomorrow, one after another, so it will be a great day of hockey-watching.

 

Canada

 

Canada finished at the top of Group B despite their devastating 6-0 loss to Russia. But they managed to win all other games which was good enough for nine points in the standings, and they’ll face Slovakia in the quarterfinals.

 

Canada’s leading scorers were Barrett Hayton (ARZ) and Dylan Cozens (BUF) who both had six points. Hayton is the Captain and he’s been playing a top-six center role in each game. He had that unfortunate incident where he didn’t remove his helmet during Russia’s national anthem but he apologized and hasn’t allowed it to affect his play. Cozens is a natural center but has been used at wing in this tournament, and his game is a good fit there as well.

 

Behind them, you have a few players with four points; Alexis Lafrenière (2020), Joe Veleno (DET), Nolan Foote (TBL) and Jared McIsaac (DET). Veleno got his points in just three games while Lafrenière got his in just two.

 

And after them, you have another few names with three points; Ty Smith (NJD), Calen Addison (PIT), Liam Foudy (CBJ) and Ty Dellandrea (DAL). Addison plays on the top power play unit whereas Smith has been used on the second unit. Foudy and Dellandrea have been used in more of a defensive role but that hasn’t stopped them from putting up some points as well.

 

Foote leads the team with 18 shots on goal, followed by Cozens with 11, and then Hayton and Foudy with 10 each. Foote and Hayton lead the team with three goals each. All three of Hayton’s goals are scored on the power play whereas two of Foote’s goals are scored on the power play.

 

Bowen Byram (COL) leads the team in average ice time with 19:12 per game. Despite the big minutes, including time on the power play, Byram has just one point (an assist) and one shot on goal. Byram is followed by Veleno and Jacob Bernard-Docker (OTT) who are both close to 19 minutes as well. JBD has no points so far. Smith is the only other player above 17 minutes. Canada has been spreading their ice time pretty evenly when possible.

 

One might be wondering where is Quinton Byfield (2020) in all of this – he has no points but he’s also only played 11:14 per game. And he’s been used at wing which is not his usual position. Jamie Drysdale (2020) will also be a high draft pick next summer but he also hasn