Prospect Rambling: Ice time leaders after Day One?

by Joel Henderson on December 27, 2017

 

Ice time.  

By the end of the tournament, the talks are often about who moved up or down in the lineup. A prospect can solidify their hype in fantasy leagues by proving they can be a relied on offensive talent on the big stage. If you begin as a fourth-line forward but eventually find yourself on the top line, that is significant. So, after Day One, lets take a look at some of the most significant forwards for some of the squads.  

 

CZECH REPUBLIC 

Top 3 Forwards 

Martin Necas – 22:02 

Marek Zachar – 19:56 

Filip Zadina – 18:25 

 

Top Defenseman 

Filip Kral – 21:48 

 

Martin Necas leading the way for the Czechs is not very surprising. He looked terrific in the debute and it's easy to tell that they hope to run their PP through him on the left half wall. Filip Zadina should be a name you recognize by now as he is thought to be a Top-5 talent in the 2018 draft and his minutes should be quite steady in this tournament. Maybe a name you don't know is undersized forward Marek Zachar who has 30 points in 30 games in the QMJHL. He will be an important 19-year-old for the Czech team. Filip Kral's playing certainly increased as the game went on and he could increase his 2018 draft stock greatly.  

 

RUSSIA  

Top 3 Forwards 

Vitali Abramov – 17:02 

German Rubtsov – 16:29 

Georgi Ivanov – 15:47 

 

Top Defenseman 

Nikita Makeyev – 20:59 

 

So, Russia seems to be giving a more balanced attack for ice time. It's pretty common for coaching staff to rely on their top talent but Russia doesn't seem to care about conventional methods. In fact, the forward with the least amount of time is 2018 highly watched prospect Andrei Svechnikov at 11:13. The 19-year-olds might be getting all the big minutes.  

ALSOOO 

Russia ran with 8 dmen. WHAT? 

 

SWEDEN 

Top 3 Forwards 

Alex Nylander – 20:14 

Elias Petterson – 18:18 

Lias Andersson – 17:41 

 

Top Defenseman 

Rasmus Dahlin – 20:50 

 

You shouldn't expect this to change at all. These 4 players will be relied on heavily for Sweden. The second most prominent D was Erik Brannstrom followed shortly behind by Timothy Liljegren as both were over FOUR minutes less than Dahlin. As the tournament goes on, this could change but Sweden doesn't seem shy in trusting the elite 2018 draft eligible with top ice time. It's scary how good he is.  

 

BELARUS 

Top 3 Forwards 

Ilya Litvinov – 21:49 

Maxim Sushko – 19:39 

Viktor Bovbel – 19:08 

 

Top Defenseman 

Vladislav Yeryomenko – 24:48 

 

If you do want to focus on a few specific players, these would be the ones to do it. The most highly touted might be Maxim Sushko, who is a 4th round selection by the Philadelphia Flyers. Lately, Philly has been knocking their drafts out of the park. He's around a PPG for Owen Sound Attack, making him one of the only players who are currently playing in North America. Another is Yeryomenko, who is having a terrific draft eligible season for the Calgary Hitmen. You'll see a lot of him.  

 

CANADA 

Top 3 Forwards 

Dillon Dube – 17:46 

Robert Thomas – 16:23 

Boris Katchouk – 14:31 

 

Top Defenseman 

Kale Clague – 23:27 

 

Canada has shown a very balanced attack as they only have one forward and one D under 10 minutes. Tyler Steenbergen played 5 minutes and highly touted Cale Makar played only 6:54, showing he is the early 7th Dman. The narrative around Dante Fabbro was that Canada would probably ease him in slowly, but he was 4th in defensive ice time. Canada will need production from multiple lines so expect this to fluxuate some as the tournament goes on.  

 

FINLAND 

Top 3 Forwards 

Aapeli Rasanen – 24:12 

Janne Kuokkanen – 23:24 

Kristian Vesalainen – 22:51 

 

Top Defenseman 

Miro Heiskanen – 25:13 

This was the most interesting time sheet to look at. Finland obviously relies heavily on their top forwards. Finland had 6 forwards all 20 minutes or more in ice time. Koivula, Heponiemi, and Tolvanen were all relied on heavily as Joni Ikonen was close as well. It seems like Finland just rolled these two lines. I don't blame them one bit. That is certainly where all the firepower is. Oiler fans can be pleasantly surprised to see their boy Aapeli Rasanen leading the pack. High praise for the 6th rounder from 2017.  

 

DENMARK 

Top 3 forwards 

David Madsen – 17:39 

Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup – 17:38 

Nikolaj Krag – 16:37 

 

Top Defenseman 

Malte Setkov – 21:45 

Denmark looked simply outmatched against USA in game one. It might be tough to do individual scouting but Krag (STL) and Setkov (DET) are a couple of the few drafted prospects. Madsen plays in the SHL and scouts might be looking at his more closely as an over-ager prospect. You shouldn't miss Setkov either. He's a giant. Either way, there will be better games to notice individual skill. Hopefully Denmark fairs better against Finland on Thursday.  

 

USA 

Top 3 Forwards 

Riley Tufte – 18:47 

Casey Mittelstadt – 18:43 

Patrick Harper – 16:40 

 

Top Defenseman 

Quinn Hughes – 20:43 

 

Ice time can be shared around when you're dominating a game like Team USA did. You can clearly see that they want to develop chemistry and going into the first period those three forwards were listed as the third line. Quinn Hughes was listed as the 7th D. The defending champions had their easiest game first. The strength of the team will be shown moving forward. It would be a huge credit to Hughes if he can maintain these minutes.  

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WELL THAT’S IT.  

Happy World Juniors and get your scouting eyes out. You can find all the stats here.

You can always find me at @dathockeydoe covering Calgary Flames prospects and more on twitter.  

Cheers,  

Joel Henderson