Welcome back to my Thursday ramblings. I cannot let the World Juniors go by without a final recap on some stand outs I watched. I hope you watched as well since the tournament was fantastic as usual.
Just my annual reminder to not over value prospects based on their tournaments alone because it is a short tournament. However, it is great to see restricted European/Russian league prospects get more than 2:11 of ice time per game though, as it shows you what they can be capable of among their peers. Also, notice how it changes rankings for the bigger networks (TSN, Sportsnet, etc.) as I have already seen Askarov drop and Lafreniere be claimed the defacto #1 overall when people were flipping him and Byfield to start December.
Before starting check out my #GoodTweet of the week:
So gross haha. Rielly will never have kids now https://t.co/OLXYihTDAR— Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) January 7, 2020
Without further ado let us get in to it!
By that I mean the other teams as I am sure everyone watched Canada, not to mention they were the ones talked about the whole time, so I do not need to praise Alexis Lafrenière, Barrett Hayton, Dylan Cozens, or any other Canadian really other than a quick post on three of them:
- Calen Addison (PIT) – Ran the powerplay with great efficiency; likely the heir to Letang in Pittsburgh IF Marino does not steal it first or Rutherford trades him to make a push
- Jamie Drysdale (2020) – The top defenseman projected for 2020 did not disappoint
- Quinton Byfield (2020) – Did not get any ice time, or favorable starts, to really stand out
Samuel Fagemo (LA)
Lead the tournament in scoring which was a surprise to me as I really took “Sweden has no good centres” to heart and did not think they would have players with such high production. Silly me as they had the best defense and great wingers. Fagemo was one of the older players in the tournament but he looks to have a future in the NHL. I do not think it can be on the first line but he will still produce.
Rasmus Sandin (TOR)
Some “scouts” claimed he did not have a good tournament, those people are wrong. Even in his own end is he fantastic, just not as great as he is in the offense end.
Kristian Tanus (Passed over in 2019)
Passed over in 2019 as he is #Small, yet players who are big but have one eighth the skill are drafted countless times. He was a force on Finland’s powerplay, is a great playmaker, but needs more strength as he looked to get pushed off the puck at 5v5 too much.
Trevor Zegras (COL)
Nine assists in four games, while averaging about 10 minutes of ice time. Is it any surprise the USA got shut out in the playoffs with the roster decisions the coach decided on?
Alexander Khovanov (MIN)
In my opinion Khovanov was the best Russian forward and looked dangerous almost all time he was on the ice. Thanks to Hepatitis A the Minnesota Wild have gotten themselves a very nice top six forward in the third round that Paul Fenton did not trade away for magic beans.
Dominik Bokk (CAR)
Bokk again produced for Germany at the World Juniors leading them in points and goals. He is skilled enough to be a middle six winger for Carolina (LOL @ St. Louis trading him) in the future.
Shane Pinto (OTT)
Pinto surprised me in this tournament with his production and play. That could be because he was always on the ice as he was a go to player for the USA. So that means I have a hard time evaluating his play as did he produce and play well because he was always out there or because he is that good.
Kirill Marchenko (CBJ)
Marchenko was snake bitten the entire tournament, except for one game where he scored five of his six total points, but he really looked dangerous whenever he had the puck. Not to take anything away from his stout defensive play. He is signed to stay in the KHL until 2021-2022 so Blue Jacket fans have to wait.
Yegor Zamula (PHI)
This was a break out party for the tall lanky Hitmen defenseman on the world stage as he is now on many more radars than he was before. Zamula routinely made forwards look silly if they stood still for a second. He needs to gain some mass before he can quarterback the Philadelphia powerplay in a few years.
Jan Jenik (ARI)
Jenik has been lights out in the OHL and was one of the best Czech players in the tournament with three points in three games. Unfortunately, he was hurt and is out indefinitely with a knee injury that may end his 2019-2020 season, but when he was playing, he was one to watch. Hopefully there is no long-term effects and that he can return to form once healthy.
Bobby Brink (USA)
Speaking of not getting ice time, Brink was routinely placed on the fourth line and given minimal ice time with two-way players. When the puck was on his stick though it looked like it was never going to leave unless he wanted it too, it was really fun to watch.
Martin Hugo Has (WSH)
Mostly wanting to plug a Caps player in here but Has patrolled the blue line very well for the Czechs and was a stand out for the team.
- Ty Smith (NJ) – I really wanted to see more from him
- Rasmus Kupari (LA) – The injury immediately in game one sucked
- Alex Turcotte (LA) and Cole Caufield (MTL) – Caufield never looked that great and neither did Turcotte (but not to the same extent), I wonder if it was more of a coaching decision or player play.
Of note, I tied in my world junior pool. I went over it in my previous ramblings here:
See the results (where I tied) here:
That is all. Thanks for reading. Follow my twitter: @FHPQuinn
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