2005 WJC by the numbers

By Simon Richard





2005 WJC: close to 50 percent of the players are NHL draftees







Of
the 220 players involved in the 2005 World Junior Championship, 104 are NHL
draftees, including the top four of the 2004 class – Alexander Ovechkin (RUS), Evgeni Malkin (RUS),
Cam Barker (CAN) and Andrew Ladd (CAN).

 

Fifteen
of the first 20 prospects selected in June 2004 are part of their respective
national junior team. The five players excluded are either Canadians or
Americans. They are Blake Wheeler (USA, Phoenix, 5th overall), Alexandre Picard (CAN, Columbus,
8th overall), A.J. Thelen (USA,
Minnesota, 12th overall), Devan Dubnyk (CAN,
Edmonton, 14th overall) and Kyle Chupchira
(CAN, Montreal,
18th overall). 

 

Rangers lead the pack

 

With
seven prospects present at the WJC, the New York Rangers lead the NHL teams in
terms of the total of draftees. Their prospects are from six different
countries, which is also the best among the NHL teams. The 2004 fourth overall
pick Al Montoya is the top drafted
Rangers choice.

 

Both
the Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars have six prospects. Canadian Jeff Carter, who was named in the 2004
WJC All-Star team, is the Flyers top drafted (2003, 11th overall)
and Swedish Loui Eriksson (2003, 33rd
overall) is the top Dallas
pick.

 

The
poorest represented NHL teams in Grand Forks are
Los Angeles (Lauri Tukonen, SWE), Detroit (Siarhei Kolasau,
BEL), Toronto (Dimitri Vorobiev, RUS), New
Jersey
(Petr Vrana, CZE)
and Tampa Bay (Zbynek Hrdel, CZE) who all managed to get just
one prospect named.

 

 

First round picks

 

The
total first round selections participating at the 2005 WJC is 30.

 

The
Canadian team leads the pack with 11, followed by the USA with five and Czech Republic
with four. Finland and Russia have three, Slovakia
two, Sweden and Belarus one
each. That leaves Germany
and Switzerland
with no first round draft selection. 

 

The
Anaheim Mighty Ducks future looks bright as they have three of the 30 first roundersLadislav Smid (CZE, 2004, 9th overall), Ryan Getzlaf
(CAN, 2003, 19th overall) and Corey
Perry
(CAN, 2003, 28th overall).

   

The CHL contribution

 

All
the Canadian players but one (Patrice
Bergeron
) are playing in the CHL.

 

It
must be noticed that a total of 37 members of the other teams involved in the
WJC are playing in the CHL this year, almost 19 percent.  The Czech team has 12 CHL players and
the Slovakia
follows with a respectable 11.

 

The
WHL leads the group with 13 representatives playing in non Canadian national
teams. The OHL has 11 and the QMJHL eight.

 

Recall
that the WHL also has 14 members in the Canadian team. That means the
league’s total contribution to the ten WJC teams is 27 players, which is
by far the best record among all the leagues represented at this WJC.

 

2005 and 2006 eligible draftees

 

Led
by Sidney Crosby (CAN), a total of
16 players will be eligible for the first time at the 2005 NHL draft. The list
includes Brian Lee (USA), T.J.
Hensick
(USA), Michal Gulasi (CZE), Marek Zagrapan (SLO) and Tuuka Rask (FIN).

 

Finally,
three of this WJC edition will only be eligible for the 2006 NHL draft. Those
are Phil Kessel
(USA),
Michael Frolik
(CZE) and Jesse Joensuu
(FIN).

 

Simon Richard is the
author of La Serie du siecle, Septembre 1972, a book
about the Summit
Series published in 2002.
Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of
the editorial staff.