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2015 WJC Preview: Canada looking to return to golden ways on home ice

by Glen Erickson
on
2015 WJC Preview: Canada looking to return to golden ways on home ice

Photo: Erie Otters forward and 2015 prospect Connor McDavid (L) is returning from an injury just in time to compete for Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

When Team Canada embarks on its mission to capture a gold medal at the 2015 World Junior Championship, they will do so with a group steeped in offensive skill, both up front and on the back end. Read more »

2015 WJC Preview: Talented USA squad should be in the running for gold

by DJ Powers
on
2015 WJC Preview: Talented USA squad should be in the running for gold

Photo: Boston University forward and 2015 prospect Jack Eichel will lead a strong Team USA forward group at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

 

23 players will represent the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC) that begins on Dec. 26th in Montreal and Toronto. Team USA‘s strengths this year will include a deep and talented group of defenders to go along with potentially one of the most talented groups of forwards that the U.S. has iced at this tournament. Read more »

2015 WJC Preview: Goaltending, forwards should help Russia contend for a medal

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on
2015 WJC Preview: Goaltending, forwards should help Russia contend for a medal

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman and 2015 prospect Ivan Provorov is currently second in scoring among WHL defensemen with 37 points in 35 games (courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)

 

Team Russia will arrive at the 2015 World Junior Championship with some momentum after that country’s solid Subway Super Series win last month. The team, led by Valery Bragin, back to the national team after the two-year run by Mikhail Varnakov, features the usual powerful offensive force, very good goaltending and suspect defense. The absence of Buffalo Sabres‘ defenseman Nikita Zadorov will surely affect the team, as he was thought to be a potential first-pairing defenseman. Read more »

2015 WJC Preview: Top goalies, generational first line could give Denmark a chance at class retention

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 WJC Preview: Top goalies, generational first line could give Denmark a chance at class retention

Photo: Halifax Mooseheads forward and Winnipeg Jets prospect Nikolaj Ehlers will be a part of one of the stronger first lines that Denmark has iced at the World Junior Championship (courtesy of Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

 

It’s been a while since Team Denmark played at the U20 World Junior Championship. What most people remember the most from that 2012 WJC appearance was a particular press conference where a few of the players acted like coaches at a post-game press conference, stating how disappointing it was to come in as ‘favorites’ just to end up losing 10-2 to Canada. It wasn’t the only shellacking they got at that tournament, one that saw them get convincingly relegated. Read more »

2015 WJC Preview: Switzerland looks to move beyond quarterfinals this year

by Rafik Soliman
on
2015 WJC Preview: Switzerland looks to move beyond quarterfinals this year

Photo: ZSC Lions forward and 2015 prospect Denis Malgin (R) has played in 19 games in Switzerland’s top league, the National League A, this season, scoring two goals and adding five assists (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

After a seventh place finish at the 2014 U20 World Junior Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, Switzerland enters the 2015 WJC looking to break finish among a top-six group that could be very difficult to crack. Read more »

2015 WJC Preview: Draisaitl-less Germany lacks star power of top countries

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 WJC Preview: Draisaitl-less Germany lacks star power of top countries

Photo: Medicine Hat Tigers forward Markus Eisenschmid will be an important part of Germany’s offensive attack at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

They’ve made a routine of it, and it’s been just enough to stick to date. For two years running, Team Germany has decided the relegation round in their favor and managed to stave off relegation accordingly at the World Junior Championship. Read more »

Influx of new prospects making impact on New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate

by Christian Litscher
on
Influx of new prospects making impact on New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate

Photo: Defenseman Ryan Pulock has made an immediate impact on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, managing 11 goals and five assists in his first 25 games. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The New York Islanders have an abundance of prospects playing at the professional level. The influx of junior prospects from last season has led to an improved Sound Tiger team.

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2015 WJC Preview: Sweden looks to break string of silvers with gold medal

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2015 WJC Preview: Sweden looks to break string of silvers with gold medal

Photo: MODO forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander will lead the offense for Sweden at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)

 

The drama last winter in Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championship could hardly be topped. Playing at home in front of crowds sized larger than 12,500 per game, Team Sweden defeated one opponent after another with a literal dream team of U20 athletes. Then they faced the tourney’s upstart team, and their archrival, Finland and it seemed the stars were aligned for a victory parade that few Swedish junior teams had ever topped. Winning the WJC in their home country would have been a story ripe for Hollywood. Read more »

Nashville Predators’ young Admirals team provides franchise depth

by Tony Piscotta
on
Nashville Predators’ young Admirals team provides franchise depth

Photo: Nashville Predators prospect Austin Watson has been an inconsistent scorer for the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Milwaukee Admirals have one of the youngest lineups in the American Hockey League — with nine first-year pros and 15 players 23 years of age or younger, including both goaltenders. Three of those rookies are among the scoring leaders for the Admirals while both goalies have been impressive at times.

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2015 WJC Preview: Finland looks to repeat last year’s gold medal performance

by Tony Piscotta
on
2015 WJC Preview: Finland looks to repeat last year’s gold medal performance

Photo: Texas Stars defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Julius Honka will be a key piece of Finland’s defensive unit at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

When the 2014 World Junior Championship tournament started there were few “experts” who would have picked Finland to emerge with the gold medal. With Canada a heavy favorite as the home team and many of the stars from last year’s Finland squad having moved on, that is once again the case at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship. Read more »

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