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Nashville Predators have junior prospects spread out across four leagues

by Peter Prohaska
on

Jonathan Diaby - Victoriaville Tigres

Photo: Defenseman Jonathan Diaby finished as one of Victoriaville’s top-10 scorers despite appearing in only 38 regular season games in 2013-14 due to injuries (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Nashville has branded itself a franchise that plays a hard-hitting, battle-ready style of hockey. Finding players in this preferred style seems to rely heavily on scouts' ability to read intangibles in these young men.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Germany likely headed for relegation showdown

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Andreas Eder - Team Germany

Photo: Bad Tolz forward and 2014 prospect Andreas Eder (L), shown here competing for Germany at the 2013 U18 tournament, spent some time in the WHL this season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants before returning to Germany (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

For several years now, Team Germany has found a way to not only keep itself afloat as one of the top 10 ice hockey nations in the world at the IIHF U18 World Championship, but has actually managed to battle its way into the quarterfinals. This has been the case for four years running, but the last three years were due in large part to the participation of the dynamic duo of Leon Draisaitl and Dominik Kahun.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Czech Republic looks like medal contender

by Radoslav Vavrina
on

Vaclav Karabacek - Gatineau Olympiques

Photo: Gatineau Olympiques forward and 2014 prospect Vaclav Karabacek is comepting for the Czech Republic at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship in Finland (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

Twelve months ago in Sochi, the Czech Republic's U18 squad was at the beginning of what could be a beautiful ride that could see the Czechs finally grabbing a medal at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship. This year's U18 team from this Central European nation has grown and matured since last year's competition, and is now looking more like a medal contender.

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2014 U18 Video: Simon Kindschi, Switzerland

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Simon Kindschi - Team Switzerland

Photo: HC Davos defenseman Simon Kindschi is one of a handful of sizable defenders competing for Switzerland at the 2014 U18 World Championship in Finland (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

It didn't take long for a surprise win to take place at the 2014 U18 World Championship as Switzerland knocked off the USA, 4-2, in the opening game of the tournament.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Switzerland looks to maintain or possibly move up

by Rafik Soliman
on

Kevin Fiala - Team Switzerland

Photo: HV71 forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Fiala (#23) is expected to lead the offense for Switzerland at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of BJORN LINDGREN/AFP/Getty Images)

After meeting expectations at last year's IIHF U18 World Championship with solid play and qualifying for the quarterfinals for the first time in two years, Switzerland is looking to have the same success this season and is hoping to finally move up among the top 4 countries.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Sweden looking to medal after disappointing showing in 2013

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Anton Karlsson - Team Sweden

Photo: Frolunda Indians forward and 2014 prospect Anton Karlsson competed for Sweden at the 2014 U20 WJC, but will play a bigger role for his country at the 2014 U18 tournament (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Last spring, Team Sweden went to Sochi, Russia feeling like a gold medal candidate. After two silver medals in a row and with a line-up chock full of kids who eventually heard their names called at the 2013 NHL Draft, Sweden sent a team into play that didn’t have to hide from anyone.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Canada looking for first gold repeat at U18

by Jason Menard
on

Brayden Point - Team Orr

Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors forward and 2014 prospect Brayden Point, shown here playing in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, could be an important offensive contributor for Canada at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The defending IIHF Under-18 World Championship, gold-medal-winning Team Canada has arrived in Finland ready to defend its title with a squad that’s laden with international experience and elite talent.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Host Finland looking to improve on 2013 bronze finish

by Tony Piscotta
on

Kasperi Kapanen - Team Finland

Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward and 2014 prospect Kasperi Kapanen, shown here playing at the 2013 U18 World Championship, will play for host Finland at the 2014 edition of this tournament (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Finland, the host team for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, finished fifth in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last summer despite winning three of the four games it played. With a number of key additions — particularly on defense — the U18 team competing in Imatra and Laapenranta should be stronger than the team that skated in Piestany, Slovakia.

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2014 U18 WJC Preview: Russia roster features several players with North American experience

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on

Aleksandar Mikulovich - Niagara IceDogs

Photo: Niagara IceDogs defenseman and 2014 prospect Aleksandar Mikulovich is one of several players on Russia’s U18 roster that competed in North America during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

After last year's disappointing results, a fourth place finish on home soil, Team Russia will present itself at the U18 World Championship with a good roster that includes many players competing in Canada's major junior leagues. The roster also features a good selection of players playing in Russia, some of them with KHL experience.

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