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2014 U18 Video: Waltteri Hopponen, Finland

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 U18 Video: Waltteri Hopponen, Finland

Photo: Team Finland forward and 2014 prospect Waltteri Hopponen began the season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, but was released once Mirco Mueller returned to the Silvertips from the San Jose Sharks (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

The host country for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, Finland, was no doubt hoping to repeat the gold medal performance of that country's U20 squad's win in January at the 2014 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship that was held in Malmo, Sweden.

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2014 U18 Video: Kevin Fiala, Switzerland

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 U18 Video: Kevin Fiala, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Fiala is ranked third among European skaters by Central Scouting for the 2014 NHL Draft, an upward move of eight places from his midterm ranking (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Switzerland brought a team to the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship that competed hard, but in the end didn't have quite enough talent to carry them beyond the quarterfinals. The Swiss fell to Canada in their playoff contest, 3-2, with Canada scoring the winning goal with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

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2014 U18 Video: William Nylander, Sweden

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 U18 Video: William Nylander, Sweden

Photo: Sweden forward and 2014 prospect William Nylander is making his case at the U18 tournament for being the top European prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, a distinction given by Central Scouting to Finland’s Kasperi Kapanen (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Heading into the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, there was little doubt that Sweden forward William Nylander would be one of the more high profile players at this tournament. But it is doubtful that many expected the slick forward to turn the tournament into his own personal playground.

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2014 U18 Video: Jakub Vrana, Czech Republic

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 U18 Video: Jakub Vrana, Czech Republic

Photo: Czech Republic forward and 2014 prospect Jakub Vrana is ranked fourth among European skaters by Central Scouting for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

The Czech Republic came to the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship believing that they had a squad capable of bringing home a medal, maybe even a golden one. So far, so good for the Czechs as they advanced to the U18 semi-finals with a 3-2 overtime win over Russia in one of four quarterfinal matches that took place on Thursday.

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2014 U18 Video: Gustav Forsling, Sweden

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 U18 Video: Gustav Forsling, Sweden

Photo: Team Sweden defenseman and 2014 prospect Gustav Forsling is ranked 25th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Sweden headed into the playoff round of the 2014 IIHF U18 World Chapionship looking like a confident, determined team. But few would have predicted the blowout win the Swedes inflicted on neighbor and rival, Finland, in the teams' quarterfinal matchup.

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