Photo: The season is over for Juho Olkinuora and his Denver University teammates, but the Pioneers' goaltender has come out of nowhere to the point where he is now on the NHL's radar (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
Two years ago, Juho Olkinuora was an unknown. After going 14-13 with a 2.78 goals-against average in 2011 for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, the Helsinki native returned home to Finland empty-handed with no scholarship offers to play college hockey in the United States.
Photo: Finnish defenseman and New York Islanders prospect Ville Pokka showed a solid, all-around game at the 2013 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
For North American hockey fans to understand Finland's seventh-place finish at the 2013 World Junior Championship tournament, all anyone has to do is think back to 2013 gold medal-winning USA's experience at last year's tournament in Western Canada.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen turned in a good performance at the 2013 World Juniors, which should help solidify his standing as a top defensive prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 World Junior Championship tournament did not go as Team Finland had hoped, with that country playing in the relegation round and finishing a disappointing seventh. While winning a medal seemed like a daunting task for Finland given the amount of talent available to all of the teams this year, it was generally felt that the team would at the very least compete in the playoff round.
Photo: Highly-rated 2013 prospect Aleksander Barkov of Finland has roots in the country that is hosting the 2013 World Junior Championship, Russia (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Team Sweden is sporting the best power-play, coming in at 35.71%, while the USA tops penalty killing units at 88.24%. Interestingly enough, no team has been on the power-play more than Sweden and only Russia has been shorthanded less than the USA.
Photo: Although Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov has generated a bit of offense for Russia at the 2013 WJC, he has not been the offensive force he will need to be if Russia is to take the gold medal (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For hockey fans across the globe, the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF WJC has been just about everything anyone had ever hoped for. There’s been no lack of tension, rivalries, intrigue and background stories that have come together to make this tournament the type that fans everywhere crave.