Photo: Finnish defender Jimi Kuronen is hoping that a strong showing at this U18 WJC tournament will help improve his 2013 draft position (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)
Not unlike their fellow Group A combatants, the Czech Republic, Finland feasted on Latvia in their first game of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. But the second game for the Finns was a much greater challenge, one that the team wasn't ultimately able to overcome as they lost to Russia, 3-1, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.
Photo: Forward Kasperi Kapanen and his teammates from Finland got off to a good start at the 2013 U18 WJC with a win over Latvia (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt)
If the surname of Kasperi Kapanen sounds familiar to hockey fans, there is a good reason for that. Kasperi is the son of former NHL forward Sami Kapanen, whose stops in the NHL included the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers.
Photo: Finland’s U18 squad will look to offensively talented forward Artturi Lehkonen to provide some offensive punch to their lineup (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Finland hasn't won a U18 WJC gold since winning it twice in a row back in 1999 and 2000, but the potentital is there for this country to accomplish that feat once again.
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.