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.
Photo: London Knights defenseman and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Olli Maatta leads a solid group of Finnish defenders that could be the main strength of that country's WJC squad(courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
At the 2012 World Junior Championship, much of the focus was on high profile forwards Mikael Granlund and Teemu Pulkkinen – veterans of previous tournaments who were making one last attempt to win a gold medal. While Finland came up short of that goal, losing to eventual champion Sweden in a shootout in the semifinals, the team's fourth place finish would have to be considered a success.
Photo: Niagara IceDogs forward and New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome (#18) went on an offensive tear in November, which elevated teammate and Dallas Stars prospect, Brett Ritchie (#20) (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
This one was almost a no-brainer.
Ryan Strome’s phenomenal performance in the month made him the easy selection as the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for November.