Being named captain of any squad is never a bad thing as it usually is considered an honor to be that highly valued by both coaches and peers. But it would be especially good for German captain Stephen Kronthaler if he were to captain Germany to another appearance at the top level of the World Junior Championship in 2014.
Coming into the 2013 World Junior Championship, Team Germany knew that they would have their work cut out for them given their placement in a group that included Canada, Russia, and the USA. And the apprehension surrounding that placement appears to have been justified as the Germans have been outscored by those three opponents by a combined 24-3 in the first three games of the tournament.
In 2011, the USHL increased the amount of foreign players each club could carry from two to four. As a result, many teams have put more emphasis on global scouting in order to recruit European skaters that will improve their teams. But, while many of the foreign players in the USHL are from Canada, two teams are reaping the benefits of their global outreach and, in turn, have improved the league’s brand among the global hockey community.
The German WJC entry for the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships held in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY included one of the best assortments of young hockey players the country had put together in quite some time, including NHL draft picks Philipp Grubauer (WAS), Konrad Abeltshauser (SJS), Tom Kuhnhackl (PIT), Marcel Noebels (PHI), Tobias Rieder (EDM) and Mirko Hoefflin (CHI).