Photo: Sudbury Wolves forward Dominik Kahun will be a key performer in Germany’s relegation round series against Norway at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
With the preliminary round now in the books, eight of the 10 teams taking part in the 2014 World Junior Championship can look forward to battling it out for medals beginning with the four quarterfinals matches on Thursday. But the other two teams on the outside looking in, Germany and Norway, are in the more precarious position of having to qualify for next year's top level of the WJC.
Photo: The host country for the 2014 World Junior Championship, Sweden, has performed well so far at this WJC, going undefeated in three games including a 5-3 win over Switzerland on opening night (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
It has been an interesting 2014 World Junior Championship so far, with one major upset plus a fair amont of offense being generated, albeit with a couple of teams proving to be far more generous than most of the field competing in Malmo, Sweden.
Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and 2014 prospect Jorgen Karterud will be one of the go-to players for Norway at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
After a two year absence, Norway will once again be represented in the world’s best U20 tournament, the World Junior Championship, beginning this week in Malmo, Sweden. The team’s last appearance was in Buffalo, NY in 2011, where there was no avoiding elimination, despite a face-saving 3-1 victory over Germany to end the tournament. So much time has passed that not one player from that team will be in Southern Sweden for this tournament.
Photo: Djurgarden forward Alexander Wennberg has seen his 2013 NHL Draft stock rise steadily this season, to the point where he has an outside chance of being chosen among the top 10 picks (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In recent years, the number of Swedish born-and-raised players picked by NHL teams during the NHL Draft has continued to serve as proof that the nation of Sweden is currently one of the top developers of hockey talent on the planet.
Photo: Defenseman Mattias Norstebo of Brynas IF is ranked 86th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Brynas IF)
When a kid grows up playing ice hockey in either Norway or Denmark and shows above-average abilities or an innate understanding of the game, he’ll often find his way to one of the many excellent junior programs that dot the Swedish ice hockey landscape. This is exactly what has taken place for the currently 5’10”, 170-pound Norwegian defenseman Mattias Norstebo (written Nørstebø in Norwegian and Nörstebö in Swedish).