This year's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, arguably the most prestigeous hockey competition in the under-18 category, was a disappointment for Team USA. Even though the Americans have an elite national team development program, they were able to produce just one, one-goal victory over Slovakia and three defeats in the group stage. Whatever the cause was, the offense still worked pretty well, which we could see in the game with Finland that ended 8-6 for Suomi.
Photo: Belleville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban was one of the top performers for Canada's gold medal team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, considered by some to be the most prestigeous international hockey competition of players under eighteen years of age, was held last week in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. And as is usually the case in the world of hockey, some results and statistics were simply surprising.
Photo: Goaltender Mark Visentin was the #1 goaltender for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada's Ron Tugnutt is working on finding this year's goaltenders for that tournament (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Among the players on the ice, the goaltender stands out as a unique presence. Not only does he wear different equipment, play the entire game and often has peculiar mannerisms, but as the last line of defense, a goaltender can find himself singled out for both praise and blame.
Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning top pick Slater Koekkoek, currently playing for the OHL's Peterborough Petes, receives his jersey and hat from current Lightning GM and former Pete Steve Yzerman (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
In what was a popular theme for this year's NHL Draft crop, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected with their top pick one of the prospects that missed a great deal of the 2011-12 season due to an injury.
Photo: Though he started the 2011-12 season in the AHL, two-way winger Carl Hagelin finished it in the NHL on a line with stars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The New York Rangers' prospects had an excellent season, as the fruits of the changes in drafting philosophy continue to bear fruit. The awards include three first round selections and two picks from the 2011 entry draft.