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: Defenseman James Melindy of the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats has been reunited with former teammate Brandon Gormley after being chosen by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2012 NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
The 2012 NHL Draft has come and gone with the QMJHL seeing 19 of their players selected. This total represents a drop after the league has seen, on average, almost 24 players drafted each year over the past five years, including 22 players selected in each of the previous two drafts.
Photo: Talented center Mikhail Grigorenko fell out of the 2012 NHL Draft's top 10 and into the laps of the Buffalo Sabres, who snapped Grigorenko up with the 12th pick overall (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
In the early going of the 2011-12 season, center Mikhail Grigorenko was considered by some to be the top prospect available for the 2012 NHL Draft. By season's end, however, the talented Russian was dropping in the rankings, finally being chosen with the 12th selection overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
Photo: Once considered a lock to go in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, Martin Frk (91) saw his 2011-12 season abbreviated by injury and now might not be selected until the later rounds of the draft. (Marissa Baecker/CHL Images)
The 2011 NHL Draft was a banner year for the QMJHL, with five of their top players being selected in the first round and a total of 22 players hearing their name called over the course of the entire weekend. But unfortunately for the league, the draft class for 2012 doesn't appear to be as strong, with only one player considered to be a lock to be selected in the first round and not much in the way of depth behind him.