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.
Slovakia had a bit of a rollercoaster ride at the 2013 WJC in Ufa. After a near miss, 3-2 loss to host Russia in the opener, the Slovaks managed to drive Canada crazy with 2-0 and 3-1 leads heading towards the midway mark of the game before ultimately succumbing, 6-3. The team then had more trouble with Germany than it probably should have, tying the game late and winning 2-1 in overtime. This was followed by a 9-3 trouncing at the hands of the USA. The team then won a hard-fought victory over Latvia 5-3 to avoid relegation before getting blown away 11-4 by Finland in a game that had no bearing on the standings for either team.
The number of players drafted out of the KHL at the 2013 NHL Draft wasn’t large, but confirmations and surprises were there as always in each NHL Draft. The scarce number of players coming out of the top Russian league is due not only to the infamous “Russian Factor”, but also to the fact that many junior players are now playing in the CHL, something that wasn’t happening as often until recent years.
The preliminary round has come and gone at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and Groups A and B each featured one fairly dominant team.