Photo: Highly-rated 2013 prospect Aleksander Barkov of Finland has roots in the country that is hosting the 2013 World Junior Championship, Russia (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Team Sweden is sporting the best power-play, coming in at 35.71%, while the USA tops penalty killing units at 88.24%. Interestingly enough, no team has been on the power-play more than Sweden and only Russia has been shorthanded less than the USA.
Photo: Although Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov has generated a bit of offense for Russia at the 2013 WJC, he has not been the offensive force he will need to be if Russia is to take the gold medal (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For hockey fans across the globe, the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF WJC has been just about everything anyone had ever hoped for. There’s been no lack of tension, rivalries, intrigue and background stories that have come together to make this tournament the type that fans everywhere crave.
Photo: With injuries to top defenders Jonas Brodin and Oscar Klefbom, Anaheim Ducks prospect Hampus Lindholm has been thrust into a top defensive role for defending WJC champion Sweden (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Surely few can forget how Ottawa Senators prospect Mika Zibanejad broke in alone on Team Russia’s net in overtime of the 2012 WJC, deking out Russian goalie Andrey Makarov to decide the tournament in Sweden’s favor for the first time since 1981. It’s not something viewers will see this year, however, as Zibanejad is one of a number of highly touted Swedish prospects who’ll be missing this tournament due to illness or injury.
Photo: Rogle BK forward Oskar Norlov's draft stock may have been hindered in 2011-12 due to injury (courtesy of EliteProspects)
This month’s Off the Radar segment takes us off the map for our North American readers.
Ängelholm, Sweden, in a different life, was perhaps a border town adjacent to Denmark – today, a picturesque city on Sweden’s Western coast that is home to the historic Rögle Bandyklubb, better known as Rögle BK, and perhaps best known for providing the hockey world with famed defenseman, Kenny Jönsson. Soon, they hope to provide the hockey world with Oskar Norlöv.
Photo: U.S. NTDP defenseman Steve Santini is considered a top defensive prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sitting in a sea of peacoats, it’s difficult to feel unique.
The idea of scouting as an exercise in finding diamonds in the rough is long dead. This is particularly evident at talent gatherings like the Four Nations Tournament, which took place from November 6th thru the 10th in Ann Arbor, Michigan.