Photo: Team Russia forward Yevgeni Svechnikov (L), shown here competing at last year’s U18 tournament, has been the top offensive player for Russia at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship is over and the playoff match-ups are set. Despite the odd surprise performances to start off the tournament, the teams have finished off group play in a manner conducive with most expectations coming in. Take a look at who’s up against whom in the playoffs and who you should expect to move on to the next round.
Photo: Skelleftea defenseman and 2014 prospect Marcus Pettersson is ranked 10th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Sweden has produced some talented defensemen for the NHL Draft in recent years. And, though the 2014 crop of defenders may not be as talented as more recent groups, there is still some good talent that will be available for the 2014 NHL Draft in June.
Photo: MODO Hockey forward and 2014 prospect Adrian Kempe has been a productive player in international play over the past three seasons, totaling 54 points in 41 games for Sweden during that period (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Team Sweden is looking to improve upon their performance at last year's IIHF U18 World Championship after failing to medal at that event. Sweden has arrived as one of the top hockey countries, so missing out on a medal in Sochi had to be a major disappointment.
Photo: Frolunda Indians forward and 2014 prospect Anton Karlsson competed for Sweden at the 2014 U20 WJC, but will play a bigger role for his country at the 2014 U18 tournament (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Last spring, Team Sweden went to Sochi, Russia feeling like a gold medal candidate. After two silver medals in a row and with a line-up chock full of kids who eventually heard their names called at the 2013 NHL Draft, Sweden sent a team into play that didn’t have to hide from anyone.
Photo: Oshawa Generals center and 2014 prospect Michael Dal Colle turned in a strong 2013-14 regular season, but is playing at an even higher level in the 2014 OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
On the eve of the NHL Draft Lottery, ISS Hockey has released their April ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft. And, as a result of some strong playoff performances by a pair of players, there has been some re-shuffling at the top of the order since the March edition of this list.