Photo: Erie Otters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk leads OHL goalies in goals-against average with a 2.15 average in 30 games this season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
You can judge a fine wine by its vintage. For the next generation of NHL goaltenders, the second and third round of 2012 was a particularly fine year. The top five NHL-drafted netminders currently playing in the OHL were drafted within 52 picks of one another, and all are currently playing key roles in the playoff fortunes of their respective squads.
Photo: Team Sweden forward and Nashville Predators prospect Filip Forsberg wore the captain’s “C” at the 2014 World Junior Championship, and was among the best player’s participating at that event (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
It simply wasn’t supposed to go this way. The script was different and everyone knew it heading in, seeing a loaded Swedish roster ready to bring home Gold while playing, well, at home.
Photo: Team Sweden forwards Filip Forsberg (L) and Jacob de la Rose (R) celebrate Forsberg’s goal in their semi-final win over Russia at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
While there were some concerns that playing as the host team might create too much pressure for Sweden, the team has instead played as if it didn't matter where the 2014 World Junior Championship was being contested. The Swedes have so far made an undeated run through this tournament, but they must now defeat their greatest rival, Finland, a second time to take their second gold medal in three years.
Photo: Sweden forward Oskar Sundqvist scores what proved to be the game-winning goal in the third period of Sweden’s 2-1 semi-final win over Russia at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Two very different games played on during the semi-finals of the 2014 World Junior Championship. The first game of the day pitted Sweden against Russia, while the second featured Canada facing off against Finland.
Photo: Team Sweden goaltender Oscar Dansk stops Switzerland’s Flavio Schmutz in a preliminary round game at the 2014 WJC won by Sweden, 5-3 (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Erie Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk seems to have taken his game to another level this season in the OHL, as have his teammates. Dasnk's improvement has carried over into the 2014 World Junior Championship, where he is an integral part of Sweden's undefeated run to the tournament's semi-finals.