For USA Hockey, the IIHF U18 World Championship has become the ultimate opportunity to show its teeth and what the program has achieved. The team has been medaling for years and is coming off a disappointing loss to Canada in last spring’s gold medal game, one in which it outshot its northern neighbors, 35-12. This year’s squad is once again heading to the tournament with gold ambitions in mind, but will be looking a bit different than in years past.
Nashville has branded itself a franchise that plays a hard-hitting, battle-ready style of hockey. Finding players in this preferred style seems to rely heavily on scouts' ability to read intangibles in these young men.
For several years now, Team Germany has found a way to not only keep itself afloat as one of the top 10 ice hockey nations in the world at the IIHF U18 World Championship, but has actually managed to battle its way into the quarterfinals. This has been the case for four years running, but the last three years were due in large part to the participation of the dynamic duo of Leon Draisaitl and Dominik Kahun.
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