Photo: Sarnia Sting defenseman and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Connor Murphy has been a solid defensive presence for Team USA at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
After dropping a couple of tight, low-scoring encounters to rivals Russia and Canada, Team USA appears to have gotten their offense in gear the past couple of games. The USA has scored 16 times in those two games, against Slovakia and the Czech Republic, while giving up just three goals.
Photo: University of Michigan defenseman and Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba has been a force for Team USA at the 2013 World Juniors (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
While it is difficult to call a player chosen in the top 10 of the NHL Draft a steal, the Winnipeg Jets have to be feeling good about what they've seen from their 2012 first selection, defenseman Jacob Trouba, at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
Photo: Hotchkiss School forward Tyler Hill is one of the more highly regarded 2013 NHL Draft prospects from the New England prep schools (courtesy of Dave Arnold Photography)
For 48 years, Milton Academy and Noble and Greenough School have co-hosted a holiday tournament that has attracted 49 different schools and amateur hockey teams from the United States, Canada, and Sweden. In addition to the six New England states, representatives have come from California, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to play.
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.