Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – Mike Reilly, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
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Mike Reilly - University of Minnesota

Photo: University of Minnesota defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly has been quietly productive in both the college game and at the 2013 World Juniors (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

Team USA defenseman Mike Reilly may not be the most heralded defender among the group that the USA has iced at the 2013 World Junior Championship, but he has played like he belongs with a defensive group that has been the best of any country at this WJC.

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Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – Seth Jones, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
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Seth Jones - USA

Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones has been a productive part of a USA defensive unit that has produced a number of points at the 2013 World Juniors (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

There is a handful of top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft taking part at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. While no player from this group has been dominating at this tournament, one player who has most likely solidified his status as a top prospect, and maybe THE top prospect, for this draft is USA defenseman, Seth Jones.

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Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – John Gibson and Alex Galchenyuk, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
on

John Gibson - USA

Photo: Kitchener Rangers goaltender and Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson has been especially sharp in the nets for Team USA at the 2013 World Juniros (courtesy of Josh Holmberg /Icon SMI)

While there isn't just one element that contributes to a gold medal win at the World Junior Championship, one thing that is almost always needed to complete the feat is strong goaltending. And right now at the 2013 edition of this tournament, it appears that Team USA has that element locked up heading into the gold medal game.

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Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – Jake McCabe, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
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Jake McCabe - USA

Photo: University of Wisconsin defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Jake McCabe has provided strong, all-around play for Team USA at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The defense for Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship has been very offensive, in a good way. The seven defensemen that have suited up for that country have totaled 10 goals and 17 assists so far in the tournament, with only the gold medal game left to contest.

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Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – Connor Murphy and Sean Kuraly, USA

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Connor Murphy - Sarnia Sting

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.

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