This year's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, arguably the most prestigeous hockey competition in the under-18 category, was a disappointment for Team USA. Even though the Americans have an elite national team development program, they were able to produce just one, one-goal victory over Slovakia and three defeats in the group stage. Whatever the cause was, the offense still worked pretty well, which we could see in the game with Finland that ended 8-6 for Suomi.
Photo: Belleville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban was one of the top performers for Canada's gold medal team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, considered by some to be the most prestigeous international hockey competition of players under eighteen years of age, was held last week in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. And as is usually the case in the world of hockey, some results and statistics were simply surprising.
Photo: Anaheim Ducks prospect Andy Welinski survived the first cut in his bid to earn a berth on the 2013 USA WJC squad (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sport)
Defenseman Andy Welinski returned to the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers for the 2011-12 season. As it turned out, it was a season to remember for the Anaheim Ducks prospect.
Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly capped off a strong 2011-12 season with an invite to USA Hockey's WJC camp (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sport)
As the Columbus Blue Jackets continue the process of converting the team from cellar dweller to playoff contender, one area they could definitely look to improve is their offensive attack. One Blue Jackets' prospect that could eventually aid that cause would be defenseman Mike Reilly.
Photo: San Jose Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly turned in a strong showing at the 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The USHL is considered by most to be the top junior development league in the United States. In recent years, the league has been producing what seems to be an ever growing crop of NHL draftees, some of whom have flown somewhat under the radar even after being drafted.