Photo: Team Finland forward and 2014 prospect Waltteri Hopponen began the season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, but was released once Mirco Mueller returned to the Silvertips from the San Jose Sharks (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
The host country for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, Finland, was no doubt hoping to repeat the gold medal performance of that country's U20 squad's win in January at the 2014 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship that was held in Malmo, Sweden.
Photo: Team USA defenseman and 2015 prospect Noah Hanifin is presently committed to attend Boston College starting in 2015, but has also been drafted by the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
The U.S. squad is sporting some top talent at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, not only for the 2014 draft year but also for 2015 and 2016. One of the top talents of any of the coming draft years competing for the U.S. is defenseman Noah Hanifin.
Photo: Team USA forward and 2014 prospect Ryan Hitchcock is slated to attend Yale University starting in the fall of 2014 (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
While there is a fair amount of star power on Team USA's squad competing at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, the roster also sports an unheralded player or two that bring something other than offensive skills or imposing size. One such player is forward Ryan Hitchcock.
Photo: Team USA forward and 2014 prospect Sonny Milano is the leading scorer for the U.S. at the 2014 U18 World Championship, having scored two goals and four assists in four games (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
The U.S. completed the preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship as the top team in Group B. Team USA accomplished this feat on the strength of three consecutive wins after an opening loss to Switzerland.
Photo: Team Russia forward Yevgeni Svechnikov (L), shown here competing at last year’s U18 tournament, has been the top offensive player for Russia at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship is over and the playoff match-ups are set. Despite the odd surprise performances to start off the tournament, the teams have finished off group play in a manner conducive with most expectations coming in. Take a look at who’s up against whom in the playoffs and who you should expect to move on to the next round.