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: Winnipeg Jets prospect Lukas Sutter is currently in the hunt for a roster spot on Canada's 2013 World Junior squad (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
In sports, there is an old adage that says a competitor should always play for the logo on the front of the sweater and not for the name on the back. It is one of those bits of wisdom, like giving 110% or the fact that there is no "I" in TEAM, that is constantly repeated and now borders on being a cliché due to overuse.
Photo: Goaltender Mark Visentin was the #1 goaltender for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada's Ron Tugnutt is working on finding this year's goaltenders for that tournament (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Among the players on the ice, the goaltender stands out as a unique presence. Not only does he wear different equipment, play the entire game and often has peculiar mannerisms, but as the last line of defense, a goaltender can find himself singled out for both praise and blame.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart was the second of six WHL players chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
While the WHL didn’t get to boast of having the first overall pick at this year's NHL Draft, there was a heavy dose of WHL talent drafted in the first round. Five of the six WHL-bred first round picks were defensemen, and they were snapped up in a hurry. Of those six first round picks this year, five were selected within the top eight selections.
Photo: The Pittsburgh Penguins top selection at the 2012 NHL Draft, Derrick Pouliot, chats with Penguins legend Mario Lemiuex and the team's head coach, Dan Bylsma (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
There were a couple of “climbers” in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, one of them being the Pittsburgh Penguins top pick, defenseman Derrick Pouliot of the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.