The preliminary round has come and gone at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and Groups A and B each featured one fairly dominant team.
Canada has opened the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship with three consecutive victories, with their most important game of the preliminary round coming up against Sweden. Game #3 was won in convincing fashion as the Canadians thrashed Switzerland, 10-1 at the Maly Ice Palace in Sochi, Russia.
Canadian national team coach Don Hay is heading to Sochi as a man with a great deal of experience ranging from the NHL (Calgary and Phoenix) right on down to over 20 years of experience in Canadian juniors, having won the Memorial Cup on three separate occasions. Now it’ll be his duty to quickly turn an extremely talented group of young men into a championship caliber team.
The Prince Albert Raiders have struggled to make the playoffs for the last several years, despite the best efforts of players like current team leader and first-round NHL draft pick, Mark McNeil (CHI). Enter Leon Draisaitl, a German-born WHL rookie and 2014 draft-eligible forward who scored at nearly a point-per-game pace in his rookie season. Draisaitl and McNeil combined for 125 points and led the Raiders to their first post-season appearance in almost a decade.