Photo: Val d’Or Foreurs forward and Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha was the main offensive threat for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
For the second year in a row, Team Canada took the somber and quiet flight home from the World Junior Championship without a medal to show for their efforts. Thankfully for the young men who made up the team, it was also a second straight year where other news in the hockey world quickly drew the attention of media and fans elsewhere. Meanwhile, Hockey Canada is left to once again regroup and diagnose what went wrong and how they can find a way back to their winning ways that were once commonplace and are now proving to be more and more elusive.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot is currently tied for third in scoring among WHL defensemen with 44 points (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Our ranking of the top defensemen in the WHL includes a mix of offensively gifted players and prototypical “shut down” defensemen. For this list, the criteria we used ranks drafted and/or signed NHL prospects currently playing in the WHL.
Photo: Barrie Colts forward and 2014 prospect Brendan Lemieux (C) netted a goal for Team Orr in their win over Team Cherry at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Propsects Game, with his style of play reminding many of that of his father, former NHL forward Claude Lemieux (courtesy of Brad Watson/CHL Images)
Here is a look at a few of the players who made a significant impact at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary.
Photo: Prince George Cougars forward and 2015 prospect Jansen Harkins is the top rookie on a Cougars team that currently has just 17 wins and sits second-last in the WHL’s Western Conference so far this season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The World U17 Hockey Challenge may be dwarfed by its bigger brother, the U20 World Junior Championship, but it provides hockey’s future stars potentially their first taste of international competition. Every year, 10 teams, including five regional Canadian teams, battle it at the U17 for a chance to claim the title as the world’s best for that age group.
Photo: Team Orr forward Jared McCann (C) celebrates what would be his game-winning goal along with Brendan Perlini (L) and Josh Ho-Sang (R) as Team Orr would go on to down Team Cherry at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Propsects Game, 4-3 (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
While there appeared to be some nerves early on among the group of 40 players competing at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary, the teams were able to find a way to settle in and provide at least two periods of fast-paced, entertaining hockey.