Photo: German forward Leon Draisaitl, who plays for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders, came through for his country in a game they needed to win to stay in the WJC's top grouping (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
For the German squad competing at the 2013 World Junior Championship, the main goal wasn't winning gold but instead simply avoiding relegation to next year's Division 1 WJC. Germany accomplished this goal, barely, defeating Lativa 5-2, marking the first time in 15 years that the Germans stayed in the top group in consecutive tournaments.
Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly and his Team Canada teammates will battle for the bronze medal against familiar protagonist, Russia (courtesy of Imago/Icon SMI)
For Team Canada, anything less than winning the gold medal at the U-20 World Junior Championship is considered a major disappointment. But, for the third consecutive year, Canada is in just that position as they dropped their WJC semi-final game to the USA, 5-1.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones has been a productive part of a USA defensive unit that has produced a number of points at the 2013 World Juniors (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
There is a handful of top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft taking part at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. While no player from this group has been dominating at this tournament, one player who has most likely solidified his status as a top prospect, and maybe THE top prospect, for this draft is USA defenseman, Seth Jones.
Photo: Highly-rated 2013 prospect Aleksander Barkov of Finland has roots in the country that is hosting the 2013 World Junior Championship, Russia (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Team Sweden is sporting the best power-play, coming in at 35.71%, while the USA tops penalty killing units at 88.24%. Interestingly enough, no team has been on the power-play more than Sweden and only Russia has been shorthanded less than the USA.
Photo: Although Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov has generated a bit of offense for Russia at the 2013 WJC, he has not been the offensive force he will need to be if Russia is to take the gold medal (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For hockey fans across the globe, the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF WJC has been just about everything anyone had ever hoped for. There’s been no lack of tension, rivalries, intrigue and background stories that have come together to make this tournament the type that fans everywhere crave.