Photo: Red Deer Rebels forward and 2014 prospect Connor Bleackley increased his point production 50 points from last season to the 2013-14 campaign (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Team Canada's drive for a second consecutive gold medal at the IIHF U18 World Championship came to an end in their semi-final match against the Czech Republic. Although Canada overcame a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the third period, the Czechs pulled out the 4-3 win in overtime on a goal by David Kase.
Photo: Everett Silvertips forward and 2014 prospect Ivan Nikolishin finished the 2014 U18 World Championship fourth in scoring on Team Russia’s roster (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Russia's roster at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship included nine players that competed in North America during the 2013-14 season. One of that North American contingent was forward Ivan Nikolishin, son of former NHL forward Andrei Nikolishin.
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.
Photo: Kamloops Blazers defenseman and 2014 prospect Edson Harlacher spent the past three seasons in the Kloten organization before heading to North America for the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Switzerland notched an early, surprise win at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship but wasn't able to fully capitalize on their upset win over the USA. As a result, they will open the U18 playoff round against the defending gold medalists from Canada.
Photo: EC Bad Tolz forward and 2014 prospect Andreas Eder is ranked 105th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
The 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship for Germany has so far been a disappointment. While there was little expectation that the Germans would take home a medal, that country was nevertheless hoping to make a good showing and at least take part in the playoff round.