It's a new year and another IIHF World Junior Championship has been concluded. The United States stunned Canada on their home ice (Saskatchewan) in overtime to win their second Gold Medal ever at the WJCs. Scott Stevens fan and Washington Capitals prospect John Carlson was the hero with the glorious end-to-end game winner. Per SBNation, the American U-20 team was jubilant as expected after a monumental victory. Here's a video from HockeyWebcast on Youtube of highlights of the final game so you can see how it all broke down.
So Canada came away with a Silver medal and Sweden stomped on the Swiss to take home the Bronze. Not that either team is ecstatic over their result, but at least they got a medal. Maybe if Canada didn't allow a two goal deficit to the U.S. to come back to, they'd have the gold. If Sweden had some players from junior leagues like, just to pick a name at random, Alexander Urbom, then perhaps it would have made a difference against the Americans. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. 2011 in Buffalo, NY will certainly be an interesting one to see the United States defend their title.
Admittedly, none of the four Devils prospects broke out with huge point totals in the tournament. For Sweden, it was the Magnus Paajvari-Svensson (3 G, 7 A) show featuring Ander Petersson (8 G, 3 A) and Anton Rodin (3 G, 7 A). As for Canada, Taylor Hall (6 G, 6 A), Alex Pietrangelo (3 G, 9 A), and Jordan Eberle (8 G, 5 A, massive "comeback-ability") got the spotlight. This isn't to say the Devils prospects didn't do anything. Patrice Cormier was the captain for Canada; Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson played well together; and Adam Henrique was moved away from his Windsor teammates Taylor Hall and Greg Nemisz and managed fourth line duty.
Moreover, I admittedly didn't watch these games closely; so I can't comment on how they played in general. So please leave a comment in this thread or let me know by some other way (e-mail, FanPost if it's detailed enough) of what you thought of either of the four Devils prospects in this tournament. Let's discuss how the prospects did. What follows is a quick summary of what each player did in the 2010 WJCs.
For your convenience, here's a chart compiling all of the stats from the IIHF's website of the Devils prospects. If only so you don't need to go through three separate PDF files.
|GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||SOG||"+/-"||FO W||FO L||FO Win%|
That's not terrible production from Tedenby, Josefson, and Cormier. Tedenby and Josefson weren't the primary scorers on Sweden, so that's a fair amount of points. Plus, Tedenby scored this absolutely sweet goal against Finland that has to be seen, so watch a video of it here. Josefson got more ice time on both the power play and penalty kill, which is a testament to his versatility as a player. As an additional testament to how they have been, here's an opinion from someone who has seen all of their games: Lou Lamoriello (as reported by Tom Gulitti)
Lamoriello said he’s seen "just about every game and taped every other one" of the World Junior championships in Regina and Saskatoon and has liked what he’s seen from the team’s prospects there.
Tedenby has two goals and one assist in four games. Josefson has three goals and two assists in five games. [note: Gulitti's post came up before the Bronze medal game]
"They’ve played very well," Lamoriello said.
Cormier's role may have been captain, but as I understand it, he was reprising what he did in 2009. He played more of a physical, checking center role and to that end the points are a nice bonus. This fits in well with his approach to the game, as he described in this QMJHL-produced video focusing on Cormier that went up in early December. With that in mind, I'm glad he only took two minors in six games. Though I would have liked to seen some more on the score sheet from him in the final game of the tournament (this is a complaint that many Canada supports are probably asking of other players, I would think).
I do feel bad for Henrique, though. He went into Team Canada as a top scorer in the OHL, centering his linemates Hall and Nemisz and right before the first game, Nazem Kadri takes his spot. Kadri did very well with Hall and Nemisz as he put up 3 goals and 5 assists with 25 shots on net. The move worked for Canada, but it pushed Henrique's role back further down the depth chart. Still, he was there and it doesn't appear he was a drain on the team. (Unless he was, then, do share why you think that was the case.)
One feather in his cap can be his faceoff percentage, which is the best among all centers in the tournament. Then again, it's not that impressive considering he only took 34 faceoffs and the #2 guy is Finland's Joonas Nattinen who had an ridiculous faceoff record of 76-28. Winning faceoffs is a valuable skill all the same, even if you don't take too many of them from game to game. It is immediate possession for your team and that can be, at times, vital if not lethal for the opposition. Therefore, I'm generally pleased to see that Henrique, Josefson (5th in FO%), and Cormier (7th in FO%) all did very well at the faceoff dot even if Cormier was actually challenged on a regular basis in the circle.
Generally, I like what I see in terms of production from each of the prospects outside of Henrique - though his spot was out of his control; I especially like the solid faceoff percentages from the centers; and while they can't be happy about not winning Gold, I'm glad to see all four Devils prospects finish in the top 3 in the tournament.
One last note. I think the WJCs are good experience in playing against top U-20 competition in an intense tournament setting. Yet, I wouldn't go overboard with how well one did or did not do at the WJCs. Many players have lit up a WJC with points out the wazoo only to have a nondescript pro career. Sure, some do make it (e.g. Zach Parise, Alex Ovechkin, Olli Jokinen) but many others do not shine after a brilliant WJC performance (e.g. Jani Rita, Jared Aulin, Jon DiSalvatore, Igor Grigorenko, Maxim Balmochnykh, etc.). So keep that in mind.
Again: please enlighten and educate myself and others in the comments if you have further details on how the Devils prospects played on the ice in the 2010 WJCs.