Ryan Nugent-Hopkins:
Team Canada: 6 games 4g + 11a = 15 points
As expected, he dominated the tournament. He has tremendous vision and has the necessary patience and puck-poise  to buy himself time and space for his teammates. Although he’s a good skater with deceptive speed, he won’t blow by any defenders. Ryan can effectively use his elusiveness and agility to create scoring chances. He’s a real cerebral player.

Xavier Ouellet:
Team Canada: 6 games 1g + 2a = 3 points
He was Canada’s most steady and solid defenceman. He brought a calm yet simple game and was effective on the 2nd unit of the powerplay. Xavier has great gap control and understands his limits and plays within his skill sets. He’s got great vision on the point but I question his ability to translate it that offense in the show.

Joel Armia:
Team Finland: 6 games 6g + 6a = 12 points
The big rangy Finnish winger is very close to being NHL ready. He has a long span and uses it well to shield and fend off defenders. He handles the puck well and can dangle defenders. Joel needs to improve his quickness to elevate his game at the next level. He was relied upon offensively but at times coasted on shifts. He should suit up for Buffalo next year and contribute in a top 9 role right away, but really needs to bring a consistent effort.

Leon Draisaitl:
Team Germany: 6 games  2g + 4a = 6 points
He’s not draft eligible till 2014! Leon, is a fantastic prospect and looks to be a top 10 pick for 2014. He has good size and displays a wide array of skills. He played center and was their main catalyst offensively, but also manned the point on the powerplay. He has a good vision to go along nicely with his hard wrist shot. He needs to improve his agility to escalate his game.

Filip Forsberg:
Team Sweden: 6 games 3g + 2a = 5 points
He has no weakness in his game and is a real hound on the puck. Filip, is great off the cycle and utilizes his strength really well. As captain of the team, I think he felt a burden of responsibility to do too much. I think he’s better utilized as a center in the future so he can compliment his players better and really display his playing making abilities.

Mikael Wikstrand:
Team Sweden: 6 games 0g + 4a = 4 points
The Sens lone prospect in the World Juniors. He really impressed me with ability to play in all situations. By the end of the tournament he was Sweden’s number 1 defenseman. He was used on the 1st unit of the powerplay ahead of Anaheim’s highly touted prospect, Hampus Lindholm. He has good skating abilities and is really shifty player when manning the point on the powerplay. He’s a good heads up player, who has an arsenal of various fakes. Mikael is still 2-3 years away from competing for an NHL position, but this tournament  really showcased his potential in this tournament and perhaps will turn into a late round steal.

Mikhail Grigorenko:
Team Russia: 7 games  2g + 4a = 6 points
He’s been suspect of coasting in the past but he had a great tournament in Ufa. Really demonstrated his offensive skills and carried Russia’s 1st line. He has dazzling puck handling abilities and uses his size effectively to create scoring opportunities. Question remains whether he can consistently compete at that high level.

John Gaudreau:
Team USA: 7 games 7g + 2a = 9 points
He was considered somewhat of sleeper in the 2011 draft. He was chosen 104th overall by the Calgary Flames. He was Team USA’s go to player during the World Juniors and really inspired his teammates with his play. He has great speed and agility to go along with his nifty hands. What will hold him back is his size, he’s listed at 5’8 153lbs. Moving forward it’s still questionable whether he has true NHL potential considering his size, but I really like his compete and effort level on the ice and perhaps that’s how he’ll make it.

Jake McCabe:
Team USA: 7 games 3g + 3a = 6 points
The captain for Team USA is a do-it-all type player who elevated his game with an impressive performance versus Canada. He has a strong shot from the point and looks to have top 4 potential in the NHL. Only one year removed from his draft year, his stock has definitely risen.

Jacob Trouba:
Team USA: 7 games  4g + 5a = 9 points
Jacob is a coaches dream.  I predicted that he was a possible candidate to win the Defenceman of the Tournament and he did. He did so in an impressive manner and was clearly the best defenceman at the World Juniors. He player that you can rely on in every situation and contributed offensively. He’s comparable to Ryan Suter in that sense. He’s a real gem and the The Winnipeg Jets will be ecstatic to pair him next to Zach Bogosian for many years to come. He really proved himself as an elite prospect.

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  1. Chris says:

    Wikstrand earning the PP spot ahead of Hampus Lindholm was not surprising, given how Lindholm (Hampus, not Elias!) missed out on the tournament, due to injury.

    • SensBud says:

      Hey Chris,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my article. Wikstrand was given powerplay time over Hampus Lindholm in the preliminary games versus (USA and Canada). Which I think is surprising to most, considering how impressive Hampus has been in the AHL

      I wish he played the whole tournament, could have been a real difference maker for Sweden.

      Cheers Bud,

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