The World Junior Championship came to a thrilling finish on Monday, with Slovakia stunning Sweden in the bronze medal game on the back of tournament MVP Denis Godla and Canada holding off an impressive comeback attempt from Russia to win gold.
It was a disappointing finish to the tournament for Gustav Forsling and an “unreal” finish for Jake Virtanen, but what’s most intriguing is that this isn’t necessarily their last tournament. Both are just 18 years old and Forsling is still a fair distance away from being NHL-ready, so should return next year, while Virtanen is a very young 18 and would probably best serve his development by spending another year in junior as a 19-year-old.
The same can’t be said for Thatcher Demko, whose Team USA fell to Russia in the quarterfinals, leaving them outside the medal round. Demko turned 19 before the start of the tournament, so isn’t eligible for next year. Demko performed well, particularly in the preliminary round against Canada, but he couldn’t repeat the performance against Russia and got beat by some bad bounces. If the US had managed to beat Canada, they would have faced Denmark in the quarterfinals instead of Russia and their tournament could have ended a lot differently.
As for Forsling and Virtanen, let’s recap their performances in their respective medal games and take stock of their tournament as a whole.Continue Reading —›
Canucks news comes fast and furious, and sometimes we find ourselves playing catchup. Thankfully, the Dreaded Two Goal Lead – often called “the worst lead in hockey” – is super easy to come back from. Everybody knows it’s a guaranteed death sentence for those that hold it. Well, much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, PITB will now effortlessly catch up.Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks have only one prospect playing in the World Junior Championship this year, but they will still be well-represented. Their one prospect in the tournament is 18-year-old Nicklas Jensen, their 2011 first round draft pick, and he is easily Denmark’s most important player.Continue Reading —›
The World Junior Hockey Championship (beginning Boxing Day), has become an annual post-Christmas tradition for many Canadian hockey fans. One of the main sources of excitement is watching your team’s young prospects go up against their peers, and for many NHL fans, it’s the only time we get a chance to watch the kids play. [...]Continue Reading —›