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That time of year again

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  • That time of year again

    The World Under-18s are on! Unfortunately, I've been swamped with finals and papers and even now am in the middle of writing a paper, so I haven't been able to watch as closely as I should, and have yet to learn many players numbers, so it's a little hard to assess many players. The first thing I noticed was the large number of under-agers on team Canada, usually a good indicator of a strong draft the following year, and indeed, 2015 is looking like it could be another great draft, some scouts are saying maybe even better than 2013.

    Interestingly, Canada's two goals so far today have come from the team's two youngest players, Matt Barzal and Travis Konecny. The next thing I've noticed is that this top D pair of Rolland McKeown and Haydn Fleury have played more than half of a close third period. When I first saw McKeown at the U17s I did not like his game at all, but in retrospect maybe that was largely because Aaron Ekblad so utterly dominated the tournament that year, McKeown as the other supposedly top defenseman, paled in comparison. Anyway, every time I've seen him since I've liked him more and more, even though he just took the penalty that led to Russia tying the game in the final minute... Regardless, I think he could develop into a good NHL defenseman, a la someone like Christian Ehrhoff or James Wisniewski.

    At forward, I've really liked Jake Virtanen. Hoping the Canucks can get him at 6th (unless Draisaitl is still available). Although he does have some moves in his arsenal, he's really not an elite level skill player, what is going to make him a good player at the NHL level is that his game translates very to the NHL style. Good size, good skating, plays a north-south game, great shot, and he battles in the corners and gets to the front of the net. He'll score goals at the NHL level.

  • #2
    Re: That time of year again

    The best thing about his post is that the Canucks did end up drafting Jake Virtanen with the 6th overall pick

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    • #3
      Re: That time of year again

      Haha yeah, pretty excited about that one. Too bad I was busy studying for finals and didn't get to write about the whole thing, although I did manage to watch most of the Canada games. Konecny and Barzal were Canada's most exciting offensive threats throughout, although it was a Konecny defensive zone giveaway that led to the overtime goal against the Czechs that eliminated Canada.

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