The NHL lockout made this year's World Junior Hockey Championship the must-see hockey event of the winter. Held every year between December 26th and the first week in January, these games feature the best hockey players in the world under 20 years of age playing for their country.
This year, except for a couple of notable exceptions, all the best young players in the world played in Ufa, Russia, in a tournament won by the team from the United States. It is nice to have something to thank the NHL lockout for.
This list is a record of which drafted NHL prospects from each team made it to the tournament. I used the list put together on the TSN website before Christmas and have modified it with the current rosters from the 2013 IIHF U20 World Championship site.
Each NHL team's prospects are listed here, along with the year they were drafted, and the round and position they were drafted in. Any player statistics come from the Internet Hockey Database. Over 98 percent of the stories on the various players come from either the Hockey Future or Elite Prospect websites.
This list does not include how these prospects performed in the tournament.
The Anaheim Ducks had four players listed on rosters at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship. But a concussion will keep their most highly rated prospect, Hampus Lindholm of Sweden, out of the tournament.
John Gibson G (2011: 2nd round/39th pick): He is an Anaheim Duck draft pick. He has had two very good years in nets for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL (GAA 2.75 and 2.33, SVP .928 and .929). The 19-year-old goalie looks like the real deal at this level, with no obvious flaws in his game. He is likely to start all the games for the U.S.
Rickard Rakell C (2011: 1/30): He had five points in six games for the gold medal-winning Swedes last year. He has been a point-a-game player for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL for three years now. He has a well-rounded game with perhaps some offensive upside still to be found.
William Karlsson C (2011: 2/53): He is another speedy multi-dimensional Swedish Duck prospect. He plays a sound defensive game. He also can make offensive plays in traffic.
Hampus Lindholm D (2012: 1/6): He is a great skater who moved up from his 15th ranking for last year’s draft to be taken sixth overall by the Ducks. It will be interesting to see how the big speedster does for Sweden this year against top-grade international competition.
Unfortunately a concussion kept him out of this year’s competition.
The Boston Bruins are only two years removed from a Stanley Cup championship and yet had four top prospects listed on world junior rosters.
Doug Hamilton D (2011: 1/9): He is a huge and mobile defenseman. He is expected to play the shut-down role for Team Canada versus other countries' best offensive players. He has a big point shot and plays the power play as well as the shut-down role. He has mastered defense in the OHL. He has been more than a point-a-game defenseman with the Niagara IceDogs for two years now.
Malcolm Subban G (2012: 1/24): He was the odds-on favourite to be Canada’s starting goalie at this year’s tournament. He might lose the starting job to St Louis prospect Jordan Binnington. Subban has been the starting goalie for the Belleville Bulls for the past three years with constantly improving statistics. He is a supremely athletic goalie said to be almost unbeatable in the shoot-out.
Alex Khokhlachev C (2011: 2/40): He was a talented offensive player for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. He has struggled offensively after making the jump to Moscow Spartak of the KHL. He can play all five spots on the power play. He had four goals and five points last year for the silver medal-winning Russians at the U20 World Championships. He is a talented passer and shooter with little fear in front of the net. His defensive play is lacking, however.
Anthony Camara LW (2011: 3/81): He is having a breakout year in the OHL with the Barrie Colts. He has 22 goals and 40 points in 30 games. Camara is a natural hitter and brings a huge physical component with his game.
Matt Grzelcyk D (2012: 3/85): He has 12 points with Boston University this year. The 18-year-old is an undersized offensive defenseman. He is quick, with a knack for making the right play. He was another late cut from a U.S. team stacked with defensemen.
The Buffalo Sabres had four players listed on world junior rosters. A fifth prospect, Zemgus Girgensons of Latvia, was held out of the tournament by the team.
Mikhail Grigorenko C (2012: 1/12): He is a 360-degree skater with great patience and good hands. He is more of a playmaker than a shooter. He was injured during the World Juniors last year and still managed five points in six games for the silver medal-winning Russians. His draft stock fell last year, but the tall lean center does seem like one of the more NHL-ready players at this year’s U20 championship.
Joel Armia RW (2011: 1/16): He has good size and can stick-handle the puck in traffic. The young Finnish forward had seven points for the fourth-place Finns at last year’s tournament.
Andrei Makarov G (UFA): He backed up the excellent Andrei Vasilevski in nets for the Russians at last year’s U20 world championship. He still got into three games and had a .88 GAA and .979 save percentage. He stopped 57 of 58 shots as a dead-on-their-skates Russian team was swamped by Sweden in the gold medal game. He finally lost 1-0 in overtime.
He is an athletic goalie who has started for the last two years for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. Makarov was Saskatoon’s MVP last year. He will likely back up Vasilevski again this year, though he could get a chance to start.
Jake McCabe D (2012: 2/44): He is another player who skates well in all directions. He is a gritty competitor. This big defenseman has offensive skills.
Zemgus Girgensons C (2012: 1/14): He is one of only two Latvians from this year’s team who have been drafted to the NHL. He had two goals in last year’s tournament for Latvia. He is a hard-working, hard-skating player. He is playing in the AHL right now with five points in 20 games. It will be a struggle again for Latvia to keep from being relegated.
Girgensons isn’t on the final Latvian roster. Apparently, the Sabres held him back the same way Ottawa did with Swedish phenom Mika Zibenajad.
The Calgary Flames had four players listed on world junior rosters.
Markus Granlund C (2011: 2/45): He is the younger brother of fabulous Wild prospect Mikael Granlund. Markus is an excellent playaker and can run a power play. Size, strength and speed are all question marks for the younger Granlund. Some of them may be changed to exclamation points at this year’s U20s.
John Gaudreau LW (2011: 4/104): He is in his second year at Boston College. As a freshman, he was a point-a-game player and has been better this year. The shifty winger/center can maneuver in very tight quarters and still make the play. He is another of those small and quick players who is getting a chance to make the NHL. This tiny sparkplug should be a huge benefit to the U.S. team this year.
Patrick Sieloff D (2012: 2/42): He is a nasty, physical defenseman. The 18-year-old American has shown little if any offensive potential, but he hits like a tank.
Jon Gillies G (2011: 3/75): He is a big goalie starting for Providence this year. He will likely back up for the Americans in Ufa.
The Carolina Hurricanes had two players listed on world junior rosters.
Ryan Murphy D (2011: 1/12): He is one of the most exciting defensemen in junior hockey. He is in his fourth season with the Kitchener Rangers. He had his best season as a 17-year-old when he had 79 points in 63 games. Last year he had 54 points in 49 games, then followed that with 22 points in Kitchener’s 16-game playoff run.
Victor Rask C (2011:2/42): He is back with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL after a 10-game trial with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Rask will play for Sweden again this year. He only managed one assist in six games last year. The 6'3" center is a good puck-handler and is creative offensively.
The Chicago Blackhawks had four players listed on world junior rosters.
Phillip Danault C (2011: 1/26): He is seen as a team leader. He has been a skilled offensive leader for the Victoriaville Tigre of the QMJHL. He’s a quick skater capable of making plays at speed. His effort is always there.
Mark McNeill C (2011: 1/18): He is the top-line center on the revitalized Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. He has made Team Canada as an injury replacement for Charles Hudon. He is a stable presence in Prince Albert as well as being the team’s offensive leader. He has an offensive touch for his size that makes him one of the better power forwards of his draft year. He still tends to be careless with the puck.
Teuvo Teravainen C (2012: 1/18): He is a superbly skilled forward. He is an explosive skater with soft hands and hockey smarts. He is tiny and may be best utilized as a power play specialist.
Maxim Shalunov RW (2011: 4/109): He has a nose for the net and likes to head there in a straight line. The 6’3” prospect was a key member of the Russian squad that won the Subway challenge this year versus all-star teams from the three major Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues: the QMJHL, the OHL and the WHL.
The Colorado Avalanche had no players listed on world junior rosters.
The Columbus Blue Jackets would have led all teams with six players listed on world junior rosters if it were not for the fact that Ryan Murray, this year’s second overall pick, was injured.
Boone Jenner C (2011: 2/37): He is another of the top quality centers who have been pushed back onto the depth chart for Team Canada due to the NHL lockout. He has a great slap shot, good speed and size. He currently leads the OHL in goals scored. He only managed two assists at last year’s tournament.
The physical Jenner was suspended for spearing Yevgeni Kuznetsov late in last year’s loss to the Russian team. He missed the bronze medal game because of it. This year in a tune-up game with Team Sweden, Boone took a gratuitous run at the draft-eligible Jesper Pettersson for the Swedish team. He came across the ice and hit Pettersson seconds after he made a pass.
Boone has been suspended for the first three games of the tournament this year. Pettersson has a separated shoulder and broken wrist from the hit and will miss the entire tournament. Discipline and judgment might be an issue for Jenner in the future. They certainly seem to be now.
Oscar Dansk G (2012: 2/31): He is an indication that Columbus has finally accepted that it will have to find a replacement for Steve Mason in nets. He played two games for Sweden last year. Look for him to start in nets for the Swedes.
Joonas Korpisalo G (2012: 3/62): He has the second-best name at the tournament. He is a quick and aggressive Finnish keeper. He has looked good in the pre-tournament games. His major problem is said to be a lack of judgment and a lack of experience. The latter should help cure the former.
Mike Reilly D (2011: 4/98): He is another American puck-moving defenseman with a powerful shot. Reilly is playing with the University of Minnesota this year after a very productive season with the Penticton Vees. Offense has been much harder to come by for him in the University game. He is a risk-taker.
Lukas Sedlak C (2011: 6/158): He is in his second season with the Chicoutomi Sagueneens of the QMJHL. The Czech center is great in the face-off circle and on the penalty kill. His offense even at this level is not stellar.
The Dallas Stars had three players listed on world junior rosters.
Radek Faksa C (2012: 1/13): He is a point-a-game center with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. At 18 years of age, he is in his second world junior tournament. He had two goals last year, but the Czechs will be looking for more offense from this center who could play again next year at the tournament. He is a strong two-way player with good size. His skating is average at best.
Brett Ritchie RW (2011: 2/44): He is a big winger in his fourth year in the OHL. He has 27 goals and 50 points in the 32 games with the Niagara IceDogs. He is an enigmatic player, hot and cold. You have to worry his size won’t be enough to allow him to be an offensive force at the NHL level. At this level, he should be hard for other teams to deal with defensively.
Emil Molin C (2011: 4/105): He is a quick, skilled forward playing for Team Sweden. He still has some growing to do, but he’s a strong skater and defensively responsible.
Esa Lindell D (2012: 3/74): He is a Finnish defenseman with offensive skills. He is thought to be a few years away from a professional career. Lindell was a late drop from the Finnish squad.
The Detroit Red Wings had three players listed on world junior rosters.
Martin Frk RW (2012: 2/49): He played for the Czech Republic at the world juniors in 2011. A concussion last year saw him miss half a season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL and the world junior tournament. The offensively talented winger had six points as a 17-year-old at the U20 hockey championships.
The Czech Republic will be looking for him to lead the team as a 19-year-old. Frk is an offensively skilled shooter. He has 38 points in 28 games with the Mooseheads, who have been one of the best teams in major junior hockey this year. Skating has been highlighted as a weakness for the talented Frk.
Xavier Oullet D(2011: 2/48): He has been almost a point-a-game defenseman in the QMJHL the last two years with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Oullet is a power-play quarterback who is steady in his own zone. He should get a chance with Team Canada on special teams.
Jake Paterson G (2012: 3/80): He is Canada’s third-string goalie at the U20 tournament. An athletic goalie, Paterson is in his third season with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. This is his second year as their starting goalie. He had a good run in the playoffs last season, making it to the second round of the playoffs and chalking up two more wins against the redoubtable London Knights than anyone else managed.
Paterson is third on the depth chart among Detroit prospect goaltenders behind Petr Mrazek and Thomas McCollum, who are both playing in the AHL. Peterson won’t play at this year’s tournament unless one of the other two Canadian goalies gets hurt.
The Edmonton Oilers had five players listed on world junior rosters, including the No. 1 overall picks from the past two NHL drafts.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C (2011: 1/1): He was the Edmonton Oilers No. 1 center until he got hurt last year. He put up 18 goals and 52 points in 62 NHL games. He is team Canada’s captain and is only at the tournament because of the NHL lockout. A talented and creative playmaker, he was an upgrade at center for the Edmonton Oilers at age 18.
Nail Yakupov RW(2012: 1/1): He was last year’s No. 1 pick overall. As a 17-year-old, he had 101 points for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He has nothing left to prove at the junior level. Yakupov led the silver medal-winning Russians with seven assists at last year’s world juniors in Calgary. He is a pure sniper with great speed. Size and durability may be a problem for the explosive winger. He has NHL talent.
David Musil D (2011: 2/31): He is a solid, stay-at-home defenseman much like his father, former NHL defenseman Frantisek Musil. David is near NHL size and ready. He is the definitive physical defensive defenseman and should work out well for the Oilers in the near future.
He was the shut-down defender for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL and is likely to perform the same role for the Czech team.
Tobias Reider RW (2011: 4/114): He is the only member of this year’s German squad who has drafted by an NHL team. He had 42 goals and 84 points in 60 games for the Kitchener Rangers last year to lead the team in scoring. Reider helped Germany back into the top tier of world junior hockey by leading the 1A junior tournament in scoring. He is an exciting and engaged player who may be a little too small to compete at the NHL level.
Daniil Zharkov LW (2012: 3/91): He is in his second season with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL. The Russian has good size and skates well. He has not been a top-notch offensive performer and lacks the defensive ability to make up for his offensive deficiencies. He does seem to have a decent offensive skill set. It will be interesting to see if the U20 tournament motivates him enough to unleash those skills.
The Florida Panthers had five players listed on world junior rosters.
Jonathan Huberdeau C (2011: 1/3): He looks to be Canada’s second-line center. He led his QMJHL team into the Memorial Ccup championship last season. Huberdeau is a hugely talented offensive force. He led all scorers in a recent tournament pitting a Russian junior age all-star squad versus all-star teams from the three major Canadian junior leagues. He was second in scoring for the bronze medal-winning Canadian team at last year’s U20 tournament. He had nine points in six games. Huberdeau is thought to be NHL ready, but is still playing junior hockey because of the lockout.
Rocco Grimaldi C (2011: 2/33): He has the best name of anyone at this year’s world juniors. The American forward is considered one of the best skaters in his draft class. The tiny fireball will probably play wing for the U.S. team. His motor is always running. He reminds you of a young Theoren Fleury while not being so physical.
Rasmus Bengtsson D (2011: 2/59): He is a smart, capable defenseman with a rocket of a point shot. The young Swede still needs to grow into his 6’3” height.
Vincent Trocheck C (2011: 3/64): He is in his third season with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. His offensive output has grown each year from 43 to 62 to 85 to a projected 93 points this year as a 19-year-old. Not as talented as some of the other Panther prospects, Trocheck is seen as a tireless worker who could be a quality NHL checker with some offensive upside.
Yaroslav Kosov RW/LW (2011: 5/124): He had four points for the silver medal-winning Russian team last year. The 6’3” 220-pound 19-year-old is NHL-sized and possesses some quality stick-handling and passing skills. Kosov is playing in the KHL. The fear is that he will never come to North America.
The Los Angeles Kings had one player listed on world junior rosters.
Tomas Hyka RW (2012: 6/171): He is playing in his second U20 world championship for the Czech Republic. He is a speedy skater who is entering his second year in the QMJHL with the Gatineau Olympiques. He scored 20 goals and 64 points in 50 games last year. He currently has 10 goals and 27 points in 29 games. The offensively skilled Hyka is seen as a bit of a steal as the 171st pick overall last year.
The Minnesota Wild have had some great players at the world juniors in recent years. The quality is not quite as high this year, however, but they still had three interesting prospects listed on rosters.
Mario Lucia LW( 2011: 2/60): He had 93 points in 56 games for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL last year, a Tier II junior league in Canada. This season he is playing for Notre Dame in the NCAA. He broke his leg in training camp this year but is apparently recovered. He had a point a game at the U19 world championship last year. He’s a strong skater with good size.
Tanner Richard LW (2012: 3/71): He is in his second season with the Guelph Storm of the OHL where he has been better than a point-a-game player. This will be his second trip for Switzerland to the world juniors, where he had four points in six games. Tanner’s future in hockey is seen as a checker rather than a scorer.
Christoph Bertschy C (2012: 6/158): He also played for Switzerland last year and managed to score four points in six games. Still only 18 years old, he plays for Bern of the Swiss elite league. He is an absolute streak on skates.
The Montreal Canadiens, after a pre-tournament injury to Canadian Charles Hudon, had two prospects listed on world junior rosters.
Alex Galchenyuk C (2012: 1/3): He is back in the OHL after a devastating knee injury that kept him out of all but eight games in the OHL last year. This season playing without former linemate Nail Yakupov, Galchenyuk has 27 goals and 61 points in 33 games with the Sarnia Sting. The talented playmaker is projected to eventually become the Montreal Canadiens’ first-line center. He is starting as the second-line left winger with the U.S., though he is still taking and winning faceoffs for it.
Sebastian Collberg RW (2012: 2/33): He represented Sweden at U20 and U18 world junior championships last year winning gold at the U20s and a silver medal at the U18s. He had seven points for Sweden last year at the U20 tournament. He had nine points in six games at the U18s. Collberg is a sniper with good speed. Still only 18, he has excelled already at this level. A trip to North America may be in his near future.
Charles Hudon LW (2012: 5/122): He is in his third season with Chicoutimi of the QMJHL. He is a talented offensive player at the junior level. It will be interesting to see if those skills will translate to the U20 tournament and beyond. Unfortunately, Hudon injured his back in practice and will be unable to play in this year’s tournament.
The Nashville Predators had four prospects on U20 preliminary rosters, but that fell to two by the time the tournament started.
Miikka Salomaki LW (2011: 2/52): He is a Finnish forward with an abrasive style. He played in his first U-20 tournament two years ago as a 17-year-old and had three points in six games. Last year playing on the second line, he had six points in seven games but suffered a ruptured spleen at the tournament. He is expected to lead Finland offensively this year.
Jimmy Vesey LW (2012: 2/53): He is the son of former St Louis Blue forward Jim Vesey Sr. Jimmy plays for Harvard. He is seen as more of a power forward than a strictly skill player.
Mikko Vainonen D (2012: 4/118): He is a good-sized defensive defenseman. He plays in the OHL for Kingston. The 18-year-old Vainonen’s skating is said to be weak. He did not make the Finnish team in the end.
Max Gortz RW (2012: 6/172): He is good skater and tough on the puck. He likes to shoot, but needs to develop his offensive game to reach the next level. Gortz did not make the final Swedish roster.
The New Jersey Devils had two prospects on world junior rosters. Unfortunately Stefan Matteau was a late cut by the U.S. team.
Blake Pietila LW (2011: 5/129): He is a hard-nosed winger for Michigan Tech. Like Matteau, he is an able penalty-killer and projects as an energy player and defensive specialist. The talented Pietila also has some offensive upside.
Stefan Matteau C (2012: 1/29): He is the son of former NHL player Stephane Matteau. A gritty physical player, the younger Matteau is an excellent penalty-killer. Defense seems to be his strength. Some analysts project him as an abrasive power forward a la Tomas Holmstrom. There is certainly NHL potential here.
In the end, Matteau was a late cut by the U.S. team.
The New York Islanders had three top quality prospects on world junior rosters.
Griffin Reinhart D (2012: 1/4): He is the son of former great NHL offensive defenseman Paul Reinhart. The big-bodied Reinhart has been a good WHL player with the Edmonton Oil Kings. If the 18-year-old can develop a modicum of his father’s offensive talent, he should be an NHL star for years.
Ryan Strome C (2011: 1/5): He was the second-leading scoring for Team Canada at last year’s WJHC with nine points in six games. Still he is likely to be pushed back to third-line center because of the availability of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau this year.
Strome is an offensively gifted player who may play the wing for Canada. When the NHL starts up again, he will get a chance to play with the Islanders. He has averaged almost a point-and-a-half a game in four years with the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. He has 62 points in 32 games so far this year. He has great hands and is an excellent passer.
Ville Pokka D (2012: 2/34): He was a standout for Finland at last year’s U20 tournament. He played for Finland in the U18 tournament last year as well. They finished fourth in both. Pokka has great wheels (blades?) and good vision. He is the perfect player for jump-starting a transition game.
The New York Rangers had two prospects on world junior rosters.
J.T. Miller C (2011: 1/15): He is in his second season in the AHL. He has 14 points in 26 games with the Connecticut Whale. He is quick and strong. He is one of three returnees from a U.S. squad that had to win a game to finish seventh last year. He is highly motivated to do better.
Peter Ceresnak D (2011: 6/172): He is a big Slovakian defensive defenseman playing in his second season for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. He is a risk taker who likes to hit and pressure opponents. He played on last year’s sixth-place Slovakian team.
Oscar Dansk G (2012: 2/31): He is a dependable defenseman with good size. He is a strong skater. He is only 18 and in his first year with the University of Minnesota.
The Ottawa Senators looked to have at least one player at the world juniors.
Mika Zibanejad, a star for Sweden’s gold medal-winning team from last year, is being held out of the tournament by the parent club. He has seven points in 16 AHL games this year. He had four goals and one assist at last year’s world juniors, including the overtime goal that won the gold medal from Russia.
Mikael Wikstrand is another decent mobile two-way defenseman out of Sweden. He has got a good shot and is a bit of a hitter, at least at this level. He was a late cut for Sweden but the plague of injuries that hit the Swedish defense allowed him to play.
The Philadelphia Flyers had only one prospect on a world junior roster.
Shayne Gotisbehere D (2012: 3/78): He is a smallish defenseman playing for the U.S. He seems like a smart enough player. He is in his second year with Union College of the ECAC and has managed a significant offensive output there. The Florida native is said to have a good defensive game to go with his offensive skills.
The Phoenix Coyotes had only one player on a world junior roster.
Connor Murphy D (2012: 1/20): He is a long lanky youngster who can skate. He has some of that young Larry Robinson look to him, but that comes with the awkwardness that the young Robinson showed at this age. A knee injury has slowed his progress, but he has shown reasonable offensive numbers with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had four players on world junior rosters. As it turns out, only three made those teams.
Olli Maatta D (2012: 1/22): He missed most of last year’s tournament with a concussion he suffered in his first game. Maatta is expected to be the solid foundation on which the Finnish team is built. He moves the puck either with accurate passes or strong skating. He does not make mistakes. As his confidence grows, look for his offensive contribution to increase. He has 24 points in 32 games in his second season with the London Knights of the OHL.
Theoder Blueger C (2012: 2/52): He is the other Latvian who has been drafted by an NHL team. Blueger has been playing in North America since he was 14. He is a slick skating forward who can protect the puck in traffic. His slight frame has always been a concern.
Scott Harrington D (2011: 2/54): He is in his fourth season with the London Knights. He has good size and is a battler. He is a strong skater but has shown little offensive upside.
Anton Zlobin RW (2012: 6/173): He scored the Memorial Cup-winning goal for QMJHL team Shawinigan last year. He has a nose for the net, though the other aspects of the sniper’s game are suspect. The best way to get to the NHL as a one-trick pony is to have that one trick be goal scoring. In the end, Zlobin did not make the Russian team, but he was CHL Player of the Week last week.
The San Jose Sharks had two players on world junior rosters.
Tomas Hertl C (2012: 1/17): He has good size and good skill at center. He is a playmaker who is hard on the puck. He is quick and plays a good defensive style as well.
Sean Kuraly C/RW (2011: 5/133): He was a big scorer for the U.S. at last year’s U19 world championship. He had three goals and six points. Kuraly is a good two-way center-man who excels at killing penalties. He is playing for Miami of Ohio.
St. Louis had five prospects on world junior rosters.
Ty Rattie RW (2011: 2/32): From Airdrie, Alberta,he was a 57-goal scorer for the Portalnd Winterhawks of the WHL last year. He had 121 points in 69 games. He is an extremely creative offensive player and has looked great on a line for Canada with draft-eligible Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.
Dmitri Jaskin RW (2011: 2/41): He is a Russian-born power forward playing for the Czech Republic this year. He is very strong for his age. He likes to go to the net and is almost impossible to stop.
Jordan Binnington G (2011: 3/88): He is the backup goalie for Team Canada this year. He has looked steadier than the starter Malcolm Subban in the pre-tournament games. He is tall and experienced at the junior hockey level. He is one of the best goalies in the OHL right now. Where Subban is more athletic, Binnington has looked steadier, perhaps calmer.
Niklas Lundstrom G (2011: 5/132): He is another 6’2” Swedish goalie. He is unlikely to play at this tournament for Sweden behind Oscar Dansk and Joel Lassinantti.
Petteri Lindbohm D (2012: 6/176): He finished fourth with Finland at last year’s tournament.
Tampa Bay had four prospects on world junior rosters.
Andrei Vasilevski G (2012: 1/19): He had a great tournament last year at the U20 world championships despite being pulled for some crucial games. He was 4-1 with two shutouts, a 2.01 GAA and .953 save percentage in five games. Andrei will be the starter for Russia this year. Andrei will get a chance to follow Nikolai Khabibulin to success with the Lightning.
Nikita Kucherov RW (2011:2/58): He is an explosive goal-scorer. Look for him to be featured offensively in a lineup that boasts first-rounders Nail Yakupov and Mikail Grigorenko.
Artem Sergeev D (UFA): He was a free agent signing by Steve Yzerman and the Lightning. He is a smooth skater and smart with the puck. He has 23 points in 29 games with the Val D’or Foreurs of the QMJHL, leading his club’s defensemen in scoring.
Nikita Nesterov D (2011: 5/148): He is a two-way defenseman with good puck-moving skills. He is playing in the KHL for Chelyabinsk. That offensive ability hasn’t really shown in the KHL, with one assist over 35 games in two years. Perhaps at the world juniors he will get a better chance to shine.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had four prospects on world junior rosters.
Morgan Rielly D (2012: 1/5): He is a highly regarded offensive defenseman and great things are expected from him this year. While his defensive game might have some holes in it, he is the complete offensive package. He passes, shoots and can rush the puck end to end if he has to. He is very creative offensively and has evolved into a point-a-game defenseman with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.
Tyler Biggs RW (2011: 1/22): He is a good-sized winger who has been a useful offensive player in the OHL. He should play a top-six roll for team USA as an impossible to move power forward.
Tom Nilsson D (2011: 4/100): He has a Viacheslav Fetisov or perhaps Igor Ulanov feel to him. He is a Swede who is notorious for being a heavy, some say dirty, body checker. He has a decent point shot without the offensive numbers to complement it. This is his first time at U20 world juniors. Here is nice view of a check he laid on Swedish star Filip Forsberg.
Garret Sparks G (2011: 7/190): He will be the third-string goalie with Team USA. Sparks is a good size (6’2” 205 pounds) and is in his third season with the Guelph Storm of the OHL. His numbers have improved every year there.
The Vancouver Canucks had prospects at this year's world juniors.
The Washington Capitals had three players listed on rosters at the world juniors.
Filip Forsberg LW (2012: 1/11): He played for Sweden’s U18 team last year and the year before. He won two silver medals and had 13 points in 12 games. He also played on the gold medal-winning U20 Swedish team last year, picking up a point in six games. Now, as an 18-year-old, great things are expected for Forsberg at this year’s tourney. He is a creative offensive player who is almost impossible to move off the puck. He has a great shot. He is also defensively responsible. His size and skating help him be so.
Riley Barber RW (2012: 6/167): He plays for Miami of Ohio and is more than a point-a-game scorer He is slotted on the second line for Team USA.
Christian Djoos D (2012: 7/195): He is a Swedish offensive defenseman. He is smallish at 160 pounds, but a good skater. He will join the rush and is an accurate passer. He is likely to see more ice time with the pre-tournament injury to Jesper Pettersson.
The Winnipeg Jets had two highly regarded prospects listed on rosters at this year's world juniors.
Mark Scheifele C (2011: 1/7): He has size and skill at the center positon. He will play on the wing for Canada on the first line. He had an NHL tryout and played in the AHL playoffs last year. Scheifele is another of those NHL-ready prospects who would be actually playing there now if the NHL could get its act together.
Jacob Trouba D (2012: 1/9): He is an 18-year-old defenseman playing for the University of Michigan. Trouba is a big physical defenseman who can also skate well. He played for the U20 U.S. team last year as it finished a disappointing seventh. He has offensive skills that haven’t emerged at the world juniors yet. He is still only 18.