2012 World Junior Championship: Players to Look for in Canada vs. Finland
The 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to get under with a matchup between Canada and Finland. Each side is loaded with future pros and draft eligible players, so let's take a look at some of the guys to watch for each team.
Jaden Schwartz (Captain) - Jaden Schwartz was named the captain of the 2012 Canadian Junior Team, and will be leaned on heavily for his leadership and goal scoring ability throughout the next two weeks. Schwartz is a prospect of the St. Louis Blues and currently skates for the Colorado College Tigers in the NCAA. He has a bright future ahead of him and will put it all on display today.
Ryan Murray - Ryan Murray is one of the few players on Canada's roster that is eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. Murray has had a slower start to his season than many were looking for, so this will be a huge opportunity for him to start to turn things around.
Devante Smith-Pelly - One of the veterans on this Canada team is Devante Smith-Pelly. Pelly will have the "A" on his chest for the Canadians and brings his physical, high-motor style of play to a team that will need it in order to survive the two week grind of the tournament.
Mikael Granlund - After missing the 2011 WJC due to injury, Mikael Granlund is ready to lead the Fins up front in the 2012 tourney. Granlund is one of the most highly touted prospects in the entire tournament, having been selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild. The captain of team Finland will be the go-to-guy on offense.
Olli Maatta - Olli Maatta is projected to go in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, and for good reason. He is a terrific skater and sets up the play well with his passing ability. Expect Maatta to log big minutes for Finland.
Joel Armia - Joel Armia is so much fun to watch. His offensive abilities are rare, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a highlight reel goal from Armia at some point over the next two weeks.
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