2023 World Junior Championship: 10 things realized

The dramatic conclusion came 5 months after the country eminent its final WJC title following a 3-2 further time victory within the gold medal game against Finland on Aug. 20.

It was the 2d straight gold medal for Canada and Twentieth total.

Canada forward Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 steal within the 2023 NHL Draft, was named the match’s most invaluable participant. Bedard led the WJC with 23 parts (9 targets, 14 assists) in seven games.

[RELATED:[RELATED:More 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship protection]

The WJC Media All-Enormous name Team of workers included Czechia goalie Tomas Suchanek (2023 NHL Draft eligible), Czechia defenseman David Jiricek (Columbus Blue Jackets), Sweden defenseman Ludvig Jansson (Florida Panthers), United States forward Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Czechia forward Jiri Kulich (Buffalo Sabres) and Bedard.

Listed below are 10 things realized at the match:

Bedard dominant

If there were any doubt Bedard must be the tip different within the 2023 draft, his performance at this match settled the problem.

The 17-yr-old correct-handed shot led the match in scoring and averaged 19:36 in ice time. He holds the document for most targets and parts by a Canada participant in a single World Juniors and came interior six parts (36 parts; 17 targets, 19 assists, in 15 games) of tying Hockey Hall of Popularity forward Peter Forsberg for most occupation parts at the WJC (42 parts). Forsberg averaged 3.00 parts per game in 14 fits (1992-93). Bedard averaged 2.40 in 15 games.

“John Paddock coaches Connor and is fashioned supervisor in Regina (of the Western Hockey League) and he suggested me final spring that the spotlight has been on Connor since he was 12 years old,” said TSN director of scouting and NHL analyst Craig Button. “It doesn’t matter how shimmering the spotlight is, he shines. So you practically concerning the World Juniors. Or now not it is a high stage, below-20 match, the finest players are right here. Or now not it is exhausting for 19-yr-old players to compose at a excessive stage and so they’re all making an are trying their easiest and we’ve viewed many of mountainous performances. What he’s did at his age at this match with the total expectations … it was beyond spectacular.”

Milic time

Thomas Milic, the finest participant on Canada’s roster who was handed over within the NHL Draft, performed a ample role within the greatest match of his existence.

The 19-yr-old goalie obtained all 5 of his starts with a 1.76 targets-against life like and .932 assign share in six games. He made 43 saves in a 6-2 set end against the United States within the semifinal round Wednesday and 24 saves within the final against Czechia on Thursday.

“Or now not it is something we’ve been working in direction of for an extended time now and or now not it is something you dream of doing as a baby,” Milic said. “So mountainous-furious. I deal with those excessive-stress scenarios. And I stammer as we’ve improved thru the match, we’ve excellent been improving and better.”

United States wins bronze

The US obtained its 14th medal (and seventh bronze) at the WJC after an 8-7 set end against Sweden within the third-space game Thursday.

U.S. linemates Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues), Cooley and Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers) done as one in every of the most prolific high traces at the match, combining for 37 parts (16 targets, 21 assists) in seven games.

Cooley, 18, who centered the street, led the U.S. with 14 parts (seven targets, seven assists). Snuggerud, 18, who performed correct wing and is Cooley’s teammate at the University of Minnesota, was 2d with 13 parts (5 targets, eight assists). Gauthier, 18, who plays at Boston College, had 10 parts (four targets, six assists). 

“I stammer my tempo is something that’s in actual fact helped me of unhurried,” Snuggerud said. “It wasn’t essentially correct my 17-yr, but my 18-yr I improved in college yr and by the wreck made a ample soar. I stammer or now not it is some distance also fiddling with correct players and training against the finest every day. Or now not it is helped me enhance loads.”

Gajan the mountainous

Slovakia goalie Adam Gajan (2023 NHL Draft eligible) was one in every of the match’s greatest surprises. 

The 18-yr-old had success initially up of the season with Chippewa of the North American Hockey League sooner than committing to the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 2. He was loaned to Inexperienced Bay of the United States Hockey League on Dec. 6 and suggested Dec. 17, through a textual converse material message, to derive on a plane to affix his country at the World Juniors.

“A yr ago, no one believed in me that I will be able to play, even within the NAHL, to be the major goalie there,” Gajan said. “And then after a couple of games, I stammer about six USHL teams talked to my coach. So yeah, it was somewhat loopy. All the pieces took space so snappy.

In four straights starts at the World Juniors, Gajan had a 2.40 GAA, .936 assign share and one shutout. He made 33 saves in a 6-3 victory against the United States within the preliminary round on Dec. 28, a group end he called the greatest in his hockey occupation. He made fifty three saves in a 4-3 further time loss to Canada within the quarterfinal round on Monday.

File-surroundings Suchanek

Tomas Suchanek (2023 draft eligible) of Czechia grew to change into the major goalie in match historical previous with two assists in a game in some unspecified time in the future of his eight-assign shutout in preliminary-round play against Austria on Dec. 27.

“In the kind of the sport everybody wants the goalie to play the puck,” Suchanek said. “I stammer or now not it is section of my job and I’m excellent lucky correct now that the shooters are scoring targets.”

Suchanek done with four assists in seven match games. Essentially the most involving goalies with loads of assists in a single match were John Gibson of the United States (2013), Joni Ortio of Finland (2010) and Janis Kalnins of Latvia (2010). The other goalies with two occupation parts at the World Juniors are Roman Turek of Czechoslovakia (1989, 1990), Henrik Lundqvist of Sweden (2001, 2002) and Marc-Andre Fleury of Canada (2003, 2004).

The 19-yr-old also was named the match’s easiest goalie after finishing with 5 wins and a 1.52 GAA, .934 assign share and one shutout in seven games.

The Wright stuff

Shane Wright (Seattle Kraken) saved his easiest goal for the greatest day of the match, which excellent so took space to be on his Nineteenth birthday within the gold medal game Thursday.

The heart, who was loaned to the Canada National Junior Team of workers by the Kraken, did what he came to wreck and done with seven parts (four targets, three assists), averaging 18:54 of ice time.

Wright, Canada’s captain, gave his country a 2-0 lead 4:35 into the 2d duration when, after getting a cross from Dylan Guenther alongside the correct-wing boards, skated into the zone, shielded the puck some distance from forward Adam Mechura (2023 eligible) and beat defenseman Stanislav Svozil (Columbus Blue Jackets) sooner than scoring on a backhand low within the correct circle.

After the goal, the followers in attendance started singing ‘Chuffed Birthday’ to Wright.

“Shane performed mountainous,” Guenther said. “That was one in every of the nicest targets I’ve ever viewed, dancing thru those guys, backhand, high shelf. Would now not derive powerful better than that.”

Jansson sparkles 

Jansson made the most of his return for Sweden at the World Juniors.

The absence of defensemen Simon Edvinsson (Detroit Crimson Wings), Elias Salomonsson (Winnipeg Jets) and Mattias Havelid (San Jose Sharks), who each and every were now not loaned to Sweden for participation, forced Jansson to now not most efficient change into a presence on the blue line, but a frontrunner.

The 19-yr-old, chosen by the Panthers within the fourth round (No. 125) of the 2022 NHL Draft, was the finest returning defenseman for fourth-space Sweden at this yr’s match. 

“I mean, I’m one in every of the people of the team who has performed in one match sooner than so I attempted to be an correct role mannequin for the youthful guys,” Jansson said. “I stammer I did that somewhat correct. Next yr, or now not it is their time to shine in their 2d match and lead the youthful guys in that community.”

Jansson tied with Ryan Ufko of the United States for the match lead among defensemen with 10 parts (four targets, six assists), done with a plus-9 rating and averaged 19:15 of ice time in seven games.

NHL Draft reports

Bedard wasn’t the finest A rated skater on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to gaze checklist for the 2023 NHL Draft gaining journey and having a ample impact with his country. 

Sweden forward Leo Carlsson done with six parts (three targets, three assists) and averaged 15:20 of ice time in seven games. Sweden defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka had one back, but led his team in life like ice time (19:52) and ranked first among defensemen in photography on goal (19).

Canada forward Adam Fantilli had 5 parts (two targets, three assists) and averaged 11:31 in ice time in seven games. The US bought manufacturing from underage forwards Charlie Stramel (three assists; 14:16) and Gavin Brindley (four parts; 14:20), and Slovakia obtained a elevated appreciation for forward Dalibor Dvorsky (three parts; 20:33).

Ahead Eduard Sale of Czechia had six parts (one goal, 5 assists) and averaged 15:30 in seven games.

Chuffed hosts

The 2023 World Junior Championship was the major time in three years the match was performed in entrance of capability crowds at its most ceaselessly scheduled time.

The 2021 WJC was performed in Edmonton without followers. The December 2022 edition was canceled and the August 2022 model in Edmonton was now not wisely attended by followers. Halifax and Moncton proved to be unbelievable hosts and players were performing in entrance of beefy arenas. In Halifax, the present attendance was 8,610. Moncton has a smaller capability at the Avenir Centre (8,800 when put next to 10,400 at the Scotiabank Centre) but additionally drew a mean of 5,548 for Neighborhood B games and two quarterfinal-round fits.

“Halifax and Moncton were mountainous areas to near lend a hand with the World Juniors,” IIHF president Luc Tardif said. “There is an correct spirit, the cities and other folks were alive to, that you might perchance in actual fact feel it in every single place. I’m in actual fact cheerful concerning the success of the match and we can detect to the future positively.”

2024 WJC setup

The 2024 IIHF WJC will most certainly be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, at Scandinavium and Frolundaborg from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2024.

This might perchance perchance presumably presumably also be the seventh World Juniors in Sweden and first since 2014 (Malmo), when Finland obtained gold and the host country took silver.

Latvia obtained a easiest-of-3 series against Austria within the relegation round and will return to the 2024 WJC. Austria will play within the 2024 WJC Division I, Neighborhood A match. Norway, which obtained the Division IA in December, will change Austria within the tip match.

Listed below are the groupings:

Neighborhood A (Scandinavium): Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Latvia.

Neighborhood B (Frolundabord): United States, Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Norway. 

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