If you’re a hockey fan, like myself, you were probably SUPER hyped between Dec 26 and Jan 5. If you’re not a huge hockey fan, here’s why the hockey world was crazy excited: on Dec 26, 2014, the World Junior Championships kicked off in Montreal and Toronto. For those unfamiliar with the World Junior Championships, every year, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) hosts a national tournament, in which ten national teams go head to head, attempting to secure a gold medal. The neat part is every player is under the age of 20. In the 2015 World Juniors, the countries included Canada, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Russia, Finland, and Denmark.
After 11 days of junior hockey, Slovakia finished in 3rd, which was their first time medaling since 1999. Russia finished 2nd, and Canada finished in first place. As a Canadian, I was incredibly excited when Canada won gold. This was their first time winning gold since 2009, and their first time medaling since 2012. I know, terribly uncharacteristic for Canada.
The young players of the World Juniors will be the future of the NHL. Current LA Kings players, Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones, played on Team Canada in 2012 and 2010, respectively. Other NHL players who played in the World Juniors include PK Subban, Ryan McDonagh, Robin Lehner, Ryan Ellis, and Devante Smith Pelly. Here are 5 players who killed it during the World Juniors and we should keep an eye on.
MAX DOMI (Canada)
Max Domi scored 5 goals and had 5 assists in the 7 games played. He is ranked at number 4 for lead scorers during the Championship. He was also named Best Forward at the World Junior Championships this year. He was also voted onto the ‘All Star’ team comprised of the best six players of the championship. He was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes, but currently plays for the London Knights.
NIC PETAN (Canada)
Nic Petan, recently nicknamed Hat Trick Nic, scored 4 goals during the championship (3 of those in 1 game) and had 7 assists, totaling in 11 points. He ranks second on the list of top scorers during the championship. Petan was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets. He currently plays for the Portland winterhawks.
DYLAN LARKIN (United States)
Dylan Larkin currently plays college hockey for the University of Michigan. In 2014, he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. At the 2015 WJC, he led the U.S. team in goals, averaging at a goal per game.
ADRIAN KEMPE (Sweden)
Adrian Kempe played for Sweden during the championship, and his team placed 4th in the championship. In 2014, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings. So, in a few years, we could see Kempe playing for us! He scored 4 goals during the championship, which puts him at ninth on the lead goal scorers of the championship.
DENIS GODLA (Slovakia)
Denis Godla was named the Best Goalkeeper by the International Ice Hockey Foundation. He was also named most valuable player and voted onto the ‘All Star’ team by the media. His save percentage was over 92% during the championship. The only team he and his team were unable to beat was Canada.
What was your favorite part of the World Juniors? Were your favorite players on the list?