For the primary time since 2013, Canada gained gold on the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship.
The two-week occasion advanced into an unimaginable have a look at the 2023 NHL Draft with the Bedard versus Michkov present. Bedard, the Canadian standout, tied Connor McDavid’s under-16 scoring report with 14 factors (seven objectives, seven assists) whereas Michkov, the Russian sensation, got here inside two objectives of the match report; he led the best way with 16 factors (12 objectives, 4 assists) and earned MVP honors.
Wright, eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, captained Canada and put his exceptional-status expertise on show with 14 factors (9 objectives, 5 assists) in simply 5 video games. Despite being held out of two video games for precautionary causes, Wright’s 9 objectives are a Canadian report on this occasion.
Canada vs. Russia outcomes: Wright, Bedard lead Canadians to 2021 U18 gold
Many different 2022-eligibles placed on a present on this occasion as nicely, with Russia’s trio of Danila Yurov, Ivan Miroshnichenko and Sergei Ivanov, Team USA’s Lane Hutson, and Belarus ahead Yegor Sidorov getting followers and NHL groups excited for what’s to come back.
While the match was a stage for 2022 and 2023 draft-eligible prospects, the Under-18s is yearly a platform for prospects of the upcoming draft. In a traditional season, the occasion is the final alternative for teenagers to impress scouts earlier than they hear their identify referred to as. This yr, nonetheless, the U18s will carry much more weight main into July’s NHL draft.
With the OHL season cancelled, prospects scoured the globe for ice time. Some discovered it, resembling Canada’s Brandt Clarke, Mason McTavish and Brennan Othmann. Others didn’t get any video games in, like their teammates Ethan Del Mastro, Wyatt Johnston and Jack Matier.
For all of those prospects, the Under-18s offered a glimpse into the place they’re of their growth in comparison with their friends and is big for scouts attempting to lock of their rankings. The match may also increase a prospect’s profile; a fringe first-rounder can safe their spot within the top-32 or a participant that nobody knew about can burst onto the scene.
In this match, we now have each circumstances.
With the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship now full, let’s check out the 10 prospects which have boosted their draft stock over the course of the match.
(In alphabetical order)
- 2021 NHL Draft risers
- Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Team Canada
- Aleksi Heimosalmi, D, Team Finland
- Danila Klimovich, C, Team Belarus
- Ville Koivunen, LW, Team Finland
- Dmitri Kuzmin, D, Team Belarus
- Fabian Lysell, LW, Team Sweden
- Isak Rosen, LW, Team Sweden
- Logan Stankoven, C, Team Canada
- Fyodor Svechkov, C, Team Russia
- Samu Tuomaala, LW, Team Finland
2021 NHL Draft risers
Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Team Canada
After Canada cut up the goaltending duties between Gaudreau and 2022-eligible Thomas Milic via the preliminary spherical, the North Bay, Ont., native seized the reins of the beginning job and carried Canada via the medal spherical and to the gold medal win. For his efforts within the occasion, he was honored by the IIHF because the match’s top goaltender.
Gaudreau gained all 5 of his begins and picked up a tournament-best .919 save share and a pair of.20 goals-against common. The Sarnia Sting netminder is without doubt one of the prospects on this match that didn’t hit the ice this season with the OHL season cancellation. With the World U18s being his solely motion in 2020-21, he’s placed on a superb show for scouts.
One of his largest belongings proven off within the Under-18s was his rebound management. Gaudreau confirmed glorious monitoring in his video games whereas staying sq. in his internet and exhibiting spectacular endurance. His glove hand was lightning fast, which resulted in some massive saves for Canada. An aggressive netminder, he might be considered one of three to listen to his identify within the first spherical of the 2021 draft.
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Aleksi Heimosalmi, D, Team Finland
Spring rating: 77
While Finland didn’t medal within the occasion, they’d numerous standout particular person performances. One of these belonged to Heimosalmi, the staff’s No. 1 defenseman. The agile rearguard collected eight factors (two objectives, six assists) via seven video games, and was named the match’s Best Defenseman by the IIHF. He was additionally named a top-three participant on Team Finland.
The two objectives that the defender scored confirmed off his spectacular skating, his evasiveness, and his creativity, going end-to-end for highlight-reel performs. While the complete staff was shut out within the bronze medal sport, Heimosalmi collected two assists within the semifinal loss to Russia as he tried every part he might to get his staff into the gold medal sport.
Heimosalmi confirmed off a powerful two-way means within the match, too, with some flash in his sport that might be very intriguing to NHL groups. His objectives confirmed off his offensive aptitude and he was strong in his personal finish too, exhibiting robust positional consciousness. He’s a participant that might be used on each particular groups on the subsequent degree.
Danila Klimovich, C, Team Belarus
Spring rating: Not ranked
The shock of the match — and doubtless the largest riser from the tourney — was Klimovich, who got here out of nowhere to seize consideration regardless of scoring 52 factors (28 objectives, 24 assists) in 37 video games in Belarus Vysshaya League. He exploded out of the gate on the U18s potting six objectives in his first three video games.
Named a top-three participant for Belarus, Klimovich confirmed off a completely depraved shot with a really fast launch. He excelled at discovering the smooth ice, slipping behind defenders and getting open within the offensive zone. On prime of this, he showcased glorious fingers and confidence that makes him a fearless competitor in terms of dealing with defenders, particularly in one-on-one conditions.
While all of his objectives got here on the ability play, his capturing means ought to garner consideration on the 2021 draft.
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Ville Koivunen, LW, Team Finland
Spring rating: Not ranked
A prospect who’s raised his stock all season, Koivunen put his sport on show in Texas. In seven video games, he completed second on the staff with 10 factors (4 objectives, six assists) and was one of many key gamers in Finland’s lineup.
Koivunen had a giant season within the U20 SM-sarja with Karpat U20, and was (*10*) after scoring 49 factors (23 objectives, 26 assists) in 38 video games. An clever winger, he works the cycle nicely using his playmaking and imaginative and prescient to create offense for his staff. On prime of his motion with the puck, Koivunen confirmed a capability to get it accomplished by himself too, discovering the lanes and slicing to the slot. It appears to be like like he might be a reputation to observe within the first three rounds in July.
Dmitri Kuzmin, D, Team Belarus
Spring rating: Not ranked
While Klimovich was a stunning deal with on the Belarus roster, Kuzmin was an anticipated star — and he didn’t disappoint. The artful defender had 5 factors (one objective, 4 assists) in 5 video games, serving to his staff to the quarterfinal spherical and being named a top-three participant for Belarus.
His ability was on full show in each sport, instantly drawing viewers to his magic on the ice. In his second sport of the match, he pulled off “The Michigan” (a lacrosse-style objective) within the staff’s 7-1 win over Switzerland. He adopted it up with a three-assist efficiency towards Latvia.
The blueliner is extraordinarily cellular, using his edges so nicely as he carves via oppositions in transitions. His means to vary each his tempo and route with the puck makes him so tough to defend. Kuzmin ought to be the highest Belarusian chosen within the 2021 draft, probably inside the first three rounds.
Fabian Lysell, LW, Team Sweden
Spring rating: 10
Sweden struggled as an entire to seek out their footing within the preliminary spherical, however not Lysell. The winger was the highest participant for his nation all match, placing his staff on his again once they weren’t capable of finding offense. He collected a team-leading 9 factors (three objectives, six assists) and was a key determine of their bronze medal marketing campaign.
Lysell’s velocity and creativity are key elements of his sport and so they have been on full show on the Under-18s. A shifty ahead that’s so exhausting to defend, and somebody who has the power to create offensive alternatives out of nothing, he additionally pulled off some highlight-reel assists.
Lysell is a top-10 prospect within the 2021 draft, however the place he falls continues to be very a lot up within the air. He might very nicely be a participant to crawl up into the highest 5 and, if this match carries any weight for NHL scouts, he would possibly simply do this.
Isak Rosen, LW, Team Sweden
Spring rating: 31
It wasn’t simply Lysell that stood out for the Swedes, Rosen was additionally a key participant. He tied Lysell for the staff lead in factors (9) and completed third within the match in objectives (seven). He was named a top-three participant on the staff for his efficiency.
Rosen was noticeable in each sport of this match and improved with every contest. Much like his teammate, Rosen’s velocity was exceptional, getting up the ice in a rush and gorgeous offenses. He additionally confirmed off a tough, correct wrist shot that he might get off in a second. Plus, not like many offensive gamers at this stage, Rosen was strong and tenacious in his personal finish.
With the primary spherical of the 2021 draft seemingly extensive open, he is been a worthy identify within the dialog all season lengthy. Between his SHL efficiency and his Under-18s exhibiting, Rosen is a participant that might stand up into the top-20 of this class.
Logan Stankoven, C, Team Canada
Spring rating: 20
While Bedard and Wright have been the offensive leaders on Canada, the play of Stankoven stood out in a giant approach. He collected eight factors (4 objectives, 4 assists) in seven video games as they gained gold. He additionally wore an ‘A’ and greater than lived as much as the letter.
The Kamloops Blazers ahead by no means took his foot off the fuel, contributing whether or not he had the puck or not and pushed the tempo. While there could also be reservations relating to his 5-8 stature, he introduced a a lot larger sport and was fearless and keen to tackle any participant. Stankoven can be used on the ability play or on the penalty and is without doubt one of the extra versatile gamers on this class.
One of these gamers that gave the impression to be on the perimeter of the primary spherical, if the U18s was any indication of what he’s able to, he ought to safe a spot within the top-32. There can also be a case for him to be within the top-20 as among the best gamers within the draft out of the WHL.
Fyodor Svechkov, C, Team Russia
Spring rating: 18
FCHockey’s top-ranked Russian within the 2021 draft class, Svechkov lived as much as the hype in Texas. Along with Michkov, he was one of the efficient gamers within the match, racking up 10 factors (4 objectives, six assists) and exhibiting off a formidable two-way means.
Good in the entire little elements scouts search for in a participant, he’s all the time competing and battling to get the puck for his staff. Svechkov can steal pucks simply, flip and take it again up the ice. He’s not a flashy participant, however he ought to be a constant, regular presence for whichever staff drafts him.
With Svechkov having a strong season in Russia and a standout efficiency on the Under-18s, there’s a chance we see him chosen within the top-15. A dynamic participant that can be utilized in each state of affairs and excels in each ends of the rink, he appears to be like to be one of many safer picks on this class.
Samu Tuomaala, LW, Team Finland
Spring rating: 46
The third member of Finland on this record, Tuomaala confirmed his offensive prowess at U18s, with 11 factors (5 objectives, six assists) in seven video games. He led the Finnish staff in factors and completed fifth general within the match leading to him being named a top-three participant for his nation and to the All-Star Team.
What is most spectacular about his factors is how they got here: developing completely clutch by scoring game-tying, overtime-forcing objectives, and a few game-winners. Even a few of his assists got here in a very powerful moments, as he pulled off some very spectacular performs.
Yet one other participant that has discovered himself as a fringe first-rounder, the Finnish ahead did have one of the spectacular particular person performances on the match and will have pushed himself up into the primary spherical. His deadly shot and talent to point out up when the staff wanted him ought to be intriguing traits for an NHL staff.
Honourable mentions: Corson Ceulemans (CAN), Nikita Chibrikov (RUS), Kaiden Mbereko (USA), Aku Koskenvuo (FIN), Mason McTavish (CAN), Sasha Pastujov (USA), Samu Salminen (FIN), William Stromgren (SWE), Olen Zellweger (CAN)
Josh Bell is a scout and the director of content material for FCHockey.