The World Junior Championships have begun, and if you haven’t begun watching some of the best annual hockey yet, you’re missing out.
Due to the holidays and COVID, many players are not playing. So far, every prospect in the WJC has picked up at least a point.
Samuel Fagemo, Lias Andersson, Jacob Moverare and Johan Sodergran are being removed from the tracker, as they have returned to North America and begin focusing on training camp with the Kings.
Additional list of Kings prospects preparing to travel to LA for training camp – once the dates are firmed up…
Jacob Moverare (D)
Sammy Fagemo (FWD)
Johan Sodergran (FWD)
Lias Andersson (FWD) https://t.co/17rmpOf6dm
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 14, 2020
Tobias Björnfot: Defense, Sweden (1st round pick in 2019)
WJC: 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-3, 0 PIM in 1 game played
Bjornfot returned to the WJC with an ‘A’ on his sweater. He’s also supplemented his defensive play with a couple of helpers, including on the penalty kill.
#WJC: Czechs have mailed it in as little effort made to slow down LHD Tobias Bjornfot (LAK 1st/2019), who makes a slick pass to the slot to C Oscar Bjerselius (2021/2001) for the 6-1 lead in the 3rd. Bjornfot's offensive instincts at the forefront on this play. Very underrated. pic.twitter.com/ePPxS8Igm0
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 26, 2020
Quinton Byfield, Forward, Canada (1st round pick in 2020)
WJC: 0 goals, 1 assist, plus-3, 2 PIM in 2 games played
Byfield added a helper en route to a 16-2 drubbing of Team Germany. However, he was held off the scoreboard against Slovakia. Our recap articles of those games can be found here and here.
Jakob Pelletier (@NHLFlames) gets in on the action.
Assists to Quinton Byfield (@LAKings) and Bowen Byram (@Avalanche) pic.twitter.com/n0W6hlwOBk
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 27, 2020
Martin Chromiak, Forward, Slovakia (5th round pick in 2020)
WJC: 1 goal, 0 assists, minus-0, 0 PIM in 2 games played
Slovakia had a couple tough draws to start, yet Chromiak wired a laser that turned out to be the only puck to beat Canada in their 3-1 loss. Our recap article of that game can be found here.
It's not over YET, Slovakia cuts the lead to 1 late in the 3rd! pic.twitter.com/8Fhh55iz30
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 28, 2020
Brock Faber: Defense, United States (2nd round pick in 2020)
WJC: 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-4, 0 PIM in 2 games played
One of the younger players on Team USA has quickly earned his way up the roster, cementing himself on the top pairing alongside Cam York. He rewarded the trust of the coach with a two-assist performance as the United States beat Austria 11-0. Our recap articles of those games can be found here and here – including post-game quotes from USA coach Nate Leaman on Faber.
Sam Colangelo (ANA) scores on the 69th shot of the game for the USA. Nice. Excellent pass from Brock Faber to set it up. #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/R047xHc5vP
— Dylan Griffing (@Dylan_Griffing) December 27, 2020
Arthur Kaliyev: Forward, United States (2nd round pick in 2019)
WJC: 0 goals, 2 assists, plus 2, 2 PIM, in 2 games played
Kaliyev picked up a couple helpers in the 11-0 rout of Austria. One such assist was a rebound hammered in by Matthew Boldy. Our recap articles of those games can be found here and here.
The extra point is good! Matt Boldy (@MnWild) is on the doorstep, and he scores the 7th American goal.
Assists to Cam York (@NHLFlyers) and Arthur Kaliyev (@LAKings) pic.twitter.com/RWd5VuVQT1
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 27, 2020
Lukáš Pařík: Goalie, Czech Republic (3rd round pick in 2019)
WJC: 1-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%, 1 Shutouts in 1 game played
With the cards stacked against the Czech Republic, the Czech-born goaltender made 30 saves as he stonewalled one of the tournament favorites, Russia. The shutout performance earned him recognition as player of the game.
Lukas Parik on the win – We played great as a team and the guys helped me a lot. It's a great feeling, but we have to refocus for other games.
On what was said in the room pregame – To just maintain our system. We played really well within our system and I think that helped us.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 28, 2020
Parik on when the final buzzer sounded – It was a great feeling. Can't even describe it. I was just imagining this game could happen. The guys really played great as a team, so the feeling was unbelievable. Now, we have to refocus for the USA game and just play our system again.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 28, 2020
Kasper Simontaival: Forward, Finland (3rd round pick in 2020)
WJC: 1 goal, 2 assists, plus-3, 0 PIM in 2 games played
Simontaival was the first Kings prospect to score a goal, which extended Finland’s lead over Switzerland to 4-1. He has two helpers as well in the tournament.
Jordan Spence: Defense, Canada (4th round pick in 2019)
WJC: 1 goal, 0 assists, plus-1, 0 PIM in 1 game played
Spence knows how to make use of his limited time on the roster. He played only five minutes in one game, but he hammered home a rebound in the high slot to put Canada up 1-0 against Slovakia. Our recap articles of those games can be found here and here – the latter article includes post-game quotes from Spence.
Loose pucks beware! @jordanjs224 comin' through.#WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/zn0WStUhkD
— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) December 27, 2020
Alex Turcotte: Forward, United States (1st round pick in 2019)
WJC: 0 goals, 3 assists, plus-0, 0 PIM in 2 games played
On the top line, Turcotte has generated a lot of chances for the United States. He hit a couple posts and was stonewalled. Our recap articles of those games can be found here and here.
#WJC: Americans expand their lead to 2-0 thanks to a strong cycle game and this snipe from C Trevor Zegras (ANA 1st/2019). They've been executing that handoff with C Alex Turcotte (LAK 1st/2020) for years. pic.twitter.com/xWboobYnON
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 27, 2020
Helge Grans: Defense, Malmö Redhawks, SHL (2nd round pick in 2020)
Regular season: 2 goals, 6 assists, minus-11, 0 PIM in 18 games played
Grans and the Redhawks have not played since December 17, in which Grans posted a helper.
Helge Grans (@LAKings) may not have made Sweden's World Juniors roster (he should have…) but he's still playing great hockey for the @Malmo_Redhawks.
Here's his assist from yesterday's game.https://t.co/pbtn8r29cE pic.twitter.com/1T4hfCeOU1
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 18, 2020
Aatu Jämsen: Forward, Pelicans U20, U20 SM-sarja (7th round pick in 2020)
Regular season: 10 goals, 26 assists, plus-12, 28 PIM in 24 games played
The Finnish youth league remained shut down due to COVID. The Kings last pick of the 2020 draft has yet to play since November.
Juho Markkanen: Goalie, Ketterä, Mestis (4th round pick in 2020)
Regular season: 3-2-2, 2.66 GAA, .892 SV%, 1 SO in 7 games played
Unfortunately, COVID continues to be a thorn in the Finnish goaltender’s side. The virus made it impossible for him to partake in Finland’s training camp for the WJC, which left him off the roster. The virus also has Mestis shut down, which inhibits his ability to even play.
Kim Nousiainen: Defense, KalPa, Liiga (4th round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 4 goals, 4 assists, plus-8, 4 PIM in 17 games played
Liiga was shut down for almost a month, but Nousiainen returned to play on Sunday without skipping a beat. He added a couple helpers to his stats sheet as KalPa won 3-0.
Bulat Shafigullin: Forward, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, KHL (3rd round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 3 goals, 6 assists, minus-8, 31 PIM in 34 games played
With only three matches in the past two weeks, it’s arguably difficult to find a rhythm. Shafigullin has been blanked in those appearances.
NCAA + USHL
Braden Doyle: Defense, Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL (6th round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 0 goals, 5 assists, minus-4, 8 PIM in 11 games played
Doyle’s riding a five-game scoreless streak. He last scored on December 10. He was scheduled to attend Harvard this season, but the Ivy League is shut down so he’ll remain in the USHL.
Dávid Hrenák: Goalie, St. Cloud State University Huskies, NCHC (5th round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 4-2-0, 2.68 GAA, .910 SV%, 0 Shutouts in 6 games played
As a senior, Hrenak has to yield some more time in net to his successor. However, he’s still been the go-to-guy for all of the Huskies big games, where he’s already backstopped wins over No. 1 North Dakota and No. 4 Denver. As such, St. Cloud continues to rise in the rankings, moving all way the up to No. 6 in the polls after starting the season unranked. Like most of college hockey, SCSU is currently on their holiday break.
Alex Laferriere: Forward, Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL (3rd round pick in 2020)
Regular season: 4 goals, 3 assists, minus-1, 19 PIM in 12 games played
Laferriere’s Jekyll-and-Hyde season has taken a more positive turn. He was blanked for his first five games, then he has scored in five of his last seven – including an ENG on Sunday.
Andre Lee: Forward, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, Hockey East (7th round pick in 2019)
Regular Season: 0 goals, 0 assists, plus-0, 2 PIM in 2 games played
Lee, playin on Lowell’s top line, was blanked early last week as the River Hawks won 2-1. As he’s gaining more responsibility, the expectations for him to produce more are there. However, this has been an unusual year to say the least.
Ben Meehan: Defense, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, Hockey East (6th round pick in 2020)
Regular Season: 0 goals, 1 assist, plus-0, 0 PIM in 2 games played
Though he was blanked in his first appearance, the River Hawks freshman recently assisted on the game-winning goal.
Congrats to former Rebel Ben Meehan on picking up his first collegiate point!! Ben assisted on the game winning goal for @RiverHawkHockey against UConn on Monday night. @benmeehan14
— WHS Boys Hockey (@Walpolehockey) December 24, 2020
NOTE: Author David Hofreiter can be found on Twitter @Davidenkness if you’re interested in talking more hockey with him or asking further questions about these players. Davis Green was the lead contributor in the gathering of information used in this article. You can find him on Twitter @davisgreen_.