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December 29, 2010, 02:12 AM ET

World Junior Hockey Championship- Dec 27 & 28 Notes and Thoughts

by Corey Pronman

Dec 27

Slovakia-Germany:

Final Score: 2-1 Slovakia                                Shot Totals: 48-39 Germany

Lightning Richard Panik: 1G and 2 Pts

Czech Republic-Norway:

Final Score: 2-0 Czech Republic                       Shot Totals: 38-21 Czech Republic

Dec 28

Switzerland-Finland:

Final Score: 4-0 Finland                                  Shot Totals: 38-15 Finland

Panthers Joonas Donskoi: 2A

Canada- Czech Republic:

Final Score: 7-2 Canada                                  Shot Totals: 39-19 Canada

Avalanche Tyson Barrie: 1G and 2 Pts

Predators Ryan Ellis: 1G and 4 Pts

Canadiens Louis Leblanc: 1G and 2 Pts

Kings Brayden Schenn: 1G and 5 Pts

Sweden-Russia:

Final Score: 2-0 Sweden                                   Shot Totals: 38-30 Sweden

USA- Slovakia:

Final Score: 6-1 USA                                        Shot Totals: 57-18

Sharks Charlie Coyle: 1G and 3 Pts

Ducks Kyle Palmieri: 2G and 3 Pts

Notes and thoughts from the games:

  • Lightning’s Brett Connolly got some real ice-time after being the 13th forward in Canada’s previous game as he was recovering from an injury. He didn’t figure much in the scoring, but you saw a lot in his game as to why he was so touted. His frame is really filled out, he moves at a plus level, he’s very aware with an active stick and he can distribute the puck. As he starts to get his legs under him, I fully expect Connolly to be a contributor as we heads towards the medal round.
  • Sabres’ Zack Kassian was removed from the game due to the IIHF’s regulations on hits to the head after he delivered a huge blow to a Czech player. The call was close and one could make an argument he barely grazed Senkerik’s chin but it definitely wasn’t a vicious blow. This is where a coach’s challenge would come in handy, especially when the difference is a two minute minor and a five minute major, game misconduct and possible supplementary discipline.
  • Columbus had two prospects in the Canada-Czech game with Ryan Johansen and Petr Straka. Both are very different players and both were impressive in this outing. Ryan displayed some of his plus physical assets that had scouts salivating over him going into the draft, combined with impressive patience and skills with the puck. Straka showed the above-average skating ability he has and was one of the sole Czech forwards who even looked remotely dangerous.
  • Capitals’ Cody Eakin had a good game; he was impressive physically and showed a willingness to engage and used his shoulder well to protect the puck. He also got to use his above-average shot to quickly go top corner after receiving a nice feed from Cizikas.
  • Kings’ Brayden Schenn was great in every aspect. He is one of the game’s elite prospects and the Kings should be nothing but thrilled with his development.
  • Predators’ Patrik Cehlin has been nothing but impressive from the word go at this tournament. He’s a plus skater with impressive hands and combines that with good hustle to disrupt plays and come back hard on the backcheck.
  • Oilers’ Anton Lander scored a terrific goal in the Sweden-Russia game. He fired a backhand shot top corner from the middle of the ice from the top of the circles. Lander’s game has developed so well from his offensive skills to his skating that when combined with his hockey sense and other tools he is a great prospect for Edmonton.
  • 2011 top prospect Adam Larsson had a good game. He showed confidence carrying the puck up the ice and pinching in. He flashed above average puck skills and was making smart plays up and down the ice.
  • Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov had a game to forget. He was invisible for a good portion of the game and just couldn’t get anything going. He was put on Russia’s second line and his linemates weren’t helping his case, but he still was making poor decisions and just wasn’t creating.
  • NY Rangers’ Jesper Fasth is a guy to keep an eye on. He’s a plus skater with hustle to his game and also showed some decent finish when he one-timed a Calle Jarnkrok play into the twine.
  • Ducks’ Kyle Palmieri has been great all year outside this tournament and his play has continued in Buffalo. He scored twice and was a contributor this game by using his above average shot, good strength on his skates, ability to protect the puck, and anticipation to jump on scoring chances.
  • Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer was yanked in his first game after allowing four goals and only making a handful of saves, even though the chances were hard to stop. The athletic goalie bounced back by making 35 saves on 37 shots versus Slovakia.
  • I can’t recall the last time I saw in an International tournament where the host city booed one individual player for the home country every time he touched the puck.  That’s what happened with Emerson Etem after he called out the quality of the city of Buffalo. He happened to score in this game too, although it was a very weak goal on the Slovakian goalie.

Coverage of the tournament will continue with three days of round robin action remaining.  I will be covering the event on twitter as well. For all thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you can reach me at cpronman@puckprospectus.com.

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