WJC 2014: Day 1 Update

Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 3:30 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

One of hockey's finest traditions is the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which annually begins on Boxing Day in Canada, or Dec. 26 in the United States.

This year's tournament is being held in Malmo, Sweden and as one would expect, features a collection of the finest young hockey players on the planet. The defending champions from the U.S. don't have many of the familiar names from last year's squad (Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and John Gibson are all currently playing professional hockey) but head coach Don Lucia's squad has as good a chance as any to repeat as gold medalists.

The Canadians, featuring two Blue Jackets prospects in Josh Anderson of London and Kerby Rychel of Guelph, are leading contenders for gold as well. It's a young group for Canada, too, with names like Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid headlining a group that gives fans a glimpse at some potential NHL superstars of tomorrow.

And the host nation, Sweden, has to be considered the favorite entering the tournament. Anchored in goal by Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk of the Erie Otters (one of the best teams in junior hockey this season), the Swedes have a balanced lineup that doesn't have many weaknesses. Columbus first-rounder Alexander Wennberg is an alternate captain for Sweden and figures to be a key player for them in the middle of the ice.

So, how did Blue Jackets prospects fare on Day 1 of the WJC? Let's take a look.

OSCAR DANSK (SWE)
The 19-year-old netminder is a World Junior veteran at this point and is no stranger to high-pressure international competition. He made 30 saves for Sweden in their 5-3 win over Switzerland to open the tournament, and by all accounts, played a solid game in what was an occasionally-frantic opener for both sides.

ALEXANDER WENNBERG (SWE)
It was a strong opener for Wennberg, who is having a fine season with Frolunda HC and now playing a prominent role for his home country in the WJC. Wennberg anchored one of Sweden's top lines in a 5-3 win over the Swiss, and assisted on line mate Andreas Johnson's late goal which capped the scoring.

KERBY RYCHEL (CAN)
Though he didn't get on the scoresheet in Canada's opening win over Germany, Rychel skated on left wing of the top line with Nic Petan and Curtis Lazar.

JOSH ANDERSON (CAN)
Anderson really had to earn his way on to Team Canada, and did so with a strong start to his season with the London Knights and an impressive showing in Canada's camp. Anderson scored the first goal in a four-goal first period for Canada off a nice pass from Frederik Gauthier six minutes into it, and was buzzing around the rink throughout.

Notes: The Slovakian team (featuring Marko Dano) opens its World Junior schedule on Friday against Germany. Markus Soberg of Norway did not play in his team's 11-0 loss to Russia.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Dubinsky 4 1 5 1 6
J. Johnson 4 3 2 1 5
R. Johansen 4 2 3 0 5
B. Jenner 4 2 2 -2 4
M. Calvert 4 2 1 3 3
D. Savard 4 0 3 2 3
M. Letestu 4 1 1 -1 2
C. Atkinson 4 1 1 2 2
J. Wisniewski 4 0 2 -4 2
A. Anisimov 4 0 2 -1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 2 2 0 .900 3.22
 
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