It all starts tomorrow.
1. Quinton Byfield (CAN)
The pencilled in number two overall pick for this year’s NHL draft has the perfect opportunity to prove why he’s more valuable than his Canadian teammate, Alexis Lafreniere.
2. Cole Caufield (USA)
Small, undersized and potentially lethal. The Wisco product knows how to fill the back of the net, which is something the Americans will need if they want to succeed.
3. Yaroslav Askarov (RUS)
Dubbed a potentially first overall pick by draft expert Craig Button, Askarov will first have to prove his international performances can be sustained as the competition gets tougher.
4. Alexis Lafreniere (CAN)
Want to be the number one pick at the NHL draft? Prove you’re up there with the best of your peers. His QMJHL totals this season are impressive, but nothing will impress me more than a rock solid WJC.
5. Moritz Seider (GER)
There is two reasons to watch the Germans this tournament and Seider is one of them. He’s a big, smooth skating, puck snapping defenceman who should stand out like a polar bear in the desert on this Deutschland squad.
6. Spencer Knight (USA)
A first rounder from 2019, Knight has the opportunity to put himself up there with the likes of John Gibson if he’s able to steal the Americans a couple of wins en route to a medal.
7. Ville Heinola (FIN)
Eight NHL games, five points for this Finnish stud blue-liner. Heinola has Cale Makar like offensive skill and will be one of the top powerplay threats in the tournament.
8. Lucas Raymond (SWE)
Anytime a 17-year-old plays (and produces) in the SHL it’s incredible. He has a lethal shot and great play making ability. Loves to push the pace as well, which is something the patient Swedes usually lack.
9. Barrett Hayton (CAN)
One of the few players in this tournament with NHL experience, Hayton will need to lead the way at both ends of the ice if Canada wants a chance at gold.
10. Tim Stützle (GER)
A ppg draft eligible in the DEL, now is his chance to prove his worth on the biggest junior stage in the world. With a strong performance, I’d have no doubt Stützle hears his name called in the top 10.
Vasily Podkolzin (RUS)
Oliver Wahlstrom (USA)
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Photo Credit Hockey Canada (Twitter).