The Montreal Canadiens have six prospects representing six different countries at the 2023 World Youth Hockey Championship. Their performances will be updated daily in this article.
|vinzenz rohrer||2022||Austria||C/RW||1||7:55 p.m.||0||0||0||1|
|Hutson Lane||2022||USA||RD||1||2:07 p.m.||0||0||0||0|
December 26: Sweden vs. Austria
Austria were no match for the Swedes in the second game of the competition, going down by a score of 11-0. All of Sweden’s skaters got a plus in the game and Engström finished at +4. Swedish head coach Magnus Havelid didn’t have to tax any of his players in the thrashing, with the high point of the game coming at 18:30 for Axel Sandin Pellikka. Engström, who started the game in the best pair, struck at 15:37.
He had secondary assists on goals six and seven for Sweden, taking the points lead among Habs prospects after one day. He’ll be fresh for the next game on Tuesday afternoon when the team needs to play a little more defense.
December 27: Sweden vs. Germany
In the closing seconds of the first period of Sweden’s match against Germany, Engström fired the puck from the spot and appeared to be deflected by one of his teammates before going into the net. The IIHf rarely analyzes such plays after the fact to give proper credit, so the goal remains on Engström’s stat line, his third point with two assists since the opener. The match turned out to be a goalkeeping duel between Carl Lindbom and Nikita Quapp, with Engstrõm’s goal being the only one scored.
Despite how close the game was compared to the previous day’s 11-0 win, Sweden’s head coach once again distributed the ice time fairly evenly. Six defensemen played at least 16 minutes, with the highest total being less than 21. Engström finished at the bottom end of the range at 17:08, but it’s hard to find much fault with a player who is currently tied for seventh in tournament score.
Next game: December 29 against the Czech Republic
December 26: Finland vs. Swiss
Kapanen has been named captain of Team Finland in their second Junior World Cup, following a silver medal in the summer. The team leader now has work to do with his teammates to put a surprise loss to Switzerland behind him after the tournament opened with a shock.
He finished the game with a -1, not only on the ice due to Attilio Biasca’s goal in extra time, but with a step behind reaching the Swiss player after leaving his position to try to take the puck on the boards. Kapanen will know that he needs to do more to help his team win, and we should expect to see a better performance from Finland in their second game, although offense is still expected to be a problem.
December 27: Finland vs. Slovakia
Finland needed to improve after their opening loss to Switzerland; captain Oliver Kapanen needed to be much better after a difficult first game. On Tuesday against Slovakia, he responded with one of the best individual performances by a skater in the tournament so far.
He was effective in the faceoff circle and tough in puck battles to win possession. He recorded three shots in the game, one of them a highlight reel spin for his first goal.
He added an assist on Finland’s next goal to end the day with two points, and claimed player of the game honors following the 5-2 win that put Finland back on track.
Next game: December 29 against Latvia
December 26: Canada vs. czech republic
It wasn’t the typical relentless offensive effort that Canada had shown in the pre-tournament game that led up to their first significant game of the winter. They seemed to take their opponent lightly, and it hit them again as the Czechs scored two quick goals to end the first period, then another early in the second that proved enough to pull off an upset.
Unfortunately for Roy, his most notable play in the game was a split-second offside on a goal that would have put Canada up 2-0 in the opening period. Canada’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when their center Zach Dean was handed a match penalty in the middle of the box, as the Czechs scored two more goals. It’s now a question of whether Dean will face further disciplinary action, and he could interfere with Canada’s arguably most effective closing line if that happens.
Roy took three shots on goal as he tried to get his team back in, but Canada struggled to sort out goalie Tomáš Suchánek and was one of many players knocked out on the night.
Next game: December 28 against Germany
December 27 vs Finland
Mesar witnessed Kapanen’s recovery effort on Tuesday and couldn’t find a counter. The 2022 first round pick was heavily supported for Slovakia with over 20 minutes played. It was a -2 with a single shot on goal.
Slovakia will need the playmaker striker to make the difference to make any impact in this tournament. We should expect a rebound similar to the one Kapanen produced as Slovakia tries to avoid a 0-2 start against the United States on Wednesday.
Next game: December 28 vs. USA
December 26: Austria vs. Sweden
Rohrer was a surprise omission from the lineup just before Austria’s game against Sweden. We learned that he had not been feeling well and therefore he did not head to the arena for the game, which ended in a beating at the hands of the Swedes.
Austria head coach Kirk Furey says Vinzenz Rohrer (MTL) just “didn’t feel the best way”. They hope to get it back tomorrow. They said they missed him. “Lion heart.”
—Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 26, 2022
Let’s hope this isn’t a serious illness for the Austrian spark plug and that he’s recovered in time for the team’s game on Tuesday.
December 27: Austria vs. czech republic
Rohrer’s return to the lineup did little to change Austria’s fortunes. One day after losing an 11-0 game to Sweden, they were beaten yet again, conceding more goals (nine) than shots recorded (eight).
The only NHL draftee on Austria’s roster, Rohrer played the most minutes of any skater on the team and miraculously escaped off the ice to score a goal. He registered one of eight shots off Czech goalkeeper Tomáš Suchánek, but was unable to break the nation’s goalless streak that stretched to two full games.
At this point, the realistic goal for the Austrians is probably just to score one goal in the remaining two group stage matches. They seem destined to end up in the relegation round, and it’s hard to imagine them in the Primera División by 2024.
Next game: December 29 against Canada
December 26: USA vs. Latvia
Team USA played a tougher game than they probably expected against Latvia in the tournament opener. a game that was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Americans scored three goals to win comfortably in the end, but flirted with an early upset.
Hutson didn’t record any points, or even shots, in a 5-2 win. He played just 14:07, which was the second-lowest total among the defensive staff, and that may be the case all tournament-long as Luke Hughes takes the offensive minutes Hutson thrives on. By his time in game one, Hutson was using his staying power to break up the few offensive plays Latvia had and help his team through transition.
Next game: December 28 against Slovakia
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