Not only is it almost Christmas, this year’s World Junior Championship starts on December 26th in Helsinki, Finland. If you are not familiar with this annual tournament it involves the best hockey players in the world that are 20 years old and under. The best prospects in hockey will be playing in this tournament and potentially there could be 8 Bruins prospects representing their country. The final rosters have not been made, but each country has announced the players they will invite to their camp prior to the tournament. Here is a look at the Bruins prospects who have been invited to their county’s camp:
Brandon Carlo, Defense
Carlo represented the USA in the tournament last year, which was held in Toronto and Montreal. Carlo plays in the Western Hockey League for the Tri City Americans where he has 14 points (2 goals and 12 assist) in 20 games played this year. Carlo was a 2nd round pick of the Bruins this past summer in the 2015 draft.
Anders Bjork, Forward
Bjork is the second leading scorer for the University of Notre Dame with 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 16 games. Bjork was a 2014 5th round pick of the Bruins.
Ryan Donato, Forward
Donato is a Freshman at Harvard. In 10 games Donato has scored 4 goals and 5 assists. Donato was a 2014 2nd round pick of the Bruins.
Jeremy Lauzon, Defense
Lauzon is the only Bruins prospect that has been invited to Canada’s camp. The offensive minded defenseman plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for Rouyn-Noranda. In 26 games he has scored 5 goals and 29 assists for 34 points. He is also plus 26 on the season. Lauzon was a 2015 2nd round pick of the Bruins. Lauzon was referenced as a “sandbag” prospect before the draft, which means that scouts pretend they do not know the player is good because they want to look smart when they draft the player.
Jakub Zboril, Defense
It is hard to believe that Zboril will not make the Czech club going to Helsinki. Zboril was the Bruins’ first 1st round pick in 2015. He is playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the St. John Sea Dogs. Zboril has 3 goals, and 6 assist for 9 points in 21 games. He is off his pace for points scored from last year, but I am sure the Bruins care more about his defense and development than him scoring points.
Daniel Vladar, Goalie
Vladar plays for Chicago in the USHL. He has played 13 games with a record of 3-5-1. He has a 2.12 GAA and a .925 saver percentage.
Jakob Forsbacka-Karlson, Forward
Billy Jaffe during his weekly appearance on the “Zolak and the Beetle” radio show on the Sports Hub called Forsbacka-Karlson the most complete player on a very good Boston University team as a Freshman. Jaffe also said he looks like Patrice Bergeron and even plays like Bergeron. In 16 games with BU Forsbacka-Karlson has 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 points.
Peter Cehlarik, Forward
Cehlarik is kind of a mystery man since he plays in Sweden and has not made his way to Boston for training camp. Cehlarik represented Slovakia at the World Junior Championship tournament last year. He currently plays for Lulea HF. So far this season he has 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points in 19 games. Cehlarik was a 2013 3rd round pick of the Bruins.
It is hard not to be disappointed that fellow 2015 1st round picks Zach Senyshyn and Jake Debrusk were not invited to Canada’s camp. Debrusk has been hurt, so his numbers are not where they maybe should be, but he is back playing. In 19 games Debrusk has 8 goals and 15 assists for 23 points. Senyshyn has been on fire since not getting an invite to camp. In the past three games he has scored 7 goals and 2 assists. You read that right, 7 goals in 3 games and his last game he was held scoreless. In a game against Sudbury on December 2nd Senyshyn scored 4 goals and also had an assist. In his next game against Oshawa he had another 3 goals and 1 assist. So called experts and Bruins fans ripped the Bruins for drafting Senyshyn so high this past summer and he’s starting to prove them wrong.
The United States will open up the Preliminary Round against rival Canada on December 26th. I believe most games will be on the NHL Network. It’ll be great to get a look at future Bruins players on the big stage.