The World Junior Championship came to a close yesterday with Finland beating Russia in overtime for the Gold Medal. The United States blasted Sweden in the Bronze Medal game 8-3. The Bruins organization was tied with the Arizona Coyotes with the most prospects at the tournament with 7. They had 3 prospects on both the United States and Czech Republic teams. The remaining prospect was on Sweden’s team.
Here is BostonPucks.com’s update on how the Bruins’ Prospects did at the tournament:
The United States avenged their preliminary round defeat to Sweden in the Bronze Medal game. Anders Bjork (University of Notre Dame, NCAA) scored two goals in the game to give him a total of 3 goals for the tournament. Bjork was in the top 20 for plus/minus in the tournament with a plus 5 in 7 games played.
Ryan Donato (Harvard, NCAA), who surprised a lot of people with his play, also had 2 goals in the Bronze Medal game to give him 3 goals and 1 assists for the tournament. He was a plus 4 and had 16 shots on net.
Brandon Carlo (Tri City Americans, WHL) was on the Unites States’ top defense pairing with the tournament’s best defenseman Zach Werenski (Michigan, NCAA). He really had a standout showing, receiving significant praise in the media for his efforts. Carlo finished the tournament with 2 goals and 2 assist and was a plus 9, including a goal and an assist in the Bronze Medal game.
Boston University freshman forward Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (JFK) was the lone Bruins prospect on Team Sweden. He finished the WJC with 1 goal and 4 assists. One of Forsbacka-Karlsson’s assists came in the Bronze Medal game. He was also receiving praise for his performance in Finland.
So if you are keeping track at home the Bruins prospects combined for 7 points (5 goals and 2 assists) in the Bronze Medal game alone. This shows that these prospects will not hide in big games and they are at their best when it maters most.
The United States sent the Czech Republic home with a 7-0 blowout defeat in the first round of the playoffs. The biggest name on this Czech team was current Boston Bruin, David Pastrnak. Before going over to Finland for the WJC Pastrnak had only played in 2 games since October 31st. Pastrnak registered a goal and 3 assists in 4 games. I would have liked to see Pastrnak with a few more points, but I did read that he looked like one of the best players in the tournament even though he had limited help on this Czech team.
Defenseman Jakub Zboril (Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL) had the second most penalty minutes in the entire tournament. He was tossed in the first game for a boarding call that from what I have heard would not have been a penalty in the NHL. He had 31 penalty minutes in 5 games, which lives up to his scouting report as a nasty blue liner. He did manage to get an assist between all his time in the penalty box. It was actually an assist on Pastrnak’s goal.
Lastly, Daniel Vlader (Chicago, USHL) was the third goalie on the Czech team and did not see any action during the tournament.
The WJC brings the best under 20-year-old hockey players in the world together for the premier showcase of international hockey talent. The fact that the Bruins had 7 players there is only a good thing for the future in Boston. For most of these players the WJC is the biggest stage they have every played on. Even though success at the WJC does not always translate to the NHL, it is the best measuring stick to see where your best prospect match up in their age group. 4 of the 7 Bruins prospects competing in the tournament were selected in this past summers 2015 draft. I would say at this point if you had to judge it GM Don Sweeney did a good job with his selections.
That is not to mention the Bruins two additional first round picks in 2015, Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn, were not in the tournament. DeBrusk, who plays in the WHL, was just traded from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels and he has been lighting it up since. In the 5 games DeBrusk has played for Red Deer he has 5 goals and 5 assists. Senyshyn has 24 goals in 36 OHL games. The future is looking bright for the Bruins.
Bostonpucks.com will be attending the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds versus Sudbury Wolves game tonight in Sudbury to see Zach Senyshyn play live. Check back tomorrow for the game report.