Sam Reinhart (CANADA) – Son of former NHLer Paul Reinhart and brother to Griffin and Max, Sam is the latest Reinhart to get drafted and could go 1st overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Playing up to his older brother’s competition served Sam well as he developed the complete package to be a serious difference maker. This Kootenay Ice star is primarily a set up man and will be feeding dishes to goal hungry Connor McDavid and Bo Horvat.
Aaron Ekblad (CANADA) – Granted exceptional status as a 15 year old to play for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Ekblad accomplished a rare feat, especially for a defenseman. He looks like a man among boys and is looking to inflict punishment on Canada’s opposition with his bombing slap shot from the point and bone crunching hits. The upcoming 2014 NHL Entry Draft will come down to Ekblad and Reinhart for 1st overall.
Leon Draisaitl (GERMANY) – Eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft as well and predicted to go top 10 , Draisatl is a talented offensive wizard as evidenced by 51 points in 33 games this season for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Germany is an emerging hockey nation and Draisatl could be a leader for a promising crop of players on the horizon.
Connor McDavid (CANADA) – A prodigious talent is Connor McDavid who was granted exceptional status to play in the OHL as a 15 year old, he proceeded to score over a point per game in his rookie year. Born in 1997, McDavid is the frontrunner for 1st overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and after ripping up the Under 18 WJC last year, don’t be surprised if this special talent makes a big impact.
Jack Eichel (USA) – The 2015 NHL Entry Draft will come down to McDavid from Canada and Jack Eichel from the USA, for first overall. Eichel is the youngest player on the US roster but has all the tools to make plays for the defending champs. High end hockey sense to go with an ability to impose his will on the competition at top speeds, Eichel is sure to turn some heads.
Andre Burakovsky (SWEDEN) – Another Washington Capitals offensive forward with flash on and off the ice on display at the World Junior Championship (WJC), Burakovsky is confident he can help lead the Swedes to a victory on home soil in Malmo. Paired with McDavid for the Errie Otters in the OHL, Burakovsky has put up 23 goals and 47 points in just 31 games after moving from Sweden where he played for a club team in Malmo as it turns out.
Teuvo Teravainen (FINLAND) – Drafted #18 overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Teuvo will lead the Finnish charge with a toolbox of offensive moves. Having tore up the 2013 tourney with 5 goals and 11 points in 6 games, Teravainen is poised to dominate his combatants and be a leader in the scoring race.
Andrei Vasilevski (RUSSIA) – Vasilevsky has already stonewalled teams in two previous World Juniors with a downright obscene .950 save % in round robin games, but he has been chased in big games. A big body goaltender in the near future for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vasilevsky will be relied upon heavily by the Russians and will be crucial to their hopes for a medal on the heels of the Sochi Olympics.
Jonathan Drouin (CANADA) – Another Tampa Bay Lightning prospect is Team Canada returnee Jonathan Drouin, as the highest drafted player in the tournament at #3 overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the hopes are high for Drouin. Expected to lead Canada and possibly be the best player in the 2014 WJC, Drouin is recovering from a recent concussion in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) but two goals in exhibition have quelled concerns.
Filip Forsberg (SWEDEN) – Drafted in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft 11th overall by the Washington Capitals with the pick they received for Semyon Varlamov from the Colorado Avalanche. Now since traded to the Nashville Predators, Forsberg is over a point per game in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Milwaukee Admirals and will be playing in his third WJC. All signs point to Forsberg leading the charge for the Swedes and putting up a huge tournament.
For Hockeyland Canada,