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This year’s 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship will be one to watch for Bruins fans looking to get a glimpse into the future roster on Causeway Street.
In the annual post-Christmas Day tournament, the B’s boast five prospects from three different countries that all will be competing for a gold medal.
The yearly World Junior Championship showcases the most talented hockey players, 20 years old and under, in an Olympic-like atmosphere. There are two groups, Group A and Group B. Each team will play the other four teams in their group in round-robin play and the four teams with the best record in each group will move on to the medal round. Then its single elimination with a gold and bronze medal game at the conclusion. This year’s tournament is being held in Canada, with games being played at the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The Bruins have stockpiled draft picks over the past couple seasons, with some of them making immediate impacts (read as: Brandon Carlo) and others are starting to inch closer and closer to professional hockey, meaning good things are in store for the Black and Gold.
Here are the five players representing their countries and the Bruins in this years Junior Championship:
Jeremy Lauzon — CAN
Daniel Vladar — CZE
Jakub Zboril — CZE
Ryan Lindgren — USA
Charlie McAvoy (Assistant Captain) — USA
Four of the five are defensemen while Vladar will be jousting for time in the crease as one of the three goalies for the Czech Republic. McAvoy and Lindgren lead a stacked blue line for the Americans, Zboril returns for his second tournament hoping to improve upon the Czech Republic’s fifth place finish last year and Lauzon enters the tourney in a similar spot aspiring to contribute to a Canadian team that underachieved last year who finished in sixth place.
Zach Senyshyn, the controversial pick 15th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was a notable cut from Team Canada as he’s put up impressive numbers posting 17 goals and 28 points in 25 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season.
Team USA begins play today with their opener against Latvia, then plays Slovakia on Wednesday and wraps up round-robin play with two high-powered matchups with Russia and Canada, with the latter coming on New Year’s Eve.
Happy Holidays hockey fans!