The World Juniors are over and for the Jackets were tied with two other teams for the most prospects in the tournament with five even though only four played for their nations. The five prospects who travelled to Russia were Boone Jenner and Lukas Sedlak returning for their respective nations’ teams, Mike Reilly and 2012 draft picks Oscar Dansk and Joonas Korpisalo. Oscar would be the prospect to not play in any games serving as Sweden’s third goalie and only dressing in one game. Also with the four that did play I got a little help from Corey Pronman who writes for HockeyProspectus and ESPN.
Tournament Stats 3GP 0-0-0 -2 2PIM
Due to his three game suspension from a hit in a pre-tournament game against Sweden, Boone did not making his tournament debut until Canada’s last preliminary game against Russia. In the Canadians 4-1 win over Russia, Boone wouldn’t have any points but he’d be his usual self by killing penalties including killing 20 seconds of a Russian power play all on his own. In the win, Boone would win the team’s best player award getting to wear “the cape“. Boone would win nine of the 16 faceoffs he took as well. After the game, Boone would talk to TSN and Hockeysfuture about his comeback. After a day off, Canada faced a rematch with USA. After defeating the US 2-1 on Sunday, the Canadians were shocked by a 5-1 loss to the Americans. In the loss, Boone was held off the scoresheet and had a rough night at the faceoff dot winning only seven of the 20 he took.
In the bronze medal game It’d be a back and forth affair against the host country, with the Russians winning it in overtime by a score of 6-5. In the loss Boone would have a better night at the dot winning 15 of 25 draws. With the loss to Russia it would end a 14 year streak of medaling at the World Junior Championships for Canada. After the Russia game a photo of Boone came out, I’ll admit I don’t really know what to say about it so here it is. Here’s Corey’s quick thought on Boone sent to me before the Russia game.
“Jenner was hard to evaluate because he barely played. Great first game, didn’t help the team much in the second game. He’s improved in the OHL though.”
Lukas Sedlak-Czech Republic
Tournament Stats 6GP 1-2-3 +1 10PIM
Lukas would be a returning player for the Czechs this year also serving at the team’s captain. Lukas and the Czechs opened against the defending champions from Sweden with the Swedes winning 4-1. Lukas would be the one to spoil Joel Lassinantti’s shutout bid by scoring with only six seconds remaining. Lukas would only take seven faceoffs in the game winning two of them.
Next up for the Czech Republic was a game against Finland and fellow Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo. In the 3-1 Czechs win, Lukas was held scoreless but would begin his dominance at the faceoff circle winning seven of 10. In the Czechs 4-2 win over Latvia, Lukas would help set up the game winner: with 6:14 remaining in the game Dmitri Jaskin would score to make it 3-2. in the win Lukas would dominate again winning 15 of 20 faceoffs. To close out the preliminary round, the Czechs would face Switzerland with the Czechs winning 4-3 in overtime. Lukas was again held scoreless but won 12 of 20 faceoffs.
The Czech Republic would face the USA in a quarterfinal game with Lukas being held scoreless but winning 14 of 20 faceoffs. Lukas would make his presence know but not in a good way. With the US up 3-0, 2013 top draft prospect Seth Jones would stumble but play the puck from his knees and end up near the boards where Lukas would line him up and hit him sending Jones’ head first into the dasherboard. Luckily(that sounds wrong) this only earned Lukas a minor penalty. I’m guessing this was due to frustration as the US was up 3-0 at the time of the penalty with the US going on to win 7-0. After the loss, the Czechs would face off against Switzerland with Lukas picking up an assist on the game winner winning 16 of 21 faceoffs.
With the 4-3 final score, the Czechs would end up finishing fifth in the tournament. Lukas would finish third in the tournament in faceoff winning percentage having won 66 of 98 faceoffs for 67%. You could technically say he finished second in the tournament as Finland’s Miro Aaltonen led the tournament wining 75 percent of his draws but this was based on winning only three of four (I mean theres gotta be a minimum taken right?) Lukas would impress Corey — here are his thoughts on Lukas.
“Sedlak was impressive, he was one of the bigger surprises of the tournament for me. Worked hard in both ends, showed good speed and some offensive ability. Was put on the top PP unit in front of the net.”
Tournament Stats 5GP 3-2 .858Sv% 3.36GAA
As I’ve been saying for a few weeks, Joonas would be the Fins workhorse playing all but one game and that one was a 8-0 relegation round win over Germany. Beginning in the preliminary round, Joonas would start against Latvia stopping 11 of 12 in Finland’s 5-1 win. Next up for the Little Lions were the Czechs with Finland losing 3-1. Joonas stopped 18 of 20 with his teammates allowing an empty net goal.
Switzerland would be Finland’s next opponent with the game going to a shootout after regulation and overtime. Joonas stopped 19 of 23 but would be most impressive in the shootout stopping all four attempts he faced. Last up for Finland was it’s next door neighbor Sweden and it’d be a shootout but in scoring pace not result. In the 7-4 Finland loss, Joonas would stop 35 of the 41 shots he faced, again being pulled when the Swedes would score number seven. Finland would have to play in the relegation round playing Slovakia and Germany to stay with the other big hockey countries. As I said above, Korpisalo would get a day off against Germany but would start against Slovakia and he’d stop 20 of 24 in a 11-4 Finland win. Corey would also praise Joonas despite his low save percentage.
“Korpisalo was up and down, ended the tournament with a poor save percentage but it doesn’t tell the whole tale. Had some times where he was dominant and made some really impressive stops. His athleticism for his size is quality.”
Tournament Stats 7GP 1-2-3 +4 4PIM 1GWG
Mike and the US would open the tournament a day late playing on the 27th with the US destroying Germany. Mike was held scoreless but ended up a +4 while playing with Seth Jones. The next day the US would play Russia with the host nation winning 2-1. Mike would be a -1 in the loss. The United State’s next game would be one of the premier matchups for the Prelims and any international tournament: US-Canada. Canada would win 2-1 with Mike picking up his first point of the tournament. With Canada on a shorthanded break, John Gibson would make a save and Mike would corral the puck getting it to Alex Galchenyuk who would find Jacob Trouba who’d get two shots at it with the second being the goal. The next day, the US would face Slovakia and Mike again would make his presence known showing his offensive capabilities when he’d pinch in and score on a pretty backhand to make it 4-1. Mike’s goal would end up to be the game winner in the 9-3 US romp.
In the quarterfinals the US would play the Czech Republic with the US winning 7-0 and Mike picking up no points. In the semifinals it’d be Canada-US again and it was a rare not close one as the US would win 5-1 with Mike picking up an assist on Jake McCabe’s first goal of the game. Mike would start the series when his pass to Riley Barber, who started a scrum that would get it back out to McCabe, then blasted it past Subban. In the gold medal game against Sweden, the US would win 3-1 with Mike picking up no points but still appearing solid even showing off his skating ability leading one rush up ice.
First some videos here’s third goalie Garrett Sparks’ video of the gold medal including the celebration. Here’s another video of Team USA celebrating. Team USA cleaned up the video but you can look in the comments to see what they said. Last but not least from Julie Robenhymer, here’s a pic of Mike from the US’s photo day. To close this out here are Corey’s thoughts on Mike:
“Reilly showed fantastic skating and puck moving ability, but his defense still needs a lot of work and his physical game is just ok too. His ceiling is pretty desirable.”
Here are Chris Peters’ from The United States of Hockey thoughts on Mike’s whole tournament:
“Reilly had a bit of an up-and-down tournament, but he finished in very strong fashion and had multiple opportunities to show just how dynamic he can be at times (check the video from McCabe’s goal to see how Reilly played a crucial role in making it happen).
After getting bumped off the top pairing for McCabe, Reilly had a big weight taken off of him. His skill set just wasn’t built for top pairing minutes at that tournament. He had Jones on the other side, but they didn’t really click in the first half of the tournament, most notably in the two prelim losses before getting split up.
Once Reilly got freed up and played some more manageable minutes against lines he’d match-up against better, his game really flourished. He was good on the power play and another weapon in transition. He could be the one-man breakout if he had to and he seemed to make a lot of terrific outlet passes and even had a few nifty stretch passes that helped create goals and/or chances.
The speed Reilly has is benefited by his puck skills. All he needs is one move to open up that crease and he’s gone. That’s what made him so effective on the big ice.
He struggled in his own zone at times, finding himself out of position or getting out-muscled along the walls, but he’s good with his stick and once he and Murphy teamed up, they were a tougher pair to get behind.
Like many of Team USA’s players, Reilly overcame his slow start and turned himself into a key asset. He got better as the tournament went on and as long as he gets a little stronger and his offensive game continues to progress, he could be an exciting player to watch in the future.”
Ohio was a big part of Team USA’s success with 4 players being born there and a fifth playing at Miami. Also with the team were Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki who served as an assistant coach and who Chris Peters said could get a shot coaching the national team as soon as next year’s tournament. The four were East Palestiners: JT Miller who tied for the team scoring lead with nine points, Tyler Biggs who despite being listed as from Binghamton grew up near Cincinnati and Dublin’s Sean Kuraly and Connor Murphy. Chris Peters wrote a post about the various gold medal game viewing parties across the country and the diehards that made there way to Rbar were included.
There you have it folks! The story of how the World Juniors went for the five (four, sorry Oscar congrats though) at the World Juniors. Hopefully the Jackets continue their recent success at the World Juniors having sent five prospects the last two years now (technically six because Murray played for Canada last year). Next week, we will return to our regular format that will include notes from the last two weeks in the world of CBJ prospects.