Saturday, December 28, 2013

Players You Won't Be Seeing At 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships

While players such as Mathew Dumba, Elias Lindholm and Mikhail Grigorenko have been loaned from their NHL clubs to represent their countries at the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships in Sweden, you can't help but notice who's not there. There's those special players that are already shining in the NHL at 18 or 19-years-old, those headscratchers that probably should be at the tournament instead of riding pine or sitting in the press box, and then there's Zemgus Girgensons who won't be there because Latvia got relegated. Regardless of how you look at it, the World Juniors could have been absolutely stacked this year.

With that said, let's take a look at the guys you won't be seeing at the World Juniors because they're sticking with their NHL teams:

Aleksander Barkov - Florida Panthers

Through 38 games played the 18-year-old has 6 goals and 10 assists which is pretty good considering he's the youngest player in the league. Averaging 16:37 TOI/game, Barkov has been on the ice for the most 5-on-5 goals for among Panthers forwards and also gets plenty of powerplay time. He's an important player for Florida and there's no way they'd want him to take a step back in his development. 

Nathan MacKinnon - Colorado Avalanche

With 8 goals and 13 assists in 37 games, MacKinnon sits 2nd in rookie scoring and should be a candidate for the Calder at the end of the year if he continues to keep his scoring pace. Averaging just over 16 minutes/game and over 2 minutes of powerplay time/game, MacKinnon has been a solid player for the Avalanche at the ripe age of 18-years-old. He and Drouin would have been a lot of fun to watch at these World Juniors.

Valeri Nichushkin - Dallas Stars

Nichushkin has benefited from playing on the Stars top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and while he started slow he's scored 11 points in his last 12 games. Not only does Nichushkin have 7 goals and 12 assists in 36 games, but he's leading his team in +/- with a +14 rating and has the best Corsi For % among Dallas forwards. While he does get some powerplay time, Nichushkin's been a beast at even strength scoring with 17 of his 19 points at even strength. 

Sean Monahan - Calgary Flames

Monahan is one of the Flames bright spots this season with 10 goals and 6 assists through 31 games played and when you're one of leading goal scorers on your team I don't think they're going to let you go pad your stats in Europe for two weeks. Averaging 15:14 TOI/game, Monahan also sees plenty of powerplay time and gets to play most nights with the Flames top scorer, Jiri Hudler. He would have been a big boost for Team Canada this year. 

Seth Jones - Nashville Predators

The young American has been logging big minutes for the Nashville Predators and has played the most among all rookies with 804:10 TOI so far this season. Jones plays in all situations and over half of his 11 points have come with the man advantage. So far Jones has played over 25 minutes/game eleven times and has even hit the 30-minute mark twice. It's a heavy load for a 19-year-old, but Jones is handling it well for the 16-18-4 Preds. 

Olli Maatta - Pittsburgh Penguins

The 19-year-old Finn would be a huge boost for his country in Malmo right now, but the Pittsburgh Penguins need him more. With so many injuries to the Penguins blueline including their top 4 d-men, Maatta's been thrust into playing 20+ minutes/game lately and has held his own. Through 40 games Maatta has 3 goals and 9 assists while playing in all game situations. 

Tom Wilson - Washington Capitals

We were surprised the Caps kept Wilson up after the 9-game threshold and were still surprised to see him stay with the team over the holidays instead of go to the World Juniors. Wilson plays just 7 minutes/game and has 1 goal and 3 assists in 38 games playing on Washington's 4th line. He's got 89 hits and 80 PIMs to fit the role he's in and let's be honest, if he was in the World Juniors he probably would get suspended for hitting too hard.

Morgan Rielly - Toronto Maple Leafs

Rielly was a big question mark to go to the World Juniors having been sitting in the Maple Leafs pressbox in early December as a healthy scratch, but he stayed with Toronto and has actually been playing. In 31 games played, Rielly has 1 goal and 10 assists while playing 18 minutes/game. He's got 5 powerplay points on the season and has shown he can lead a rush with his speed and offensive awareness. He would have had fun on the big ice at the World Juniors that's for sure.

Jacob Trouba - Winnipeg Jets

Trouba is lucky to be playing hockey after an ugly injury 8 games into the season that thankfully was only a neck sprain. The 19-year-old Yank has been solid on the Jets blueline in the 23 games he's appeared in and he's scored 9 points in that span. Perhaps the biggest strength of Trouba is he can play in every situation and actually gets 3 minutes/game of shorthanded ice time. He and Jones would have been a dominant shutdown pairing these World Juniors.

Alex Galchenyuk - Montreal Canadiens

Galchenyuk is one of the Habs offensive weapons and they weren't about to let him go over to Sweden for a little confidence boost. He sits 3rd in Montreal scoring with 10 goals and 12 assists despite only playing around 15 minutes/game. Gally gets plenty of powerplay time with the Habs and gets plenty of offensive opportunities playing with Tomas Plekanec on a consistent basis. He probably would have led the World Juniors in scoring had he gone and the Americans will definitely miss him up the middle.

Hampus Lindholm - Anaheim Ducks

Lindholm has some mighty impressive defensive stats this season for the Ducks and that alone should earn him some Calder consideration come the end of the season. In 36 games played, Lindholm is a league leading +22 and only one skater has been on for more 5-on-5 goals for than him - Duncan Keith. Playing 19:18/game and primarily at even strength, Lindholm has 3 goals and 10 assists for 3rd in defensive rookie scoring. He wasn't going anywhere with the Ducks sitting 1st in the league. 


  1. The States would have been stacked

  2. umm canada would have been stacked

  3. Everybody would have been stacked! Except for the Czechs, but no one cares about them.



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