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2012 World Junior A Challenge Players to Watch
WU17.06.12
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December 29, 2012
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Who will be looked upon in the dying minutes of a tie game? Who will be counted upon to provide leadership on the long road to gold? Who will be go-to when the going gets tough?

From set-up men to shutdown defencemen, goal scorers to goaltenders, International Scouting Services has selected three players from each of the 10 competing teams that it believes are World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Players to Watch.

Who made the list?

ATLANTIC

DUNCAN MACINTYRE

Two-way defenceman … calm and poised defender … effective in all three zones … mobile skater … very good balance … has a competitive edge … hard to play against … makes crisp and accurate passes … confident

MASON MCDONALD

Imposing figure in goal … gives very little to the shooter … big and quick …solid fundamentals … plays a calm and composed game … outstanding reflexes and balance … makes good reads … outstanding rebound control

NATHAN NOEL

Very competitive … tremendous vision … very good playmaking skills … outstanding patience with the puck … quick feet … excellent acceleration … very confident … has a presence on the ice … very good offensive skills

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FINLAND

KAAPO KÄHKÖNEN

Butterfly goaltender … calm and composed … exudes confidence … tremendous rebound control … good mobility … very smooth from post to post … quick legs … tracks the puck very well … challenges the shooter

KASPERI KAPANEN

Fantastic skater … drives outside lanes extremely well … plays with passion … terrific skill set … quick hands … tremendous agility … willing to do the little things … intense two-way centre … elite-level anticipation

JOEL KIVIRANTA

Plays physical … great speed, quickness and acceleration … battles hard … plays a North American game … plays in all situations … very strong on his feet … not afraid to go to the dirty areas … knows how to win

ONTARIO

AARON EKBLAD

Total package on the blue-line … understands the game better than most … intelligent in all zones … powerful stride … tremendous poise … outstanding strength … extremely high hockey IQ … makes crisp passes

ROBBY FABBRI

Electric quickness … dynamic offensive ability … handles the puck very well at high speed … competes bigger than his size … motor is always running … exceptional quickness … spark plug up front … good shot

CONNOR MCDAVID

Makes players around him better … magnificent creativity with the puck … unbelievable skill level … quick feet … top-notch agility … slick hands … dangerous shot … veteran-like confidence … tremendous speed

PACIFIC

JOE HICKETTS

Offensive defenceman … smooth skater … great mobility and quickness … very dangerous on the transition … very good playmaking instincts … very good vision … excellent anticipation … doesn’t get intimidated

BRAYDEN POINT

Exceptional talent … work ethic second to none … very good playmaker … strong on face-offs … finds open areas … outstanding down low … makes exceptional passes in traffic … doesn’t shy away from physical play

JAKE VIRTANEN

Power Forward … powerful stride … dominant puck possession player … good physical play … gets the puck to the net effectively … mature beyond his years … tremendous leadership qualities … uses teammates well

QUEBEC

DANIEL AUDETTE

Dynamic offensive player … finesse player … very competitive … threat to score whenever he is on the ice … tricky stick … pro-level shot … quick release … tremendous instincts … uses speed to take advantage

OLIVIER LEBLANC

Mobile defenceman … loves to compete … excellent skating skills … above-average offence … very poised … plays with an edge … terrific shot … great agility and quickness … very aggressive on the puck carrier

ALEXIS PÉPIN

Power forward … can change a game on his own … uses size to his advantage … creates space for teammates … good puck skills … likes to play physical … very hard to knock off the puck … very strong lower body

RUSSIA

EDUARD NASYBULLIN

Two-way defenceman … very composed … good offensive instincts … plays in all situations … timely and effective puck distributor … anticipates well … reads the play on both sides of the puck … very good passer

IVAN NIKOLISHIN

Quick and elusive … can stickhandle out of any situation … elite vision … tremendous puck distribution skills … plays a finesse game … uses speed to get into open space … exciting offensive talent … uses teammates well

ILYA ZINOVIEV

Good puck control … smart player … offensive-minded forward … tremendous vision … high hockey IQ … uses edges well to spin off pressure … excellent work ethic … provides leadership … dangerous on penalty kill

SLOVAKIA

ERIK CERNAK

Tremendous upside … intelligent and poised … tremendous size … sees the ice extremely well … heavy shot … good collection of physical tools … high hockey IQ … uses his reach very well … strong and mobile skater

MARCO HALAMA

Intelligent two-way player … aggressive in puck pursuits … competes hard … very good at finding open ice … opportunistic shooter … excellent hand-eye coordination … effective on the penalty kill … very smart player

ADRIAN HOLESINSKY

Plays a productive game … intelligent … very aware offensively … gritty and energetic … uses speed to open lanes for teammates … work ethic never in question … makes good passes off the rush … finds open space

SWEDEN

SEBASTIAN AHO

Offensive defenceman … fluid skater … tremendous mobility … great vision … excellent puck distribution skills … hard, accurate shot … reads the play well … above average hockey sense … great hand-eye coordination

GUSTAF FRANZEN

Competitive two-way forward … good size … skates very well … takes advantage of time and space well … good anticipation … quick hands … tremendous vision … strong smooth strides … good balance … hard shot

ANTON KARLSSON

Skilled power forward … soft hands … goal scorer … quick stick … nose for the net … good puck control … very good puck protection … competes at a high level … uses size well in battles … dangerous on the penalty kill

UNITED STATES

ANDERS BJORK

Complete player … offensive-minded forward … tremendous hockey sense … good puck control … soft hands … plays well in all situations … good team player … works hard … plays with intensity … uses teammates well

JACK GLOVER

VNHL-sized body … high-end skating skills … equally strong at both ends of the rink … great peripheral vision … heavy shot … capable of strong physical play … potential power play quarterback … tremendous upside

SONNY MILANO

Fun to watch … tremendous offensive skills … dangerous on the power play … pure goal scorer … plays with energy … can make plays at top speed … creates offence … makes smart decisions … can play centre or wing

WEST

ROURKE CHARTIER

Highly skilled … loves to have the puck on his stick … very good first few steps … silky smooth with the puck … good in tight … very focused … finesse player … very elusive … creates opportunities for teammates

RYAN PILON

Very composed … good two-way defenceman … great vision … makes things look easy … makes smart decisions … plays in all situations … plays with poise and confidence … very high panic threshold

JORDAN THOMSON

Offensive defenceman … smooth skater … excellent vision … supremely-skilled passer … can create offence out of nothing … enhanced recovery ability … moves incredibly well … confident with the puck … mature 


For more information:

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Morgan Bell
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
mbell@hockeycanada.ca

   
 

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