2016 players to watch
Eyes on the future in New Brunswick
Players to watch at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
ISS Hockey
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November 2, 2018
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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 road to a gold medal? Who will make the key pass? Score the big goal? Make the huge save?

International Scouting Services has selected three players from each of the eight teams competing in Saint John and Quispamsis that it believes are players to watch at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Who made the list?

CANADA BLACK

QUINTON BYFIELD
dynamic offensive talent … great combination of size, strength and skill … offence-first mentality … very creative with the puck … playmaker who wants the puck … soft hands and quick stick

JAMIE DRYSDALE
footwork and skating are high-end … very good puck skills … can control a game from the point … can skate the puck out of trouble … calm under pressure … does everything with a purpose

JOSH LAWRENCE
creative playmaking centre … tremendous change of direction … plays with determination and passion … puck follows him around the ice … always a threat to score … quick, accurate wrist shot

CANADA RED

KAIDEN GUHLE
tremendous offensive instincts … elite skater with game-changing speed … uses quickness to gain advantages offensively and defensively … carries the puck with confidence

EVAN VIERLING
high-impact offensive forward … ability to dominate games … excellent quickness and agility … hard to handle in open ice … corrals bad passes with ease … makes smart decisions quickly

WILLIAM VILLENEUVE
puck-moving defenceman … makes a good first pass … not afraid to join the rush … makes a crisp outlet pass … quick feet for his size … knows how to get in position to shut down the rush

CANADA WHITE

CONNOR MCCLENNON
dangerous offensive forward … ability to create as goal-scorer and playmaker … extraordinary puck skills … exceptional on the PP … rarely misses a scoring chance … no panic with the puck

JAKE NEIGHBOURS
hard to play against … uses size to create space … strong along the wall … likes to drive to the net … gets hard, accurate shot off quickly … strong vision in the offensive zone … smart player

COLE PERFETTI
two-way forward … can create on the rush or cycle … makes everyone around him better … elusive speed … quick to jump into holes for loose pucks … always in the right spot at the right time

CZECH REPUBLIC

ONDREJ BALAZ
puck-moving defenceman … poised with the puck … excellent mobility … knows when to jump into the rush … doesn’t force the play … plays a smart game … good gap control … good on the PP

MAREK BLAHA
mobile two-way defenceman … tremendous skater … sees the ice well … creates opportunities for teammates … smart and passionate … uses speed to force turnovers … high panic point

JAN CIKHART
power forward … high compete level … likes to play physical … willing to play in the corners … goes up and down wing with a purpose … uses reach to protect the puck … hard shot

FINLAND

RONI HIRVONEN
very good offensive instincts … good skater with quickness and speed … excellent vision … high hockey IQ … dangerous on the PP … plays with energy … noticeable every shift

RUBEN RAFKIN
two-way mobile defenceman … good offensive instincts … likes to activate off the blue-line and join the rush ... makes difficult passes look easy … defensively responsible … uses his stick well

AATU RÄTY
slick offensive playmaker … can take control with a single shift … soft hands … excellent puck skills … can stick-handle through tight spaces … sees the ice well … reaches top speed quickly

RUSSIA

YAROSLAV ASKAROV
good balance in stand-up and butterfly … solid rebound control … quick legs … economizes his movements … very good concentration … extremely mobile … tremendous reflexes

MARAT KHUSNUTDINOV
first steps are way above average … has separation speed … makes plays at full speed … always has his head up … dangerous with the puck … quick release … finds open ice and quiet spots

VASILI PONOMARYOV
a threat whenever he has the puck … goal-scorer with lightning-quick release … good skater with quickness and speed … competes hard in all three zones … quality stick skills

SWEDEN

ALEXANDER HOLTZ
great combination of size and skill … is a threat as a goal-scorer and playmaker … uses linemates well to create opportunities … very good one-timer … dangerous with time and space

LUCAS RAYMOND
fast, smart and skilled … ability to be a difference maker in every game … one of the most electric players in his age group … very slick puck skills … dangerous in a 1-on-1 situation

JESPER WALLSTEDT
takes up a lot of the net … communicates well with his defencemen … plays with confidence … technique is fundamentally sound … tracks the puck well through traffic … covers the angles

UNITED STATES

TYLER KLEVEN
two-way defenceman … huge frame and physical presence … smooth stride with good mobility ... handles the puck with confidence … good hockey IQ … good decisions in all three zones

TY SMILIANIC
play-making centre … explosive first steps … beats you with speed or quick cuts … likes to challenge the opposition 1-on-1 ... wins the majority of races to pucks … crafty with the puck

LUKE TUCH
highly-skilled power forward … has tools to be an impact player … offensively creative … great instincts for the net … plays with an edge … great net-front presence … works hard down low

For more information:

Vacant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557 

 

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4567 / 905-906-5327 (mobile)
ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

 

Katie Macleod
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427 / 403-612-2893 (mobile)
kmacleod@hockeycanada.ca

 

Videos
Photos
2018 U17: SWE 4 – CAN-R 3 SO (Bronze Medal)
Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout to give Sweden bronze.
2018 U17: RUS 2 – FIN 1 (Gold Medal)
Gushchin and Kokhanin scored to give the Russians a fourth U17 gold.
2018 4NC: USA 5 – CAN 2 (Gold Medal)
Fortino and Bourbonnais scored, but Canada finished with silver.
2018 U17: RUS 6 – SWE 4 (Semifinal)
Ponomaryov had 2G 2A to help the Russians reach the gold medal game.
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