Several top NHL Draft prospects have historically made their mark at the IIHF World Junior Championship each year and, in effect, boosted their draft stock.
"When a 17- or 18-year-old is able to play in the World Juniors, it is a considered a positive factor which does carry weight in the player's overall evaluation even if he doesn't get a lot of ice time," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr told NHL.com. "If the player contributes while playing at this level, then it lends favorably toward his NHL projection. In the final rankings, it sometimes aids in determining the ranking order."
Just last year, two-way center Aleksander Barkov and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had impressive showings despite a seventh-place finish for Finland. Center Elias Lindholm had two goals and four points for silver medal-winning Sweden. Jonathan Drouin not only earned a roster spot for fourth-place Canada while playing in the shadow of fellow prospect Nathan MacKinnon, but was promoted to the country's top line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Scheifele at one point.