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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
(Page 4 of 7)
2013 World Junior Championship

Starman: Four keys for American team at WJC

Thursday, 12.27.2012 / 7:32 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Dave Starman - Special to NHL.com

NHL Network analyst Dave Starman has covered each of the past four World Junior Championship tournaments. He also spends a tremendous amount of time broadcasting and scouting college and junior hockey games across North America. As a result, he is intimately familiar with many of the players who are competing for gold during the next two weeks in Ufa, Russia. Throughout the WJC, Starman will weigh in with his thoughts and analysis, focusing his attention heavily on the fate of the Americans. These are his thoughts on the United States before their tournament begins.

The World Junior Championship is full of great hockey and tremendous drama.

Living full-time in the world of amateur hockey (college/junior), I see most of Team USA's guys on a regular basis, and they have a good team.  It isn't as star-studded as some recent entries, but the best team doesn't always win this thing.

Short tourneys are based on four things to watch. 

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Nugent-Hopkins dominates as Canada routs Germany

Wednesday, 12.26.2012 / 10:07 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wore a cape to his postgame interviews, which was fitting, because he was Canada's Superman during its tournament-opening win Wednesday.

Nugent-Hopkins made the most of his World Junior Championship debut, scoring a goal and adding four assists as Canada opened play at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 9-3 rout of Germany in Group B play at Ufa Arena.

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Russia announces roster for 2013 World Juniors

Monday, 12.24.2012 / 1:28 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

First-round NHL Draft picks Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko will highlight a star-studded lineup for the Russian National Junior Team on home soil at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa beginning Wednesday.

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation announced its official 23-man roster for the 10-team tournament on Monday.

The duo played a part in helping Russia win the silver medal at the 2012 WJC in Calgary, Alberta. The Big Red Machine will be host of the WJC for the first time since 2001, and Yakupov and Grigorenko are hoping to recapture gold. The Russians last earned the championship at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo, N.Y.

The 2013 WJC runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ufa, and Russia will compete in Group B with Canada, Slovakia, the United States and Germany. It will open the tournament Dec. 26 against Slovakia (NHLN-US).

Yakupov, taken by the Edmonton Oilers with the first pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, had no goals but tallied nine assists in seven games at last year's tournament. Grigorenko, taken No. 12 by the Buffalo Sabres, chipped in with two goals and three assists in six games, but was less than 100 percent for most of the tournament with an ankle injury.

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Defending champion Sweden sets WJC roster

Sunday, 12.23.2012 / 3:00 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Six players who were part of last year's championship team will help Sweden try to become the first nation since 2009 to repeat as World Junior Championship gold medalists.

Sweden announced its 23-man team for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be led by captain and top Washington Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound center -- taken by the Capitals with the 11th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft -- has 19 points in 22 games with Leksand in Hockey Allsvenskan. He had one assist in six games at last year's tournament.

"Sweden does have a team that can win again," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "That team has a lot of talent and skill."

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Finland announces 23-man roster for 2013 WJC

Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 1:45 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Just hours after Finland ended its exhibition Saturday, coach Harri Rindell and the Finnish Hockey Federation announced the 23 players it will take to Ufa, Russia, for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Among the players going to Russia is Alexander Barkov, the top 2013 NHL Draft candidate who had a goal and two assists in the third period of Finland's 5-1 defeat of the United States in the team's final pre-tournament exhibition game.

He has 14 goals and 28 points in 32 games with Tappara in SM-liiga, the top Finnish professional league, and is NHL Central Scouting's top-rated Finnish skater in its preliminary rankings of skaters for this year's draft.

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Barkov looks to shine for Finland at World Juniors

Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 1:00 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The pressure of being the youngest Finnish forward to represent his country at the 2012 World Junior Championship never seemed to get the best of forward Aleksander "Sasha" Barkov.

In fact, Barkov, who was one of only four 1995-born players participating at the 2012 WJC, became the youngest Finnish player to score a goal at the Under-20 tournament. At 16 years and four months, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound center made history when he connected for the decisive goal in an 8-5 victory against Slovakia in the tournament's quarterfinal round.

"It was a great experience and it was nice to score a goal against Slovakia," Barkov told NHL.com. "The best hockey experience ever was that tournament."

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Sweden, Finland ahead of pack in WJC Group A

Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It took Sweden 31 years to win its second World Junior Championship gold medal. Will the third take a little less time?

Sweden enters the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship as the defending champion after its 1-0 overtime defeat of Russia in last year's gold-medal game. Six players return from that team, and among the missing are both goaltenders; a pair of top defensemen; and offensive star Mika Zibanejad, who scored the golden goal in Alberta.

Sweden does have a few important players returning, among them captain Filip Forsberg, a top prospect for the Washington Capitals.

"Sweden does have a team that can win again," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "That team has a lot of talent and skill."

They're not the only team in Group A that fits that description.

Finland features a lineup that includes a pair of potential 2013 NHL Draft first-round picks: Center Alexander Barkov likely will go in the top five in June, and could challenge for No. 1, and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is tough and talented at both ends of the ice.

The Czech Republic could be a dark-horse medal contender, while Switzerland and Latvia will do their best to avoid relegation-round play.

Preliminary-round games start Dec. 26, with all Group A games played in the 3,900-seat Ufa Sports Palace.

Here's a breakdown of the five teams competing in Group A. The top-seeded team from the group will earn a bye into the semifinals of the medal round. The second- and third-place teams play cross-over quarterfinal contests with Group B.

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Russia favored over U.S., Canada in WJC Group B

Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 9:00 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

After spoiling Canadian hockey fans with five straight gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, the Canadian National Junior Team hasn't produced a memorable finish for its rabid followers the past three years.

First there was a 6-5 overtime loss to the United States in the 2010 gold-medal match in Saskatchewan, followed by an inexcusable meltdown in the third period against the Russians in the 2011 gold-medal game in Buffalo when Canada yielded five unanswered goals on 10 shots in a 5-3 defeat.

Last year marked the first time in 11 years Canada would not play for the gold medal at the 10-team competition after dropping a 6-5 semifinal decision to Russia in Calgary. Russia would lose to Sweden in overtime, 1-0, in the gold-medal game, while Canada took home the bronze with a 4-0 win over Finland.

One of the most memorable quotes following Russia's victory over Canada was provided by captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov.

"We just won, and that question [of who is the better team] has become clear, so we're stronger than Canada," Kuznetsov said. "We're happy. I'm glad that Canada will not win gold this year."

There's no question Canada would enjoy ending the heartache on Russian soil with this year's tournament held in Ufa.

Canada will join Russia, the United States, Slovakia and Germany in Group B at the 2013 WJC. Preliminary-round games start Wednesday at 7,950-seat Ufa Arena.

Here's a breakdown of the five teams competing in Group B. The top-seeded team from the group will earn a bye into the semifinals of the medal round. The second- and third-place teams play cross-over quarterfinal contests with Group A.

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Taylor pleased with last workouts before Europe trip

Tuesday, 12.18.2012 / 4:02 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Tim Taylor knows a thing or two about the difficult task of putting together a roster for an international event.

In addition to serving as the current USA Hockey director of player personnel for the National Junior Team that will compete at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month, Taylor has a long history as a veteran of two Olympic Winter Games and as assistant general manager and assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men's Team in Sarajevo.

Taylor took some time to speak with NHL.com following the three-day U.S. selection camp here at the New York Rangers' training facility. The team will now fly to Helsinki, Finland, to continue camp at the Tikkurila Valtti Arena, where exhibition matchups against Sweden and Finland are scheduled.

"The hardest challenge for us [evaluators] is the fact our players are scattered … some are in college, some play major junior and some are with the [National Team Development Program] in Ann Arbor," Taylor said. "So it's hard to sort through that. Secondly, we have a limited number of days in December where we can sort through it.

"We're actually jealous of Canada's system where they can get their kids together in early December and have a five-day camp with two full teams and narrow it down from there. We only have three days here, and have a limited number of players before making the final cuts [on Dec. 22 in Finland]."

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Canadian Jr. team features strong group of Quebecers

Monday, 12.17.2012 / 4:20 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The state of hockey in Quebec has been criticized in recent years, so much so that a summit was organized last year to discuss what should be done to improve on the number of elite players the province produces every year.

However, the necessary changes were already put into effect long before that summit was held in August, 2011, and they have begun to bear fruit.

When Hockey Canada announced its 23-man roster for the upcoming 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, there were five players who were born and trained in Quebec on the list. It was the highest number of Quebec-born players to be named to the team since the delegation of six Quebecers that played for Canada in 2000.

"Everything we do at Hockey Quebec is to graduate as many players as possible to Hockey Canada," said Hockey Quebec's director of player development, Paul Ménard. "So we're happy, but it would be nice to have more. There's never enough, and we can't feel satisfied."

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory