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PROSPECTS: Saarela, Teply Headed to World Juniors

Two 2019 draft picks representing their countries at 2020 World Junior Championships

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

A pair of Blackhawks draft picks from June are headed to the Czech Republic to represent their nations at the 2020 World Junior Championships beginning on Thursday, Dec. 26. 

Fourth-round picks Antti Saarela (Finland) and Michal Teply (Czech Republic) have each been named to their respective nation's final roster. 


Saarela and the defending-champion Finns are in Group A and open up their four-game group stage slate on Thursday at 12 p.m. CT against Sweden before facing Slovakia, Kazakhstan and Switzerland the rest of the way.

In 23 games for Ilves in the Finnish Elite League this season, the winger has two goals and five assists. He was a member of Finland's U18 World Championship team last year and had a goal and two assists in five games. 

Dec. 26  12 p.m.  Sweden 
Dec. 28  8 a.m.  Slovakia 
Dec. 29  8 a.m.  Kazakhstan 
Dec. 31  12 p.m.  Switzerland 
Date  Time (CT)  Opponent 


Teply and the Czechs find themselves in a stacked Group B, opening their slate against reigning bronze medalist Russia on Thursday at 8 a.m. CT before facing Germany, the reigning silver medalist Americans and then Canada. Czech Republic finished last year's tournament in seventh place and hasn't medaled in the annual competition since 2005. 

In his first season in North America, Teply is second in scoring for the WHL's Winnipeg Ice and has over a point-per-game pace with 13 goals and 17 assists in 29 games. The winger also represented his country at the U18 World Championships last year with three assists in five games. In eight appearances for the Czech Republic U20s this season, Teply is second in scoring with three goals and four assists. 

Dec. 26  8 a.m.  Russia 
Dec. 28  8 a.m.  Germany 
Dec. 30  12 p.m.  USA 
Dec. 31  12 p.m.  Canada 
Date  Time (CT)  Opponent will have full coverage of Saarela and Teply as they compete in Czech Republic at the 2020 World Junior Championships

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