Going into the first night of the IIHF World Junior Championships last night, the thought was if anyone would pull off anything spectacular, it would be Blue Jackets first-round draft pick Kent Johnson of Canada.
Instead, another CBJ draftee stole the show. Czechia's Stanislav Svozil scored what could be the goal of the tournament on its opening night, as the third-round choice in the 2021 draft used some excellent stick work -- and celebrated with aplomb -- in scoring a first-period goal that set Twitter on fire.
Among others to be impressed were the hockey podcast Spittin' Chiclets, the IIHF itself as well as The Nasher.
The goal gave Czechia a 3-1 lead in the first period, but behind a hat trick from 2021 No. 1 overall draft pick Owen Power, Canada came back to post a 6-3 win in the opener at the U-20 tournament. Svozil was named Czechia's top player of the game, though, as the Regina Pats star defenseman played 20:53 and had an even plus-minus.
Johnson, meanwhile, was kept off the score sheet but was an integral part of perhaps the game's best line with 2021 No. 3 overall pick Mason McTavish and 2020 first-rounder Mavrik Bourque as well as a Canada power play that scored three times.
CBJ seventh-round pick Martin Rysavy also played for Czechia, skating 8:59 at wing.
In other action Sunday, the United States beat Slovakia by a 3-2 score, holding off a late Slovak charge, but it was a solid night for 2020 CBJ third-round pick Samuel Knazko. Playing in his third World Juniors, the Slovak captain skated 21:57 on the blue line and had an assist as well as an even plus-minus.
The tournament continues today with games for Czechia and Slovakia, while Canada returns to action Tuesday. For more information on the tournament and the four CBJ draft picks taking part, read our Viewers Guide to the tournament and listen to the Pipeline Podcast.