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World Junior Championship recap

...Podkolzin settles for silver as Russia loses to Canada

by Canucks staff @Canucks / Vancouver Canucks

The World Juniors was full of the usual drama that makes it a must watch for hockey fans.

In the gold medal game, Canada was able to storm back and secure a 4-3 win over Russia to capture its 18th title. It was an exciting game with countless storylines.

Canucks fans were treated to some great performances from their prospects representing their various countries.

We'll break down how the four players performed.

Vasili Podkolzin (Russia)

The Canucks first selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Vasili Podkolzin ended the event with a silver medal. It wasn't the ending result that the Russians hoped for, but they played well throughout the entire event and unfortunately couldn't stop the Canadians in the 3rd period of the gold medal game.

For Podkolzin, he made his presence known in every game and finished with the following stats:

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PIM

7

1

4

5

8

The hulking winger could've had a few more points if it weren't for some fantastic saves by the opponents netminders.

There was a lot to like about his game at the event and Canucks fans should be hopeful that he can build off this event and have a strong second half in the various Russian leagues.

Nils Hoglander (Sweden)

Nils Hoglander had the goal of the tournament as he pulled off the lacrosse goal in Sweden's opening game against Finland. This wasn't the first time he has done it this season, but it still went viral the moment it happened in the Czech Republic.

Hoglander finished the tournament as the third highest scorer with the following statline:

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PIM

7

5

6

11

27

The 40th selection from the 2019 draft missed the majority of the Semi-Finals after being ejected for an elbow in the 1st period.

But other than that, he was one of the best players in the tournament displaying his fantastic puck skills, creativity and work ethic to create offence.

Karel Plasek (Czech Republic)

Karel Plasek didn't start the event on the Czech Republic, but was added to the roster after Jakub Lauko suffered an injury. The Canucks 2019 6th round pick played well in Czech Republic's top six and saw regular time on the powerplay.

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PIM

4

0

1

1

4

Plasek was named the Player of the Game for the Czech Republic in the December 29th game against the USA.

Plasek's playmaking and vision were the standout qualities of his game as he does a great job finding his teammates with time and space.

Toni Utunen (Finland)

Finland was unable medal this year after winning the gold medal last year.

Utunen played on the bottom two pairings for Finland and played his simple game throughout the event:

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PIM

7

0

1

1

0

Like his country, Utunen played well defensively throughout the entire event. Unfortunately, they weren't able to stop Canada's offensive attack in the Semi-Finals and then lost a close game to Sweden in the bronze medal game.

Utunen will head back to Finland rejoin his Liiga team.

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