The Devils have four prospects participating in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal, a ten-team international tournament featuring the best hockey players under the age of 20 that are not already in the NHL. Representing Team Canada is Michael McLeod, who was drafted 12th overall this past June and recently signed a three-year entry level deal with the Devils, and Blake Speers, who was drafted 67th overall in the 2015 NHL draft. Speers signed his entry level contract in September and appeared in three games with the Devils to start the 2016-17 season. Joey Anderson, who was drafted 73rd overall this past June, will be representing Team USA. Yegor Rykov, a fifth round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, will skate for Team Russia. The 19-year-old defenseman won a silver medal at this tournament last year.
Heading into Day 3, Rykov ranks second in the tournament with a goal and four assists in two games played. Russia lost 5-3 to Canada on the first day before defeating Latvia 9-1 on Tuesday. Their next game is Thursday against USA.
Speers earned an assist in Canada's win over Russia on Monday and McLeod scored in Tuesday's 5-0 win over Slovakia. Their next game is Thursday against Latvia.
Anderson didn't earn any points in Monday's 6-1 win for USA against Latvia, but was a big factor in the game.
The four New Jersey prospects are not our only connections to the 2017 IIHF World Juniors. Casey Fitzgerald, the son of Devils Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald, is a defenseman for Team USA and has one assist in the tourney.
You can watch all of Team USA's games live on NHL Network as well as a few other select games. Many games are also scheduled to be replayed so check your listings and enjoy watching the future of the NHL, today!