The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship begins today, and the future already looks bright for the LA Kings.
The Kings will have an NHL-best nine prospects playing in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Former First Round picks Tobias Bjornfot, Rasmus Kupari and Alex Turcotte are among the nine Kings prospects who have been selected to represent their respective countries as the top under-20 players in the world compete in the Czech Republic.
"The entire organization is excited for all our prospects who will be representing their country in this year's World Juniors," General Manager Rob Blake said. "It's an honor to compete in this tournament and that's a credit to the hard work they've all put in. We look forward to watching them take another step in their development."
Kupari, who won Gold with Finland last year, was named assistant captain and is projected to center the top line.
Kupari, a 19-year-old native of Kotka, Finland, was selected in the first-round (20th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft and is playing in his first professional season in North America with Ontario. He has posted eight points (6-2=8) and nine penalty minutes in 27 games this season with the Reign.
Video: Get to know a little more about Rasmus Kupari
Kim Nousiainen, the Kings fourth-round selection (119th overall) in 2019, will join Kupari on Team Finland. The 19-year-old defenseman has seven points (2-5=7) while playing for KalPa in the SM-Liiga.
Turcotte (5th overall in 2019) and Arthur Kaliyev (33rd overall in 2019) are set to represent Team USA.
Turcotte has picked up 15 points (6-9=15) in 16 games as a freshman for Wisconsin. The 18-year-old center is projected to skate with Kaliyev on his wing.
Video: Getting to know a little more about Alex Turcotte
Kaliyev has 62 points (31-31=62) in 33 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL. The 18-year-old forward leads the league in goals and points and is tied for 10th in assists.
Akil Thomas (51st overall in the 2018) and Aidan Dudas (113th overall in 2018) both made the final roster for Team Canada.
Thomas has 44 points (15-29=44) in 27 games with the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. He's tied for the team lead in points and leads the IceDogs in assists.
Video: Get to know a little more about Akil Thomas
The 19-year-old center was named captain of the IceDogs prior to the start of the season.
Dudas has 30 points (11-19=30) in 23 games with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. The 19-year-old captain of the Attack missed the past few weeks dealing with an upper-body injury.
Bjornfot (22nd overall in 2019) and Samuel Fagemo (50th overall in 2019) are both set to suit up for Team Sweden.
Video: Getting to know a little more about Tobias Bjornfot
The 18-year-old Bjornfot made his NHL debut with the Kings earlier this season and has nine points (2-7=9) in 23 games with the Ontario Reign.
Fagemo had 11 points (6-5=11) in 20 games with Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League. The 19-year-old forward played for Sweden at the 2019 World Junior Championship, posting one point (0-1=1) in five games.
Lukas Parik (87th overall in 2019) has a 9-2-2 record in 13 games with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. The 18-year-old goaltender has posted a 2.59 GAA and .914 save percentage in his first year with the Chiefs.