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World Juniors

10 things learned at World Juniors

Troy Terry is shootout ace; Boston University stars sparkle; Wild prospects excel

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship provided plenty of spirited hockey, a gold medal game for the ages and a collection of top prospects hoping to make their mark in the NHL someday.

It concluded with the United States winning its fourth championship after a 5-4 shootout win against Canada in the gold medal game at Bell Centre on Thursday.

The tournament's most valuable player was Canada defenseman Thomas Chabot.

The All-Star Team included goaltender Ilya Samsonov of Russia, defensemen Chabot and Charlie McAvoy of the United States and forwards Kirill Kaprizov of Russia, Alexander Nylander of Sweden and Clayton Keller of the United States.

Here are 10 other things learned at the 2017 WJC:

 

Shootout sniper

U.S. right wing Troy Terry (Anaheim Ducks) experienced the greatest moment of his young hockey career not once, but twice.

Terry went 3-for-3 in a seven-round shootout to lead the U.S. to a 4-3 semifinal win against Russia on Wednesday. His encore performance came Thursday, when he scored the only shootout goal in a 5-4 win against Canada in the gold medal game.

Terry went five-hole on all four shootout goals.

Video: Crew talks Terry's shootout performance in 2017 WJC

 

You got to have Hart

Canada goaltender Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) was perfect in relief when he made 28 saves in a 5-2 win against Sweden in the semifinal round on Wednesday. Hart entered the game 8:05 into the first period after Connor Ingram (Tampa Bay Lightning) allowed two goals on three shots.

Hart, who was the backup goalie in the previous two games, also started against the United States in the gold medal game and finished with 31 saves.

 

Finland avoids relegation

Finland, the defending champion, won a best-of-3 relegation round series against Latvia to avoid demotion into the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1 Group A. However, the ninth-place finish was the worst for Finland in the 41-year history of the tournament.

 

Thriving Terriers

A record seven players from Boston University participated for their countries at the 2017 WJC.

Never before in the 41-year history of the tournament has a North American university or junior team had seven players at the same WJC.

There were six players representing the United States: Forwards Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders), Patrick Harper (Nashville Predators), Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes) and Jordan Greenway (Minnesota Wild), defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) and goalie Jake Oettinger (2017 draft eligible). Defenseman Dante Fabbro (Nashville Predators) played for Canada.

 

Hischier: A 2017 draft eligible hit

Switzerland center Nico Hischier (6-foot-1, 176 pounds), an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, opened a lot of eyes in the tournament. The leading scorer for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had seven points (four goals, three assists) in five games.

 
Wild about their prospects

The Minnesota Wild had four productive players competing for their respective countries at the tournament.

Three served as captain: Center Luke Kunin of the United States, center Joel Eriksson Ek of Sweden, and right wing Kirill Kaprizov of Russia. Greenway provided a lot of grit and tenacity in the hard areas of the ice for the U.S.

Kaprizov led all scorers with nine goals and finished with 12 points. Eriksson Ek had nine points (six goals, three assists). Greenway had eight points (three goals, five assists) and Kunin four points (two goals, two assists) for the gold medal winner.

 

A bear to handle

Russia won a bronze medal for the third time in the past five tournaments and extended its streak of consecutive medals at the WJC, placing among the top three for the seventh straight time.

Russia is the only country to medal in the past seven tournaments.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov (Washington Capitals), who made 38 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against Sweden in the bronze medal game on Thursday, finished 3-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average, two shutouts and a .927 save percentage.

Video: WJC Bronze Medal Game Highlights: RUS 2, SWE 1

 

Dahlin: The new Swedish darling

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, 16, certainly didn't look like the youngest player ever to lace on the skates for Sweden's national junior team.

Dahlin (6-1, 166), projected to go among the top three selections in the 2018 NHL Draft, had one goal, one assist and seven shots on goal in seven games. He averaged just over 10 minutes of ice time.

 

Parsons doesn't panic

The decision by U.S. coach Bob Motzko to start goaltender Tyler Parsons (Calgary Flames) in all three games of the playoff round proved golden.

Motzko opted to change his preliminary-round philosophy of alternating starts between Parsons and Joseph Woll (Toronto Maple Leafs). Parsons made 19 saves in a 3-2 win against Switzerland in the quarterfinal round before winning back-to-back shootouts -- 4-3 against Russia in the semifinal on Wednesday and 5-4 against Canada in the gold medal game on Thursday. He made 33 saves and stopped four of seven shots in the shootout against Russia, then made 46 saves and stopped all five shootout tries against Canada.

 

Canada's Chabot wins MVP

Canada defenseman Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators) was named Most Valuable Player of the 2017 WJC, as well as the tournament's top defensemen.

Chabot led all defensemen in the tournament with 10 points (four goals, six assists) and averaged 26:14 of ice time. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound left-hander played 43:53 in the 80-minute gold medal game, which included a 20-minute overtime.

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