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A closer look at the rosters

by Adam Kimelman /
Mike Morreale will have all the World Juniors info from on-site, but I'll be jumping in from time to time to help out.

With the deadline for official rosters arriving about the same time Santa did, here's a look at one player to watch from each team.

Canada: Mark Visentin -- It looks like Visentin, the Niagara IceDogs goaltender taken by the Coyotes in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft, will start Sunday against Russia. It wouldn't surprise me to see Olivier Roy see get a start -- or two -- in the preliminary round. Canada coach Dave Cameron saw first-hand last year what happens when you can't count on your goaltending. Best guess is Cameron will give each guy a chance to establish himself and then ride that goalie into the medal round.

Czech Republic: Martin Frk -- The 17-year-old forward jumped to QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads this season, and the early results have been outstanding. The 6-foot, 192-pound right wing is second among first-year league players with 31 points in 34 games. A big tournament here could propel him up the ranks for the 2012 Entry Draft.

Finland: Joel Armia -- At 6-foot-3 and 191 pounds, the right wing has the size and skill -- he's got 12 goals in 30 games with Assat in the Finnish Elite League -- but not cache in North America. Could Armia become this year's Nino Niederreiter?

Germany: Philipp Grubauer -- It seems like every year, there's a team that emerges seemingly from nowhere led by a red-hot goalie. Two years ago it was Jaroslav Janus lifting Slovakia, last year it was Benjamin Conz taking Switzerland to the bronze-medal game. Could Grubauer and Germany do it this year? Grubauer, a fourth-round pick by the Capitals last June, certainly has the talent -- he backstopped Windsor to a Memorial Cup title last year.

Norway: Sondre Olden -- A 6-foot-3, 172-pound left wing, Olden is the only NHL-affiliated player on the team's roster, and he'll be relied upon in a big way. He jumped up a level by going to Modo in Sweden, and has played mostly with their junior team. At last year's Division I WJC, he had 3 goals in five games.

Russia: Nikita Zaytsev -- The stay-at-home defenseman went unselected last year, so he'll be looking to prove himself in front of NHL scouts. He'll also likely be counted on to provide leadership for a team that completely fell apart during last year's tournament.

Switzerland: Nino Niederreiter -- The big forward arrived in Saskatoon mostly unknown and left as a guaranteed first-round pick who went fifth at the 2010 Entry Draft. This year, he's Switzerland's captain and top-line offensive force. He'll see every team's top checking line and defense pair, so he won't be sneaking up on anyone. Can he have the same high level of performance when he's in the spotlight?

Slovakia: Martin Marincin -- The big (6-5, 196) defenseman has dazzled in his first North American season with the WHL's Prince George Cougars, he leads all league defenseman with 35 points in 33 games. With two new goalies as well as four of their top five leading scorers from last year's tournament gone, Marincin will be counted on at both ends of the ice.

Sweden: Carl Klingberg -- At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Klingberg has the size of a power forward, but can he play that way in North America? Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg would love to see Klingberg adopt some of countrymate Gabriel Landeskog's tendencies. Landeskog plays a heavy forechecking game with a nose for the net, but he can't be the only one if Sweden wants to have success. Klingberg will have to play the same way.

U.S.: John Ramage -- The Flames prospect is the only returning defenseman, and also was named team captain. He won't put up big offensive numbers -- he had 3 assists, including one on John Carlson's gold medal-winning goal -- but coach Keith Allain will rely on him to shut down the elite offensive players in the tournament.
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