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World Championship

Worlds: Finland's Laine climbing in record book

Top 2016 NHL Draft prospect closing on 18-and-under tournament scoring record

by @NHL

Finland forward Patrik Laine, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft, is climbing the record book at the IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Laine, 18, has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in six games, and is third among players 18-and-under in the history of the tournament. Robert Reichel of Czechoslovakia had 11 points in 1990.

Canada's Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) has the record with 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in nine games at the 2006 World Championship.

"It's been a good tournament so far, higher than my expectations before the tournament," Laine told "It's now nice to play against Canada and hope we're going to win."

Laine and Finland will close the preliminary round against Canada at Yubileiny Arena on Tuesday (1:15 p.m. ET; TSN, RDS).

Canada leads Group B with 18 points on six regulation wins. Finland also has 18 points and six regulation wins but Canada holds the tiebreaker with a better goal differential, outscoring its opposition 34-4; Finland has outscored its opponents 25-6.

Video: Get to know top NHL Draft prospect Patrik Laine

Laine has stood out in a tournament usually dominated by NHL players. He leads Finland in goals, points, shots on goal (24) and power-play goals (three).

He led Tappara to the championship in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and was named the most valuable player of the playoffs with 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games. He had 17 goals, 33 points and 253 shots on goal in 46 regular-season games for Tappara.

Laine also helped Finland win a gold medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship. He tied for the tournament scoring lead with seven goals and had 13 points.

Auston Matthews, who also had seven goals at the World Juniors and helped the United States win the bronze medal, has three goals and six points in seven games for the U.S. at the World Championship.

A native of Scottsdale, Ariz., who played for Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top pro league, is No. 1 on Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters.

Laine said he has a great deal of respect for Matthews.

"I think he's a really good player and passes well and obviously can score from good chances," he said. "I think he's going to have a good career."

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