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Rangers Take Look Back at WJC Experiences

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

With the 2004 World Junior Championship set to get underway this week in Finland (December 26 to January 5), recently spoke with a few of the current Rangers about their WJC experience of years past.

BRIAN LEETCH (USA - 1985, 1986, 1987)
"It was really important for me because I was playing Connecticut high school hockey and I had not even played against college-aged competition and those were the guys that were mostly on my team. It was fantastic. It was strange being away from home for the holidays for three years, but it was first time really traveling with a bunch of guys my age."

TOM POTI (USA - 1996, 1997)
"I loved the World Juniors. It was an unbelievable tournament. My first year, the tourney was play in Boston near my hometown. We didn't fare too well in 1996 (Boston) but we won the silver in 1997 in Switzerland. It's special when you look back at the teams and the guys through the years who have played in the tournament. It's interesting to see how a lot of the players who were at the top of their game back then are still on top of their game now at the NHL level."

"Back in 1994 I was a sophomore at Michigan State and it was a huge thrill for me to play in the tournament and represent my country because I was one of the underdogs to make the team. I was one of the better players in college hockey and the Canadian team is often comprised of players from the Major Canadian Junior leagues. Plus, being a 10th round draft pick, a lot of the media in Canada was wondering, 'Who is this guy?' For me, it was just really gratifying to make the team. To win a gold medal with a team that wasn't expected to win any medal was quite an accomplishment

"I think it is important for any elite athlete to be able to compete and play against the best athletes in whatever sport they are in. The opportunity for hockey players to grade themselves, to figure out how good they are, I think is important."

- J. Bouchard (Canada) - 1993 (Gold), 1994 (Gold)
- P. Bure (Russia) - 1989 (Gold), 1990 (Silver), 1991 (Silver)
- A. Carter (Canada) - 1994 (Gold)
- M. Dunham (USA) - 1991, 1992 (Bronze)
- J. Hlavac (Czech) - 1995, 1996
- B. Holik (Czechoslovakia) - 1990 (Bronze)
- D. Kasparaitis (Soviet Union/CIS) - 1991 (Silver), 1992 (Gold)
- A. Kovalev (CIS) - 1992 (Gold)
- B. Leetch (USA) - 1985, 1986 (Bronze), 1987
- E. Lindros (Canada) - 1990 (Gold), 1991 (Gold), 1992
- J. Lundmark (Canada) - 2000 (Bronze), 2001 (Bronze)
- J. Markkanen (Finland) - 1994, 1995
- B. Mironov (Soviet Union/CIS) - 1991 (Silver), 1992 (Gold)
- T. Poti (USA) - 1996, 1997 (Silver)
- M. Rucinsky (Czech) - 1991 (Bronze)

1987 - B. Leetch
1989 - P. Bure
1991 - E. Lindros
1992 - M. Dunham
1992 - A. Kovalev

1989 - P. Bure (Forward)
1991 - E. Lindros (Forward)
1992 - M. Dunham (Goaltender)

RELATED WJC LINKS: - World Junior Championships test mettle, moxy of young stars - WJC gives young players a glimpse of a professional future - Top WJC Performers
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