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Sharks Prospects To Play At World Juniors

by Adam Kimelman / San Jose Sharks
Finland, Germany and Kazakhstan became the last teams to reveal their rosters for the 2009 World Junior Championships, to be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ottawa.

Leading the Finns, who finished sixth last year in the Czech Republic, will be goaltender Harri Sateri, one of six players to return from the '08 squad. Sateri, taken in the fourth round of the 2008 Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, plays for Tappara Tampere in the Finnish Elite League.

Joining Sateri will be defenseman Jyri Niemi, a 2008 third-round pick of the New York Islanders. In his second season with the Western Hockey League's Saskatoon Blades, Niemi has 10 points in 28 games.

Another player to watch is Joonas Nattinen, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated Finnish player for the 2009 Entry Draft. Nattinen, a 6-foot-2, 176-pound center, had 2 goals and 4 points for Finland at last year's Under-18 World Championship.

Kazakhstan will hope to improve on last year's eighth-place finish, which included wins over Switzerland and Denmark. Yakov Vorobyov, who was second on last year's team with 4 goals, returns. Leading the blue line will be 6-4, 203-pounder Nikita Ivanov, who had 10 penalty minutes in six games.

Germany is back in the main draw after winning Division I Group A last year. Among the four returning players is goaltender Timo Pielmeier, a 2007 third-round pick of the San Jose Sharks who was voted best goaltender of last year's tournament. Pielmeier currently plays for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where his 18 wins are tied for the league lead, and his 2.44 GAA is fifth.

Also returning from last year is Daniel Weiss, a 6-3, 196-pound forward ranked No. 1 among Germans for the 2009 Entry Draft. He has 3 goals and 5 points in 27 games with Eisbaren Berlin in the top German league.

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