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'I'll always remember this': Stars' Robertson helps U.S. to silver at WJC

The 2017 second-round pick tied for seventh in scoring at his first tournament on the international stage

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship didn't end the way Stars prospect Jason Robertson and the United States had hoped.

Kaapo Kakko scored with 1:26 left in the third period to lift Finland to a 3-2 victory over the U.S. in the gold medal game at world juniors on Saturday night in Vancouver.

Robertson and the U.S., which had defeated Czech Republic and Russia in the playoff round to get to the title game, took home a silver medal. It was the fourth straight medal at world juniors for the U.S.

The 19-year-old Robertson tied for seventh in tournament scoring with seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven games.

Making the U.S. roster this season was a priority for Robertson, the Stars' second-round pick (39th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

"This is the first time I am playing international hockey, so it's the first time I am wearing the USA jersey. That's pretty cool," Robertson said in an interview with DallasStars.com prior to the playoff round.

"That's something I worked for this past summer, and I made it one of my goals to make this team. People have told me to enjoy every minute of the opportunity here. I am sure I'll always remember this."

Video: Stars draft F Jason Robertson No. 39

Now, Robertson will head back to the Ontario Hockey League where he has 60 points (31 goals, 29 assists) in 32 games, ranking fourth in the league in goals and sixth in points. Robertson has 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) and a plus-13 rating in eight games since being traded to Niagara from Kingston in a blockbuster deal within the OHL.

"Ever since I got to Niagara, things have started to click really good. I am playing with some elite players in Niagara," said Robertson.

Kingston, which was struggling, shipped Robertson and Nashville defense prospect Jacob Paquette to Niagara for two younger players and 11 draft picks.

"I didn't know when or where, but I knew it was going to happen before the trade deadline," Robertson said of the trade. "But to be able to get it out of the way and not have to think about it was nice. You know where you are, you can get settled in and get comfortable for the second half of the season."

In Kingston, Robertson was part of a one-line team. With the IceDogs in Niagara, he's part of a deep team that ranks second in the OHL's Eastern Conference. And the focus moving forward is helping the IceDogs make a deep run in the postseason.

"It's a different experience for me, but I think I am doing really well there," Robertson said. "The coaching staff there and the management said they brought me in to be the player and be the leader to help them go on a run this year. I am looking forward to the second half of the season."

Robertson will return to a Niagara team that is in first place in the OHL's Central Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

Robertson Stats: Kingston/Niagara (OHL) | 32 GP | 31 G | 29 A | 60 PTS | +14 | 28 PIM

United States (World Junior Championship): | 7 GP | 1 G | 6 A | 7 PTS | +4 | 4 PIM

 

Back suits up for Sweden at world juniors

Stars forward prospect Oskar Back played for Sweden at the World Junior Championship, tallying one assist in five games.

Back ranked fifth at the tournament in faceoff winning percentage at 64.4 percent, winning 38 of 59 draws. After winning all four of its preliminary round games, Sweden was upset in the quarterfinal round by Switzerland, 2-0.

Back, a third-round pick by Dallas in 2018, has tallied 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 27 games with Karlskoga in Sweden's second league. He ranks third in scoring among junior players in the league.

Back Stats: Karlskoga (Allsvenskan): | 27 GP | 4 G | 10 A | 14 PTS | -4 | 4 PIM

Sweden (World Junior Championship): | 5 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PT | E | 2 PIM

 

In the system

Here's an update on other Dallas prospects playing in Europe, college and juniors this season.

 

North American Juniors

C Ty Dellandrea (1st round/2018) was invited to Canada's selection camp for the World Junior Championship, but did not make the final roster for the tournament.

Dellandrea was one of the younger players at the camp and will be eligible for world juniors again next year.

As for the OHL, Dellandrea picked up four assists Sunday in Flint's 6-4 win over Sault Ste. Marie, the top team in the West Division. Dellandrea has 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 35 games.

Dellandrea Stats: Flint (OHL) | 35 GP | 13 G | 24 A | 37 PTS | -16 | 32 PIM

 

C Liam Hawel (4th round/2017) has tallied 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games for Guelph in the OHL. Hawel put together a five-game goal scoring streak during which he scored eight goals from Dec. 11 to Dec 28. Hawel ranks second on Guelph in scoring.

Hawel Stats: Guelph (OHL) | 36 GP | 19 G | 22 A | 41 PTS | +10 | 12 PIM

 

C Riley Damiani (5th round/2018) has recorded points in ten of his last twelve games for Kitchener of the OHL, tallying 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) during that stretch. Damiani has 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 29 games.

Damiani Stats: Kitchener (OHL) | 29 GP | 14 G | 23 A | 37 PTS | E | 8 PIM

 

C Curtis Douglas (4th round/2018) has tallied 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists) in 39 games for Windsor in the OHL and is tied for third on the Spitfires in goal scoring.

Douglas Stats: Windsor (OHL) | 39 GP | 16 G | 12 A | 28 PTS | +11 | 42 PIM

 

C Brett Davis (6th round/2017) has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 11 games with the Red Deer Rebels since they acquired him from Kootenay in a Western Hockey League trade. For the season, Davis has 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 35 WHL games.

Davis Stats: Kootenay/Red Deer (WHL) | 35 GP | 12 G | 18 A | 30 PTS | -17 | 14 PIM

 

D Dawson Barteaux (6th round/2018) has tallied 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 38 games with Red Deer of the WHL. After going through an 11-game scoreless drought, Barteaux has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in his last five games.

Barteaux Stats: Red Deer (WHL) | 38 GP | 4 G | 16 A | 20 PTS | E | 2 PIM

 

RW Jermaine Loewen (7th round/2018) has recorded 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 28 games for Kamloops in the WHL and is tied for third on the Blazers in goal scoring.

Loewen Stats: Kamloops (WHL) | 28 GP | 11 G | 5 A | 16 PTS | +2 | 34 PIM

 

Europe

C Jacob Peterson (5th round/2017) has recorded 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 32 games with Bjorkloven in Sweden's second league. Peterson is tops among junior players in the league in both goals and points. He's won 216 of 413 faceoffs (52.3 percent).

Peterson Stats: Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan) | 32 GP | 10 G | 9 A | 19 PTS | +5 | 12 PIM

 

D Jakob Stenqvist (6th round/2016) ranks tenth among defensemen in scoring in Sweden's second league with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 33 games. Stenqvist is averaging 19:20 of ice time per game for Bjorkloven.

Stenqvist Stats: Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan) | 33 GP | 5 G | 11 A | 16 PTS | +1 | 14 PIM

 

RW Albin Eriksson (2nd round/2018) has not scored in his last nine games for Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League, but he is still tied for fifth in scoring among junior players in the SHL with 10 points (four goals, 6 assists) in 27 games. Eriksson is averaging 10:04 of ice time per game.

Eriksson Stats: Skelleftea (SHL): | 27 GP | 4 G | 6 A | 10 PTS | +4 | 27 PIM

 

LW/C Fredrik Karlstrom (3rd round/2016) has tallied a goal in each of the last three games for Linkoping in the SHL, giving him eight points (four goals, four assists) in 24 games.

Karlstrom Stats: Linkoping (SHL) | 24 GP | 4 G | 4 A | 8 PTS | +4 | 6 PIM

AIK (Allsvenskan) | 6 GP | 1 G | 1 A | 2 PTS | +1 | 4 PIM

 

G Markus Ruusu (6th round/2015) has won his last two starts in Finland's top league, including an 18-save shutout in HIFK's 2-0 victory over JYP. Ruusu is 5-7-3 with a 2.71 goals against average and .883 save percentage.

Ruusu Stats: HIFK (Liiga) | 5-7-3 | 2.71 | .883

 

NCAA

D Joe Cecconi (5th round/2015) notched his second goal of the season, scoring from behind his own blue line in Michigan's 4-2 win over Notre Dame in Saturday's outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium.

Tweet from @cjzero: Michigan's Joe Cecconi scores from behind the opposite blue line pic.twitter.com/SBb47XSqgc

After a neutral zone faceoff win, Cecconi flipped the puck from the top of the left circle in his own zone, and it bounced past the Notre Dame goalie and into the net.

"Maybe it was the wind that took it a little bit. It bounced in," Cecconi told reporters after the game, "I didn't even see it go in. I was in shock."

Cecconi has 15 points (2 goals, 13 assists) in 20 games with the Wolverines.

Cecconi Stats: Michigan (Big Ten) |20 GP | 2 G | 13 A | 15 PTS | -1 | 12 PIM

 

G Jake Oettinger (1st round/2017) has allowed two goals or fewer in nine of his last eleven starts for Boston University. Oettinger is 6-8-2 with a 2.59 goals against average and .924 save percentage.

Oettinger Stats: Boston University (Hockey East) | 6-8-2 | 2.59 | .924

 

LW Riley Tufte (1st round/2016) has not recorded a point in his last eight games for Minnesota Duluth. Tufte has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 18 games. He leads the Bulldogs with 65 shots on goals.

Tufte Stats: Minnesota Duluth (NCHC) | 18 GP | 4 G | 3 A | 7 PTS | +1 | 16 PIM

 

C/LW Rhett Gardner (4th round/2016) has tallied nine points (8 goals, one assist) in 19 games for North Dakota, leading the team in goal scoring. Gardner has won 300 of 469 faceoffs (64.0 percent).

Gardner Stats: North Dakota (NCHC) | 19 GP | 8 G | 1 A | 9 PTS | -1 | 31 PIM

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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