McTavish among breakout players at World Junior Championship


The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship featured a number of players stepping up and having robust efforts to guide their group.

Some of the players who excelled have been anticipated to take action. Then there have been others who went from position players to main males.

Here are 5 breakout stars from the match (listed in alphabetical order):

Emil Andrae, D, Sweden

The Philadelphia Flyers prospect was the lone constant offensive presence for Sweden, main them with eight factors (4 objectives, 4 assists) and averaging 22:04 in ice time in six video games. He additionally had a hand in three of Sweden’s seven energy play objectives, and his means to skate laterally alongside the blue line and get photographs by means of from the purpose helped Sweden end second on the ability play throughout the match at 46.7 % (7-for-15).

“He was our best player the whole tournament,” Sweden ahead Isak Rosen (Buffalo Sabres) mentioned. “He scored goals, he’s our leader off the ice and on the ice. He was just outstanding this tournament.”

Mason McTavish, F, Canada

McTavish had arguably essentially the most memorable World Juniors of any Canada participant within the match’s historical past. The Anaheim Ducks prospect and Canada’s captain led the match with eight objectives and 17 factors; he tied Wayne Gretzky (1978) and Eric Lindros (1991) for the second-most factors by a Canada participant at the WJC, one level behind the document held by Dale McCourt (1977) and Brayden Schenn (2011). He was named the match’s greatest ahead and most respected participant.

But the lasting reminiscence will likely be his outstanding save 2:09 into additional time of the championship recreation, when he batted a puck down on the objective line, after which cleared it out of bother. 

“To be honest I got pretty lucky,” McTavish mentioned. “The stick was in the right place, right time. I don’t even know why I was behind our goalie … probably not the best positioning. But I guess it worked out.”

Canada coach Dave Cameron mentioned McTavish’s constructive perspective, lack of ego and NHL-ready talent set stood out to him from the start of coaching camp.

“He’s an NHL player and he’ll be a good NHL player for a long, long time,” Cameron mentioned.

Jan Mysak, F, Czechia

Mysak (Montreal Canadiens) led Czechia on the ice with eight factors (5 objectives, three assists) and off the ice as its captain. He scored the primary of three straight objectives for Czechia in its 4-2 win towards the United States within the quarterfinals and was named to the match all-star group.

“He’s amazing,” goalie Tomas Suchanek (2023 draft eligible) mentioned. “I never had player like him in my room. Amazing leader, amazing player. He’s just a great guy. … You go ask him about anything and he just tells you everything that will make you better. He’s a great guy.”

Aatu Raty, F, Finland

The New York Islanders prospect wasn’t invited to the match in December, however performed a key position when it was restarted. He was the middle on Finland’s greatest line with Roni Hirvonen (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Joakim Kemell (Nashville Predators).

Raty had 10 factors (three objectives, seven assists), second to Kemell on Finland. He had the first help on the objective by Kasper Puutio (Florida Panthers) in Finland’s 1-0 win towards Sweden within the semifinals and performed 17:53, most among Finland’s forwards, within the 3-2 additional time loss to Canada within the championship recreation.

Finland coach Antti Pennanen, additionally the coach in December, mentioned he wasn’t shocked at Raty’s stage of enchancment based mostly on how the 19-year-old performed final season. He had 40 factors (13 objectives, 27 assists) in 41 video games with Jukurit in Liiga, the highest skilled league in Finland, and 4 factors (one objectives, three assists) in six American Hockey League playoff video games with Bridgeport.

“He’s a really good player,” Pennanen mentioned. “His last season in Jukurit was really good. So I really expected that and I think he also at the moment has a good confidence and it’s really nice to see.”

Olen Zellweger, D, Canada

The Ducks prospect made the match all-star group after main all defensemen with 11 factors (two objectives, 9 assists). It’s essentially the most factors by a defenseman at the WJC since Alex Pietrangelo had 12 factors (three objectives, 9 assists) for Canada in 2010, and one level behind Pietrangelo and Bryan McCabe (1995) for many factors in a WJC by a Canada defenseman.

And Zellweger, a left-handed shot, did it whereas enjoying on the fitting facet of Canada’s high protection pair.

“He’s crazy good,” mentioned Canada ahead Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 choose of the 2023 NHL Draft. “His skill and skating and his deception are unreal. I’ll just watch his highlights sometimes for enjoyment.”

LNH.com workers author Guillaume Lepage and NHL.com unbiased correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this report

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