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World Juniors Wrap: Canada, Lukas Cormier Win Gold

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Lukas Cormier Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Canada (Photo- Hockey Canada via Twitter)

The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships have concluded with Team Canada winning Gold after the summer brought back the once halted tournament.

If you missed any of the action, here’s a comprehensive recap of some of the biggest storylines from Edmonton, along with notes on the four Golden Knights prospects who participated.

Canada Wins Gold

It was an insane ending with Finland and Canada going to overtime tied 2-2. Mason McTavish made the save of the game at one end with his stick. Then Kent Johnson buried the Golden Goal on a rebound.

Here’s a quick game recap: Canada came out strong with a two-goal lead halfway through the game. Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy scored first, followed by Islanders prospect William Dufour.

The next part of the game felt a lot like a Golden Knights game, with Canada going 0-for-5 on consecutive powerplays. Finland then got momentum on their side and tied the game.

Hurricanes prospect Aleksi Heimosalmi and Predators prospect Joakim Kemell scored for Finland.

In overtime, it was Blue Jackets pick Kent Johnson who scored in three-on-three overtime.

As for Lukas Cormier, he didn’t stand out much but moved the puck well in his own zone and even on offense when relied upon on the powerplay and at four-on-four. He joins Jack Eichel, Brett Howden, William Karlsson, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore as players in the Golden Knights organization who have won World Junior Gold.

Other Golden Knights Prospects

The three other Golden Knights prospects that participated in the tournament were Matyas Sapovaliv with Team Czechia, Carl Lindbom of Sweden, and Jakub Demek of Slovakia. Other VGK prospects Jesper Vikman of Sweden, and Jakub Brabanec of Czechia, did not return to the tournament after being on the initial rosters in the winter.

The Golden Knight’s second-round draft pick from 2022, Matyas Sapovaliv, scored the game-winning goal in Czechia’s upset over Team USA in the semi-finals. He finished the tournament with two goals in seven games.

Lindbom, a 2021 seventh-round pick by the Golden Knights, served as a backup goaltender with Sweden and won bronze.

Demek, a Golden Knights 2021 fourth-round pick, played in four games and tallied one assist with Slovakia, who did not make the playoff round.

Storylines and Stat Leaders

Some major storylines from this year’s tournament.

USA: The biggest upset was Czechia defeating the WJC defending champs, Team USA, in the semi-finals.

Anaheim: Mason McTavish and Olen Zellweger were two of the most noticeable players in the tournament. Both are Anaheim Ducks’ draft picks. McTavish led the tournament in scoring with 15 points in six games. He was tournament MVP and looks NHL-ready.

Sweden: Team Sweden and Golden Knights prospect Carl Lindbom won bronze on Saturday, as they defeated Czechia 3-1.

The 2023 Draft: The hype around the consensus no. 1 overall pick for the 2023 NHL Draft continued to grow at the WJC, as Connor Bedard impressed.

Stat Leaders: Mason McTavish 8-7-15 pts (CAN/ANA), Joakim Kemell 3-8-11 pts (FIN/NSH), Aatu Raty 3-7-10 pts (FIN/NYI), Olen Zellweger 2-8-10 pts (CAN/ANA), Roby Jarventie 4-5-9 pts (FIN/OTT) Logan Stankoven 4-5-9 pts (CAN/DAL).

Last WJC Winners: CAN, 22 USA 21, CAN 20, FIN 19, CAN 18, USA 17, FIN 16, CAN 15, FIN 14, USA 13

Around the NHL

Some of our writers for National Hockey Now also had some reports on their team’s prospects.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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