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S51 IIHF WJC Preview - Top 28 Prospects
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(This post was last modified: 01-18-2020, 04:02 AM by roastpuff. Edit Reason: Corrected season - ready for grading )

S52 IIHF WJC Preview
By Jan Parker Peters
For Superprospects

2x Draft Media Bonus - 3047 words as per forum - Ready for Grading

As the S51 IIHF tournament proceeds apace with some interesting results in the first few days of matches, we can't help but cast our eyes to the incoming class of S53 SHL players to see which of them might make an impact in the near future. Out of these young rising stars there are 26 non-North Americans which you should keep your eye on. They are listed below in order of country of play, not in order of ranking. Please note that this list is current as of 10:00PM EST on Jan 15, 2020. There may be other prospects rising through the ranks that I may have missed, and I apologize to those not featured in this article. (Also, I'm sorry if I have misrepresented your player - please PM me and I will edit the article to fix any mistakes or issues. These players are all 1st generation players and not recreates)

Austria Austria

There are two incoming forwards from Austria who are rising above their peers, and both of them happen to be 2-way wingers. This bodes well for the forechecking and backchecking of the Austrian team.

Jimmy Wagner, RW (@sve7en)
6 ft 1 inch 190lbs
One of the stand-out prospects this year, Wagner is a smooth-skating defensively-responsible winger, with a laser beam wrist shot and great hockey sense. Has a deft touch when tying up opponents, and a very active stick in the penalty kill allows him to deflect or intercept cross-seam passes. High-end edgework allows him to keep up with attackers but lacks first-step explosiveness.

Jonathan Berger, LW (@djgrego)
6 ft 3 inch 225lbs
The strongest member of the Austrian draft cohort, Berger is a man mountain of a skater who is surprisingly fast given his size. Top-end speed is an asset both ways on the ice, allowing him to break out with ease. Booming slap shot is a deadly weapon on the power play, and he is not afraid to go to the net for dirty, greasy goals. Hard-working on the forecheck, and recognizes the need for backchecking. Can be relied on to clear opponents out of the crease for his goalie.

Great Britain  Uk

Great Britain also have two incoming forwards, like Austria, but in a different mold. Both are more north-south players and are offensive threats to watch out for.

Edward Williams, C (@Aephino)
6 ft 2 inch 205lbs
A prototypical power forward, opposing defencemen should be wary of this hard-nosed skater who goes to the net like a heat-seeking missile. Explosive strength that allows him to win board battles in the corners, and to stay unmoving in the crease. Deft passing makes him a net-front or a behind the goal line threat in the power play. Strong edgework allows him to cut in front like a hot knife through butter, and to bull rush his way through traffic. Very difficult to knock off the puck.

Frederick Wanesly, LW (@Mediocre_Fred)
6 ft 4 inch 220lbs
A 2-way forward first and foremost, Wanesly is often the first man back to disrupt odd-man rushes and also the first man to lead the rush the other way. Excellent breakout passes and able to find seams in defensive coverage. Lots of highlight reel tape-to-tape passes in the offensive zone, and as good with his backhand as he is with his forehand. Good top speed, and uses it well when entering the zone or backchecking.

Finland Finland

Team Suomi has the largest incoming 1st generation class of players at five total. This incarnation of Team Finland is definitely one to watch out for as they will present a challenge to every other team in the tournament.

Antti Antinen, RW (@Jeremy Icecreams)
6 ft 2 inch 202lbs
A scoring 2-way winger, Antinen is blessed with a wricked wrist shot that he can use with pinpoint accuracy. Opposing goalies beware, as he can shoot the puck from anywhere and be dangerous while doing so. Defensively sound, Antinent plays a vital part in the penalty kill and isn't afraid of blocking shots. A deceptive stride that allows him to control the gap with opposing skaters is a great asset as well.

Bradley Barkov, D (@MarlinManiac4)
6 ft 3 inch 215lbs
Barkov is an offensively-minded puck mover who has deadly weapons from the point. Accurate wrist shots that more often than not find their way through traffic, slap passes that go tape-to-tape, and a heavy slap shot make him a threat to be wary of as he walks the line. Not afraid to move down from the point, and pinches in a smart, savvy manner. Defensively strong, Barkov uses his size well to separate the puck and the carrier, and clears the crease with authority.

Miro Slapskinnenen, LW (@bobbybye88)
6 ft 2 inch 210lbs
In the slot, face-off dot, at the point, close-in, far out, it doesn't matter because Miro Slapskinnenen is a sniper extraordinaire to beware of. A wrist shot that is as fast as some players' slapshots, a slapshot that's as accurate as other players' wristers, and tips that leave servers swooning - this kid has it all. Endurance like the Energizer bunny, never quits pumping his legs and always moving on the ice. Silky smooth hands create deadly dekes and perfect puck handling round out his offensive package. More deadly than Chris Kyle on the power play. Breaks sticks like people break Kit-Kats.

Jerry Huuveri, G (@Jerppu)
6 ft 2 inch 198lbs
Not your prototypcal gangly goalie, Huuveri is very solidly built. Great rebound control - soaks up shots like a sponge and doesn't give many rebounds out. Smooth, efficient style and doesn't lose track of the puck. Flashes the leather very stylishly. Great glove hand. Reaction time of a cat, and doesn't hesitate to make a play when caught out of position. Someone to watch out for as he matures.

Jukka Timonen, D (@Smalinowski7)
6 ft 3 inch 215lbs
Timonen is a solid 2-way defenceman, with a nose for the puck and scoring goals. Strips pucks efficiently from opposing forwards and pinches very well in the offensive zone. Isn't afraid to activate and go for net front tips. Great hockey vision, doesn't miss a thing and very good positioning in all zones. Very good gap control with strong skating, hard for opponents to create separation from him. Blocks shots like he wishes he was a goalie and doesn't miss a beat.

Germany Germany

Previous German players have impressed in the IIHF and WJC tournaments. This year two players are especially worthy of note - they come in at the opposite ends of the weight spectrum and playing spectrum, but both are impressing scouts and coaches everywhere.

Burlok Sulfurgold, RW (@leviadan)
6 ft 1 inch 220lbs
Almost as wide as he is tall, Sulfurgold defines the power forward archetype. Unafraid of battle, edging on dirty, he makes his presence felt on the ice surface and has a bag of tricks as varied as Santa's. Strong on his feet and has incredible core strength - once dragged two players with him down the ice until a penalty was assessed. Fiercely protective in the defensive zone, his hits can daze players carrying the puck. Skates faster than expected, and with a lot of power.

Steve Harrington, LW (@NeonLime)
5 ft 11 inch 160lbs
Lithe, lean and hungry - Harrington is always looking for a way to distribute the puck. Creative with his passes, he finds seams where there are none and puts pucks right in teammates' wheelhouse for one-timers and backdoor plays. Very active stick that disrupts plays in the defensive zone, can often extract pucks from board battle situations and create rushes the other way with excellent breakout passes. Very shifty on his feet - excellent hip movement that fools other players into the wrong direction. Good acceleration and top speed, good edgework.

Ireland  Ireland

A surprising powerhouse in the IIHF, Ireland has two incoming prospects that are set to improve their already considerable roster.

Patric Twist, RW (@Patty)
6 ft 2 inch 235lbs
Can be describe as a locomotive on steroids, Twist is nearly unstoppable with very strong work ethic and strong presence in the offensive zone. Once parked in front of the net he dominates. Very tough to prevent from cutting in towards the net, he creates chaos as he closes in. Fast on his feet, with surprisingly soft hands for such a big, strong power forward type player. Doesn't just bull rush in all the time - can also out-deke defenders with his creative puck handling.

Fergus Callaghan, D (@H0PPY75)
6 ft 3 inch 240lbs
One of the rare stay-at-home defenceman in this draft class, Callaghan is a strong chunk of protection most team would be glad to have. Rarely gets fooled by opposing players, and has devastating checks when the puck is dumped in the zone. Very sound positioning and his strength means that he wins most board battles.

Latvia  Latvia

A small country with a storied history of excellent players. This year's crop can only be described as interesting and worthy of attention.

Tomass Veinbergs, RW (@Signal)
6 ft 3 inch 220lbs
A hard-nosed forechecker who digs out pucks and puts them in the net. Great puck retrieval and passing, especially from his office behind the net. Very good stick work close in, and loves dirty goals where he is battling the opposition for tip-ins. Very strong on the backcheck as well, and can be relied upon to shut down opposing team's best players in key situations.

"Clean" Andrei Kostitsyn, RW (@Clean Andrei Kostitsyn)
6 ft 205lbs
Can only be described as one-of-a-kind. Supposed to be a 2-way forward. Not really sure. Are you clean? Is he clean? He score? He pass? He defend? He hipcheck? Only Andrei knows.

Norway norway

One of the IIHF teams that are needing an influx of new talent, this year they get a large contingent of four players that are elite. This roster upgrade should serve them well in the IIHF WJC and in future international contests.

Toki Wartooth, D (@Pickle Juice)
6 ft 4 inch 230lbs
As big as an iceberg, Wartooth is a defensive defenceman that can be relied to keep the puck out of the goal. High-end defensive awareness that keeps him in position to break up passes and scoring plays. Endurance beyond belief for penalty kills and long shifts on the ice, and can eat up minutes as a top-pair defenceman used in all situations. Someone that the coaches can trust for critical periods of time. Very good break-out passes and can float pucks down to the other end for his team to chase down.

Chris Cerullo, C (@ChrisFromRMNB)
6 ft 2 inch 205lbs
2-way center that plays with an edge on and off the ice. Hunter-killer instincts on the ice, with a shoot first attitude. Very heavy wrist shot, and is unafraid to shoot from all angles and situations. Volume shooter and volume scorer. Doesn't lack defensive instinct as well, can think the game as good as any other in the league. Breaks up opposing plays and turns the puck the other way with fast, aggressive skating. Top-end acceleration. A bit of a mean streak, lays out opponents without remorse. Cerebral in the face-off circle and uses mind games effectively to beat opponents.

Lucas Hellquist, RW (@NightRobin)
6 ft 4 inch 245lbs
Not someone that you would peg as a playmaker, Hellquist has excellent vision and hockey sense. Thinks a step ahead of everyone else. Great flip passes, and saucers that land very gently on teammates' stick. Relentless endurance - doesn't stop chasing the puck when the other team has it. Very good discipline as well, knows exactly how far to push the limits on the play without getting in trouble with the referees.

Salomon Frosty, LW (@jsteele14)
6 ft 1 inch 210lbs
A zone-entry machine, Frosty has the puckhandling skills to deke around defenders and gain a foothold in the opposing zone. Can deke his way out of trouble in the offensive zone and retain the puck. Very good shooting accuracy, and unique release that beats goaltenders regularly. Stalwart in the defensive zone, can be trusted to stop plays and get his team out of trouble. Very good blocking instincts, unafraid to sacrifice the body.

Russia  Russia

A perennial powerhouse, this year's group is perhaps smaller than expected for Russia. However that does not mean that there are not quality gems within this small class.

Valentin Kalashnikov, D (@suavemente)
6 ft 3 inch 225lbs
A late bloomer, Kalashnikov is a defenceman who works hard to overcome his late start. Hard-hitting checks that leave opponents in a heap on the ice. Sound positioning and wades into battle to stop plays. All-around strong in protecting the puck and retrieving it from forecheckers.

Vladimir Khristorozhdestvensk, D (@FirePlaceWallHeater)
6 ft 3 inch 205lbs
Pass-first motto, Vladimir is a puck-moving defenceman who makes the smart play to get the puck out of the defensive zone and into the offensive zone. Soft hands that receive and give passes very well. Can quarterback a power play effectively. High-end awareness means that he rarely gets beat by attackers. Smooth, confident stride on the ice that propels him with velocity.

Sweden Sweden

Once a gold medal winning team, Sweden's glory days are a bit behind them. However a turnaround is on the horizon with new management and a new bumper crop of players to be introduced into the system. Hopefully future results are as bright as some of these prospects.

Sven Svenson, LW (@LordBirdman)
6 ft 2 inch 210lbs
Possessing a bloodthirst better suited for Viking rampages rather than the ice, Svenson is always looking for a way to score. Very gifted hands that can defy physics, with a hard, accurate wrist shot and an even harder, more accurate slap shot. Passes very accurately and with authority. Can thread pucks through tight spots that other players would not attempt. Skates very well, with very fast top gear and excellent maneuverability.

Yompy Stearf, D (@ham)
6 ft 2 inch 200lbs
Yompy is a defenceman that can be immediately slotted into any defensive situation by the coach and not be overwhelmed. Very solid defensive skills and positioning combined with incredible core strength results in winning board battles for the puck. Very disciplined and takes very few penalties in respect to the amount of minutes that he can chew up playing on a top pairing in all situations.

Magnus Liljeström, D (@roastpuff)
6 ft 2 inch 199lbs
Liljeström has excellent skating, with a smooth stride that wouldn’t look out of place in the SHL, and above-average speed. Good edgework as a power-play quarterback, walks the line very well. His passes are smart, fast, and sneaky - he can often fool the opposition with a slap pass, and many forecheckers have been faked out of position. Rock solid defensively, his strong positioning severely limits time and space for the opposition, and he is not afraid to lay the body to separate the puck and its carrier. Given a chance, he lays heavy hits and is not someone who shies away from physical contact.

Erik Johansson, D (@woelker11)
6 ft 5 inch 259lbs
The largest prospect in his draft class, Johansson is a force to be reckoned with in the defensive zone with his reach and strength. His long stick can provide coverage in a very wide volume of the ice, and he effortlessly clears out opponents from areas that they are unwanted. Despite the unusually long stick length, Johansson has excellent puck handling skills and is able to move the puck into the opposing zone quite well.

Switzerland  Switzerland

A small country with a small prospect pool - but not one to be dismissed. The single standout prospect from this neutral nation is skilled and seems poised to make an impact.

Will Hartmann, LW (@thecanadiancanuck)
5 ft 11 inch 196lbs
A playmaking forward that is also a defensive ace, Hartmann has high-end hockey sense that allows him to be in the right place at the right time for both offensive and defensive parts of the game. Skilled passes that land on the tape of his team, can find small gaps that would otherwise go unnoticed. One of the best skaters in the class, with quick, superb movement.

Bonus - Japan  Japan

While not a European country, Japan deserves a mention as they can often surprise on the world stage with players that play above their expectations.

Hiroshi Ohira, RW (@Finetales)
6ft 190lbs
Ohira is an offensive dynamo on skates, with skating as quick as the wind, and as swift as a coursing river. His passes are accurate and sharp, and creative in execution. He wields his hockey stick as if it was a sword, and handles it flawlessly like a samurai warrior. Major-league puck skills allow his creativity to shine in games, creating offence out of thin air.

Ryuuji Minamoto (@Nhamlet)
6 ft 3 inch 210lbs
Standing well above average in Japan, Minamoto is a rare Japanese power forward. Strong as a raging fire, he hits with the force of a great typhoon. His passing is as good as his hitting, and finds teammates who have space to attack. Very good puck handling skills unexpected, but a welcome bonus in a power forward player.

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This concludes our S53 IIHF WJC Preview for European (and Japanese) players, we at Superprospects hope that you have found it useful and enlightening! This is meant to serve as a primer for watchers to specifically highlight certain players in this coming draft class, and not as a definitive guide on which player is most likely to go first overall. There is a huge glut of North American skaters that we have not finished researching yet, though we hope to be able to offer you a similar guide in the future. As always, we wish you the very best, and enjoyment in watching these young men prove themselves on the international stage.

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#2

Lord he finally done it

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#3

This is some article roastpuff

+1

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#4

It's a great article, but you've forgotten one very important team.

Usa

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#5

Team world snubbed

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crutch,May 30 2018, 10:44 PM Wrote:don't worry, it's just trella, all bark and no bite



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#6

I appreciate you doing your research! It's an old folk tale that I once sealed a game by forcing my way down ice with six full grown men on my back to score the empty-netter. But the truth is like you say-- it was only two!

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#7

Great read. Thanks for posting!

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#8

Uk

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#9
(This post was last modified: 01-16-2020, 10:33 AM by SlashACM.)

Inside scoop has it that the two Latvia players have been released by team UCORCAL and are eligible for team world prospect. We'll see if they make the cut!

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UsaScarecrowsSpectersBlizzard | [Image: DrbPYHV.png][Image: spectersupdate.png] | UsaScarecrowsSpectersBlizzard
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#10

Clean
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#11

Very accurate
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#12

Russia Russia Russia

Russia, the reigning champions, approve of this message

Russia Russia Russia

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#13

01-16-2020, 11:27 AMthiefofcheese Wrote: Russia  Russia  Russia

Russia, the reigning champions, approve of this message

Russia  Russia  Russia
You misspelled DACH, and used the wrong flags for the reigning champion.

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Falcons Switzerland Switzerland Falcons
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Credit for img goes to @Carpy48                                                                                                                  Credit for this img goes to @soulja
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#14

01-16-2020, 07:40 AMCapt_Blitzkrieg Wrote: It's a great article, but you've forgotten one very important team.

Usa
USA! USA!

Took bronze last year, time for gold!

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#15

01-16-2020, 11:27 AMthiefofcheese Wrote: Austria Switzerland Germany

DACH, the reigning champions, approve of this message

Austria Switzerland Germany

Fixed

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