The holiday season means many things to many people. For hockey fans, it means the annual World Junior Championship tournament – pitting the best under-20 players in the world against each other. This year’s tournament will feature a lot of representation of the Calgary Flames by recent draftees.
All told, five prospects will be suiting up at the tournament: Dillon Dube (Canada), Adam Fox (USA), Pavel Karnaukhov (Russia), Oliver Kylington (Sweden) and Tyler Parsons (USA).
The Five Flames
Kylington, 19, heads to the tournament after a season and change in the American Hockey League with the Stockton Heat. He wasn’t brought to the tournament last season – likely a result of Sweden’s crazy defensive depth in recent years – but he’s represented the Tre Kronor extensively as a teenager. While not yet officially named to the squad, the fact that he was allowed to skip most of camp to fulfill his AHL obligations is probably an indication that he’s on the team. He was a second round pick of the Flames in 2015.
Karnaukhov, 19, is representing Russia for the first time at an IIHF-sanctioned tournament. A dual citizen of Russia and Belarus, he didn’t head to last year’s World Juniors for Belarus likely in an effort to maintain his IIHF neutrality – for dual citizens, once you play in an IIHF tournament you’re locked into representing only that country from then on. Karnaukhov left the Calgary Hitmen this season for Moscow Dynamo, and has bounced around between the KHL, MHL and VHL this season. He’s put up strong numbers in the VHL (the Russian AHL) so far. He was a fifth round pick of the Flames in 2015.
Dube, 18, made the Canadian roster despite missing a big chunk of the beginning of the season with a knee injury. He’s attended Hockey Canada camps in the past, but aside from the Ivan Hlinka tournament last summer he’s never represented his nation in a major competition. (He must’ve made a good impression in those camps.) A Calgary-area product, he was Calgary’s second round selection (56th overall) in the 2016 Draft.
Parsons, 19, is representing the USA for the first time in a major competition. A product of the Little Caesars program (rather than the powerhouse U.S. National Development Team), he went the Canadian junior route rather than college and ended up winning a Memorial Cup last season with the London Knights. He’s dealt with a minor injury this season, but has otherwise maintained his strong play. He was selected two picks after Dube, at 54th overall, in this past summer’s draft.
Fox, 18, is suiting up for America for the third time in a major event. Originally plying his trade as a teen in Long Island’s minor hockey programs, he was recruited by the U.S. National Development Program where he set the single-season scoring record for a defenseman in program history. (When you consider the defenders who have gone through Ann Arbor in recent years, that’s quite a feat.) He was a third round selection of the Flames at this year’s draft.
When They Play
Monday, December 26:
- 11 a.m. MT: Sweden (Kylington) vs. Denmark
- 1:30 p.m. MT: USA (Parsons/Fox) vs. Latvia
- 6 p.m. MT: Canada (Dube) vs. Russia (Karnaukhov)
Tuesday, December 27:
- 2 p.m. MT: Russia (Karnaukhov) vs. Latvia
- 6 p.m. MT: Canada (Dube) vs. Slovakia
Wednesday, December 28:
- 3 p.m. MT: Sweden (Kylington) vs. Switzerland
- 5:30 p.m. MT: USA (Parsons/Fox) vs. Slovakia
Thursday, December 29:
- 1:30 p.m. MT: USA (Parsons/Fox) vs. Russia (Karnaukhov)
- 3:30 p.m. MT: Sweden (Kylington) vs. Finland
- 6 p.m. MT: Canada (Dube) vs. Latvia
Saturday, December 31:
- 11 a.m. MT: Sweden (Kylington) vs. Czech Republic
- 1:30 p.m. MT: Canada (Dube) vs. USA (Parsons/Fox)
- 6 p.m. MT: Russia (Karnaukhov) vs. Slovakia