Some quick final WJC thoughts
- For the most part, Adam Fox didn’t play a major role until the gold medal game, where he had three assists and could’ve been USA’s best defenceman. However, it was strange that the Americans didn’t trust Fox on the ice after he had his most productive game in the tournament. He got less and less TOI as the importance of the games increased. With another year of WJC eligibility, he has a good chance of nabbing the coveted #1 spot for the Americans next year.
- Certainly the most impressive Flames prospects at the tournament, Tyler Parsons played out of his mind to drag the Americans kicking and screaming into the shootout. He looked better than almost every other goalie at the tournament. This kid has a future.
- I liked Dillon Dube’s game throughout the tournament. He didn’t put up big numbers on the scoresheet, but his line was buzzing and creating chances at almost every opportunity. If he can add a scoring touch to his game, he could be a very valuable two-way player.
- I didn’t watch much of Pavel Karnaukhov but he seems to be a pretty good player that, while unlikely to ever come back across the pond, could potentially succeed in tougher environments. Like Dube, he was key in generating chances for his team, and Russia would’ve been dead in the water without him.
- It seems unfair that Kylington did not get a medal, because he was one of Sweden’s best players on a game-to-game basis. He was always noticeable on the ice, and mostly for the right reasons, too. The Flames are very, very lucky to have him.
- If you haven’t heard by now, Mark Jankowski has been selected as an AHL All-Star, the only Stockton player to receive the honour.
- I feel Jankowski won the award because he was able to keep his head above water while other key components of the Stockton offence, namely Morgan Klimchuk and Andrew Mangiapane, have started to slow down. Those two players have struggled to find the net in the past few weeks, only scoring one combined point last week.
- In other Stockton news, Emile Poirier got benched and then returned with a three-point game against Milwaukee. That’s pretty good.
- Daniel Pribyl returned to the Heat lineup after missing a month with an injury. He picked up an assist over the week’s action.
- Don’t look now, but Hunter Smith has actually been a helpful depth piece on the Heat. He seems to at least notch a point every week, which was way more than I expected from him at the start of the year.
- Not a lot to report on the WHL front. Matt Phillips only had one point this week in a lackluster all around performance from the Royals, and Eetu Tuulola only played one game, in which he recorded zero points.
- Hunter Shinkaruk picked up some sort of injury, and has been held out of the last two games.
- I worry about Ryan Culkin, who came into this season with a real shot at becoming a top defender for the Stockton Heat. Now, he’s rotating with Keegan Kanzig as the seventh D.
- Not to knock Kanzig, though. He’s certainly going back down whenever Kylington is back in Stockton, but he appears to be holding his own in the AHL.
- Straight from WJC gold, Fox continues to score at a ridiculous pace in the NCAA. At this pace (56 points), he might be the highest scoring defenceman the NCAA has seen since 1993-94, when a 24-year-old senior hit 60 points. He’s great.
- Brett Kulak has rightfully been recalled to the NHL. This move, designed to keep Tyler Wotherspoon’s waiver exempt status intact (for now), indicates a lot about the future of the 2011 pick. Hint, it’s not good.
- David Rittich got another shutout, signalling that he has a major case to stick around in the organization for at least one more year. With performances like his, why not?
- Mason McDonald hasn’t played in 2017 yet, bringing up the question of whether or not he is injured. No news has been released yet.
Until next time, friends.