The world junior championship is a prime opportunity to get a sneak peak at some of the top NHL draft prospects. This upcoming U20 tournament in Ufa, Russia is exceptional for how many of potential top-10 picks are wearing their country's colours.
Ten of the first 22 players who heard their names called at the last NHL draft had world junior experience under their belts. Beyond the first two selections, Nail Yakupov and Ryan Murray, the bulk of that group was taken 10th or later. This time around, Halifax Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon, Portland Winterhawks defensive anchor Seth Jones, and Finnish sensation Alexsander Barkov lead the way among 2013 draft prospects. These three young guns are regarded as the cream of the crop by every scouting service.
There are, however, draft prospects poised to be selected very high in New Jersey that aren’t taking part in the tourney. That is fairly typical with 17-year-old players.
Medicine Hat Tigers sniper Hunter Shinkaruk and Ottawa 67’s centre Sean Monahan were cut by Team Canada. Edmonton Oil Kings centre Curtis Lazar, Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Ryan Pulock and Prince Albert Raiders blueliner Josh Morrissey were not even handed an invite from Canada.
Russia cut 6-foot-5 London Knights defender Nikita Zadorov, who is ranked seventh among OHL skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting Service.
Without further ado, with the help of some scouts, here is a look at the top 10 NHL draft prospects playing in the IIHF U20 world championship.Read More »from World junior championship: MacKinnon, Jones, Barkov lead the draft-year dandies in Ufa