The sympathy vote gives Aaltonen the nod on Day 1, as he accumulated two goals, one assists, a +2 plus/minus and one nasty injured right ankle during Finland's 5-1 victory over Latvia.
The 19-year-old who plays for Espoo in the Finnish Elite League was the best man on the ice during the first 40 minutes of the game. Aaltonen sniped goals 3:04 apart in the first period to stake the Young Lions to an early 3-1 lead. First he tipped in Rasmus Ristolainen's long wrist shot and by getting into the dirty area to convert a centring feed from Joel Armia, who is not the only Buffalo Sabres draft choice who will be mentioned in today's 3 Stars.
In the second period, Aaltonen reciprocated for Ristolainen, outquicking Latvia's Nikita Jevpalovs on a faceoff and drawing the puck directly back to the 18-year-old defenceman for a point shot.
Aaltonen's points-per-minutes-played rate is going to be hard to match over the duration of the tournament. Sadly for him, he won't get a change to maintain or improve it.
No. 2 star: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Canada
Canada was going to beat Germany whether Nugent-Hopkins (1G-4A, +2) had zero points or four or five, so his big day gets second-star status. The 19-year-old locked-out NHLer got in rhythm with wings Jonathan Huberdeau (1G-2A, +1) and Mark Scheifele (2G, +2) to lead Canada's lopsided 9-3 win over Germany.
The only quibble with RNH's WJC debut? He was credited with just two shots on goal against a team which will be in the relegation zone. Not that anyone who watched the game from a couch should be telling him to shoot more. He was busier setting up Scheifele; the Winnipeg Jets prospect had a team-high six shots on goal.
No. 3 star: Filip Sandberg, Sweden
Sandberg (1G, +1) was named his team's best player by the IIHF in Sweden's 4-1 win over the Czech Republic in Group A action. The 18-year-old centre broke the game open for the defending champions with an unassisted short-handed goal 3:03 into the second period that opened a three-goal lead. Sandberg was also coach Roger Rönnberg's best man on faceoffs, winning 10 of his 11 draws.
Honourable mention: Mikhail Grigorenko, Russia
Grigorenko (1A, +1) had a solid night during Russia's 3-2 overtime scare against determined Slovakia. Russia coach Mikhail Varnakov counted on the Buffalo Sabres pick, rather than Nail Yakupov or Alex Khokhlachev, on a power play late in OT. Grigorenko delivered the goods by winning the offensive zone faceoff; seconds later, Albert Yarullin blistered the winning goal into the net.
Grigorenko also reconnected with his former Quebec Remparts junior teammate Nikita Kucherov for Russia's first goal. Replays showed the play was offside. Grigorenko was also 11-of-16 (68.8 per cent) on faceoffs.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.