The last two National Hockey League (NHL) repêchages could be very lucrative for the Montreal Canadiens.
The proof is that half a dozen prospects selected for the 2017 and 2018 auctions are in the spotlight to represent their country at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver and Victoria.
Fans will have a taste of this classic that takes place during the holiday season in the coming weeks when Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland will compete in a round robin.
In total, six hopefuls will represent their country during this “Showcase of the World Juniors”. Another hope of the team will try to impress the leaders of Russia with a good start to the season.
Here are six CH players and goalkeepers to keep an eye on for the upcoming World Junior Championship.
1. Ryan Poehling | C | United States | 1st round 2017
Having drilled American training at the age of 18, Poehling will definitely be back as a 19 year veteran this year. He should logically gain an important role within the group of leaders of the team, in addition to being called upon to perform offensive missions in a dynamic attack, but inexperienced.
2. Jesperi Kotkaniemi | C | Finland | 1st round 2018
The team’s most recent first-round pick has already received Finland’s call for the summer tournament and is expected to be one of the country’s headliners in the winter after having enjoyed tremendous success with under 18 years old. He should get his place as a center player in one of the first two lines of his team.
3. Josh Brook | D | Canada | 2nd round 2017
Brook holds a golden chance to secure a spot among the top six defensemen of the Maple Leaf, as only one back chosen before him in the 2017 draft is still eligible for the tournament (Pierre-Olivier Joseph). However, there is the excellent vintage of 2018 that should have a say, as Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson, Ty Smith and Nicolas Beaudin – four first-round picks – have all been invited to the summer camp.
4. Jacob Olofsson | C | Sweden | 2nd round 2018
A player who has greatly impressed at the team’s most recent development camp has a very good chance of representing his country during the holiday season. Not only did he receive his invitation to Sweden’s summer camp, but he also gained good professional experience by playing in his country’s second-best league last season.
5. Cayden Primeau | G | United States | 7th round 2017
What a story than that of Cayden Primeau. Selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft after a coach tarnished his reputation with NHL teams, the son of former NHL player Keith Primeau responded with a remarkable first season at Northeastern University. If he continues in the same vein, he should be the number one goalkeeper in the United States.
6. Jesse Ylonen | AD | Finland | 2nd round 2018
Just like his fellow Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jesse Ylonen got his ticket to the summer camp of Finland and should logically defend the colors of his country at Christmas. Born in 1999, this will be his last chance to represent his country in the under-20s, but it would be surprising if he was sidelined because of his offensive skills and excellent skating.
7. Alexander S. Romanov | Russia | 2nd round 2018
It is not Russian practice to trust 17 or 18 year olds in this tournament, unless they are high hopes. She prefers to bet on a maximum of players of 19 years. Even if it could cause a surprise with an excellent start to the season, do not be disappointed if Alexander Romanov does not appear in the Russian team for the tournament.