And finally, where, in terms of the quality of our prospects competing this year, do we rank in the NHL?
I can answer all your other questions just by answering this one. IMO, we had far and away the best group of prospects this year out of all of the NHL teams. There's no other team out there that combined quality with quantity better. I think only one team (Rangers) had more players in the tournament than we did, but with the likes of Carter, Richards, Ruzicka, and Romy their prospects weren't nearly as impressive as ours. Ruzicka and Romy were both among the three players chosen from each individual team as their top players for the tournament. Carter should also be named for Canada and Richards while unlikely, could be named as he's been the heart and soul of this Canadian team. There's also only been three hat tricks the entire tournament and the Flyers have the only two players drafted who accomplished the feat.
I don't think anyone played below expectations. Scurko was young playing on a Slovakian team deep with forwards, so I really didn't expect much this year. Next year I definitely expect him to be one of Slovakia's key forwards. Beauchemin outplayed Glass from what I heard and was liked better by Sutter, but others around Hockey Canada have been pressuring him to play Glass.
I expected this result as our 2003 draft is pretty far and away from everyone else's right now in quantity and in depth, IMO.
I'm not here to debate your claim, FG. I would, however, like to meet the people that can intimidate any of the Sutter brothers.
I thought the same thing when I read that from a few other people. Supposedly Sutter liked Beauchemin, calling him the likely starter back at the summer camp and feeling the same way before the tournament started (which is why I believe it somewhat, as Sutter did say that publicly during the summer and the Sutters are usually ones to stick to their guns.) Everyone else on the coaching staff and around Team Canada supposedly felt that Glass was the better option. I'm not 100% sure if it's true, as I had the same doubts that you did about Sutter listening to others and not going with his gut, but I heard it from a handful of Canadians who followed Team Canada pretty closely (I think one guy even had some kind of inside info, I'll have to look for it.) Definitely not taking it as the gospel, but not completely dismissing it either.
Something about Carter, he is second in the tournament in goalscoring, but he has not gotten any PP time so none of his goals or points have come with the man advantage. You have to think that if Carter is already tied with Crosby (who has 5 PP goals) as the leading goalscorer on Team Canada, that he would probably have at least another couple goals and quite a few more points if he were to get any time on the PP.
It's purely hypothetical, but I'm thinking there's a 98% chance Carter picks up a couple more goals and points playing in front of the net on Canada's PP.