Yikes. That is a very well-written article. I wanted to know to what extent an organization places on the World Junior tournament and I thought that it was lightly touched upon by KP but this was more than a mouthful.
And personally, I agree with you. The World Juniors isn't a make/break focal point in their lives regarding their NHL careers and their success as a hockey player... it is a milestone, a fond and cherished memory that celebrates their "coming of age" as you delightfully stated.
One thing I'm kind of disappointed in this year is that there seems to be very few draft eligible players on each team. I wonder if this is a trend, or a reflection of this summer's very strong draft. I'm certain that's the case with the Team Canada defense, for instance.
Glad you liked it... I was hoping it would spark a lot more conversation than it has though. (Guess it wasn't "sexy" afterall!)
lol. I think this WJC is kind of a dud for we Oiler fans because there aren't any Oilers aside from Johansson over there.
One thing I've noticed is how many 2004 draftees aren't there, and even those that are seem to be playing lesser roles.
I'm watching the Czech-Slovak game right now and Marek Schwarz, one of the guys I'd like to see the Oilers pick, just made a huge save and then gave up a goal to make it 2-1. He hasn't played well in the 2 games I've seen, but then again as you said in the article, that doesn't really mean a hill of beans.
You know I love your articles. But this area of the article...
To assume that players who compete and excel in the World Junior Championships all continue on to NHL success is flat out wrong. Likewise it is incorrect to think that few of today’s superstars did not partake in the competition at all when they were eligible.
Previous athletes who were named to the tournament All-Star team include household names like Christian Dube in 1997, Brent Tully in 1993, Dave Chyzowski in 1990 and Mike Moffat in 1982. Who?
In 1994, a dangerous trio of players named Martin Gendron, Yanick Dube and Rick Girard, led Team Canada in scoring and have since seemingly dropped off the planet.
Conversely, you would have a hard time finding the names of Todd Bertuzzi, Adam Oates, Ron Francis or even Mark Messier on the list of past Canadian representatives. But then again, what have those players ever accomplished in the NHL?
You don't give equal time to the NHL Superstars that have shown something at the WJC....The three years prior to your Gendron, Dube, and Girard reference had the top scorers...
I think it good to say that the WJC isn't a paved pathway to success, but some credit should be given the props for being stars at the tourney as well. For more top scorers historically...