Here’s a look at how the seven Detroit Red Wings prospects participating in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships are performing.
The international U-20 tournament got underway Christmas Day. There are 10 nations competing in the preliminary round -- two groups of five. Only the top four teams in each group will proceed from the preliminary round to play in the single-game elimination playoff round.
Canada is competing in Group A with Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany. The United States is competing in Group B with Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Austria. You can track the standings here.
The Red Wings have seven prospects playing in this tournament:
🇸🇪 Team Sweden -- five Red Wings prospects:
- F Elmer Soderblom (round 6, 159th overall in 2019 draft)
- F Lucas Raymond (round 1, 4th overall in 2020 draft)
- F Theodor Niederbach (round 2, 51st overall in 2020 draft)
- D Albert Johansson (round 2, 60th overall in 2019 draft)
- D Gustav Berglund (round 6, 177th overall in 2019 draft)
🇫🇮 Team Finland -- one Red Wings prospect:
- D Eemil Viro (round 3, 70th overall in 2020 draft)
🇨🇿 Team Czech Republic -- one Red Wings prospect:
- G Jan Bednar (round 4, 107th overall in 2020 draft)
Here’s how they’re doing:
Here is Soderblom’s between-the-legs goal against Czech Republic:
Another angle of this ridiculous Soderblom goal. pic.twitter.com/oSEJgfdBRU— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 26, 2020
It’s worth noting Soderblom is a lanky 6-feet-8-inches tall. He should definitely get to the front of the net like this as much as possible. Nice finish. Not bad for a 6th-rounder.
The playoff round got started Jan. 2. Semi-final games will be held Jan. 4, followed by the medal games on Jan. 5.
Games are being broadcast live on NHL Network (TSN).
🇷🇺 Team Larionov
Former Russian Five member Igor Larionov is coaching Team Russia in this tournament. Here’s what he told TSN before games got underway:
“It’s showing my experience and my knowledge to the young players ... and try to help the young guys to see the game a different way than they’re used to seeing it. I’m happy to see some good signs of listening to how we played back in the day and in Detroit with Russian Five.”
The “Professor’s” Russian team defeated the Americans, 5-3, on Christmas. That’s impressive for a guy who is quite new to coaching. There are people already begging for him to take over the coaching job in Detroit. Let’s slow down a little. He is just getting started with this coaching thing.
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