The World Junior Championship offers a chance for every NHL fan to watch the next generation of stars. The best-on-best tournament allows us to see the best and the brightest from the NHL’s prospect pool.
With that in mind, let’s get familiar by having a look around the league at some top prospects coming up through the pipeline.
World Junior Championship: Prospects From NHL Teams
In case you want to scroll to your favorite team, I’ve made it a bit easier with links to each division.
Boston Bruins - Fabian Lysell (SWE)
A first-round pick from 2021, Fabian Lysell has had an impressive run at the AHL level with 19 points in 20 games. Boston’s core is getting older, and seeing Lysell get ready to take the next step is important to keep Boston on top longer.
Buffalo Sabres - Noah Ostlund (SWE)
The undersized forward is having a solid year at the Allsvenskan level with 11 points in 19 games. Buffalo isn’t yet at its peak – they’ll need all the talent they can get, and if this kid keeps it up at the WJC, he might just help them in some way.
Detroit Red Wings - Red Savage (USA)
A fourth-round pick with a first-round name. Red (or rather Redmond) Savage is a great name for a hockey player. The Miami University (Ohio) player has taken a big step up this season, scoring 0.625 points per game compared to 0.457 last year. Now he’s made Team USA. Steve Yzerman sure knows how to pick ’em.
Florida Panthers - Sandis Vilmanis (LAT)
The fifth-round pick in 2022 is scoring at a near point-per-game pace in the OHL for Sarnia after making the jump from Sweden. This could be a heck of a find for Florida. Now we all get to see if that’s true.
It's a ✨NEW WEEK✨ so you know what that means...— Sarnia Sting (@StingHockey) December 7, 2022
It's time for the Hollinworth Paving Play of the Week!
With the game tied at 1, Sandis Vilmanis finds an Sportsbook along the side with speed and snipes a highlight reel goal against Saginaw 🚨#SwarmWarning🐝 pic.twitter.com/oyJ3NnmrKI
Montreal Canadiens - Joshua Roy (CAN)
In his last 92 games in the QMJHL, Roy has 162 points. The 19-year-old is averaging nearly 1.76 points per game. The fifth rounder might be a terrific catch for the Habs.
Ottawa Senators - Tyler Boucher (USA)
The Sens’ 10th overall pick in 2021 has 0.70 points per game since leaving the NCAA and joining the OHL 67’s. Ottawa already has a strong collection of talent in the show, but to have a second wave would do the fan base a world of good. At least temporarily.
Tampa Bay Lightning - Dylan Duke (USA)
Duke has equaled his production from last year in half the time and is scoring a goal every other game at the NCAA level. Duke could provide significant depth for the U.S. and Tampa is going to be grinning from ear to ear when he does.
Carolina Hurricanes - Aleksi Heimosalmi (FIN)
The second-round selection in 2021 is scoring at a near half-point-per-game pace. I know that might not sound great, but he’s doing that against men in Finland. *That’s* impressive.
Columbus Blue Jackets - David Jiricek (CZE)
If Czechia makes noise in this tournament (and I think they can), David Jiricek will have a major role in that. The sixth overall selection in 2022 is putting up monster numbers for the Monsters in the AHL with 18 points in 18 games.
David Jiricek records 3 assists today for the Cleveland Monsters giving him 16 points in 16 AHL games. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3JSB9VZmZp— CBJ Center (@CBJcenter) December 17, 2022
New Jersey Devils - Luke Hughes (USA)
The third of the Hughes brothers hasn’t slowed down even though Michigan has. The Devils want to know if he can be as good as his older brother Jack, who already leads New Jersey. Luke will be on the top pairing for the USA and will have a chance to show off for the Devils.
New York Islanders - Calle Odelius (SWE)
The smooth-skating defenseman should have been selected way earlier than 65th overall in 2022. Odelius is going to get a chance to show off playing on Sweden’s second defensive pair.
New York Rangers - Brennan Othmann (CAN)
Othmann is going to have a big tournament. That’s because he’s going to play with Shane Wright and Connor Bedard.
Philadelphia Flyers - Cutter Gauthier (USA)
Another first-round name here. The fifth overall pick in 2022 is nearing a goal a game and over a point per game at the NCAA level. Philly needs help ASAP and adding a strong World Juniors would build his case to being that help for the Flyers.
Washington Capitals - Ryan Chesley (USA)
The right-shot defenseman is playing between the second and third pair for the USA. The Caps don’t have a deep prospect pool and they’ll be watching him closely at the WJC.
Arizona Coyotes - Dylan Guenther (CAN)
You won’t find a player in this tournament with more NHL experience than Guenther. The ninth overall pick in 2021 already has 21 games under his belt and 11 points to boot. The Coyotes hope to be in on Connor Bedard, and the ’Yotes will get to see how Guenther and the generational talent fit together.
Chicago Blackhawks - Kevin Korchinski (CAN)
Chicago is all-in on the rebuild. One of the key pieces, so far, is defenseman Kevin Korchinski. Hawks fans will get to see how their seventh overall pick from 2022 stands out in a best-on-best tournament.
Colorado Avalanche - Sean Behrens (USA)
The left-shot defenseman is one of the leaders for Team USA. Behrens might not have the same production as some of the other players here, but he’s an important player for the U of Denver, the top side in the NCHC.
Dallas Stars - Logan Stankoven (CAN)
This is the player I’m most excited to see. The second-rounder from 2021 oozes talent. He’s undersized at five-foot-seven but is putting up just over two points per game at the WHL level. That’s just a bit less than Connor Bedard.
Logan Stankoven's 5v5 stats from Nov 23:— Mitchell Brown (@MitchLBrown) December 6, 2022
• 12 scoring chances (1.39 xG)
• 8 scoring chance assists (1.69 xA)
• 16 slot passes
• 9 controlled entries
• 5 OZ retrievals
• 9 pucks off the boards to the middle
• 1 insane highlight reel pic.twitter.com/AxNyAiwH5n
Minnesota Wild - David Spacek (CZE)
Spacek is going to be a massively important player for the Czechs. Jiricek and Spacek will be the two key players patrolling the blue line and controlling the pace of the game for Czechia.
St. Louis Blues - Jimmy Snuggerud (USA)
Snuggerud is one of those guys who just seems to have a third eye. He sees the ice better than anyone, finding Sportsbooks before they exist, and reads plays before his opponents do. A real cerebral player.
Winnipeg Jets - Brad Lambert (FIN)
There was a lot of hype around Lambert going into the 2022 draft. But his stock fell on the draft floor and he was taken 30th overall by the Jets. The former Liiga player has developed slowly since the draft. The Jets, and their fans, are hoping to see him shine at this tournament.
Anaheim Ducks - Nathan Gaucher (CAN)
The big six-foot-three, 207-pound center is one of those Swiss army-type players for Canada. He won’t win a scoring title at the tournament, but he’s going to play important minutes for Canada and excel in every second of those minutes.
Calgary Flames - Topi Ronni (FIN)
Ronni still has some growing to do. The Calgary Flames and their fans want to see how close – or far off – this second-round pick from 2022 is.
Edmonton Oilers - Reid Schaefer (CAN)
The Oilers don’t have too many players at this tournament to watch, but Schaefer, a first-round pick in 2022, will get all of their attention.
Los Angeles Kings - Brandt Clarke (CAN)
Clarke got a nine-game tryout with the Kings at the start of the season and put up two points in that tryout. There’s a lot to like here for Kings fans. Their eighth overall pick in 2021 is going to be an important player for the Canadians.
Nashville Predators - Joakim Kemell (FIN)
The Finnish forward finished the 2022 tournament second in points. Finland is going to lean on the sniper to lead them offensively once again.
San Jose Sharks - Filip Bystedt (SWE)
The big, smooth-skating forward has an eye-Sportsbook 11 points in 26 games in the Swedish top league. Bystedt could be a huge part of the San Jose rebuild.
Seattle Kraken - Shane Wright (CAN)
The fourth overall pick in 2022 is likely going to have a massive tournament. He should easily sit at the top of the goal and points table by the end of the tournament.
Vancouver Canucks - Jonathan Lekkerimaki (SWE)
Not much is going well for Vancouver Canucks fans this year, but perhaps seeing their 15th overall pick in 2022 lead the line offensively for the Swedes will put a smile on their faces.
Vegas Golden Knights - Zach Dean (CAN)
Dean is scoring over a point per game in the QMJHL since 2021-22. Vegas is going to be interested to see if the shifty and skilled forward, drafted 30th overall in 2022, can stand out in a best-on-best tournament.