Successful World Juniors for Devils Prospects

Joey Anderson (right) celebrates with Clayton Keller and Colin White

Joey Anderson (right) celebrates with Clayton Keller and Colin White

Joey Anderson: The only Devil’s prospect who was a member of the gold medal winning USA team, Anderson had a very successful tournament. Starting the tournament with a 4th line checking role, Anderson impressed his coaches and was moved up to the top line alongside elite talents Colin White and Clayton Keller. Anderson was tasked with playing hard along the boards and creating space for the top 2 scorers on Team USA and was able to do just that. It was very reminiscent of his role on the U18 National Team where he played alongside Keller and 19th overall pick Kieffer Bellows. Anderson also showed off some offensive prowess despite only racking up 2 assists. Anderson hit the post multiple times and also created some glorious opportunities for himself in overtime of the semifinal game against Russia. That all being said Anderson played a key role on the gold medal team and certainly raised his prospect stock in the process.
McLeod scoring on one of his limited shifts

McLeod scoring on one of his limited shifts

Michael McLeod: The Devils first round pick in the 2016 draft was essentially shafted by the Canadian coaching staff. Seeing only minute minutes on the ice McLeod consistently created scoring opportunities only to go back to the bench for large portions of the game. The fastest player on Canada wasn’t even utilized in their overtime game against the USA despite being fresh from only playing 2:15 in the 3rd period. Despite this McLeod had an assist against the USA springing Mathieu Joseph for a breakaway goal. McLeod finished the tournament with 2 goals and 1 assist in about 40 minutes of ice time.
Blake Speers: Speers played a large role for the Canadians on their road to silver. Speers was one of Canada’s top penalty killers and played an energy grinding role during 5 on 5 play. He played very fast and created offense with his hard forecheck and strong skating. His one goal tied Canada with the Czechs in the quarterfinals. His key play came in their opening game against the Russians where Speers was able to block a shot and clear the zone on the penalty kill without a stick. He had a very strong showing and expect Speers to have a strong chance at breaking the Devils roster next fall.
Yegor Rykov: All 4 Devils prospects medaled but none played as well as Yegor Rykov. Rykov was the Devils 5th round pick in last year’s draft and not much was thought of him at the time. Very little information comes out of Russia regarding prospects making them hard to evaluate. However, after this tournament, it looks like the Devils got a steal. Rykov was awarded a trophy for being one of Russia’s 3 best players and was arguably their best defenseman. Rykov and 9th overall pick Mikhail Sergachyov led the Russian blue line. Rykov finished only behind tournament MVP Thomas Chabot in defenseman scoring. Rykov was continuously poised with the puck and was showed skill in creating offense. In a system so sparse with defensive talent it is helpful for Rykov to show that he has the promise of eventually becoming an NHL level defenseman.


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