Any break in national leagues action means international tournaments play, but the one coming up here in November brings us the busiest schedule of the entire season. It’s going to be a challenge keeping up with the play of all the draft eligible prospects competing against each other along the next couple of weeks. This article aims to provide some direction, helping to orientate through all the action that is about to take place.
The ‘circus’ begins tonight already as the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge gets underway in British Columbia. As usual, it is the main event of the season when it comes to prospects that are going to be draft eligible next season, which in this case means for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Tomorrow will then mark the start of CIBC Canada-Russia series, as Russia will tackle the WHL team in the opening game.
These two tournaments are basically the difference between this international break and the other ones, as they add to the typical U18, U20 events that populate the rest of the season in preparation for the U18 World Championships and the U20 WJC. But there is another twist to this break, as Swedish sensation Rasmus Dahlin will be taking part at Karjala Cup, a tourney that will see most of the top national teams prepare for the Winter Olympics. Both Karjala and U18 Five Nations will take place in Finland, and that’s where Draftin Europe will be doing its live scouting during this busy period.
In the following summaries we provide all the programs and rosters for the upcoming main international events, with some additional info players wise. In particular we start with a quick introduction of the U17 that begins tonight.
At the bottom we also added six other less popular events that will take place in the same days and offer further opportunities for scouting European prospects.
World U17 Hockey Challenge
Location: Dawson Creek and Fort Saint John, BC
Schedule: 05-11 November 2017
Teams: Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, USA, Canada-Black, Canada-Red, Canada-White
The main showcase of the season for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft is here, all four European hockey powers are taking part and here below we list their teams (click on them to see their rosters).
We mention some 2019 eligible players we are really looking forward to watch, but with plenty of up and coming talent on display, they’re obviously only the tip of the iceberg, and it would only be natural for a few prospects outside of the teens we’re already familiar with to come out of the dark and impress.
We also point out the relevant prospects that we noticed are going to miss the event and the ones taking part who are eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Note: once we digest what will unfold this week in Dawson Creek and Fort Saint John we will release an updated Top 5 for the 2019 NHL Draft.
To watch for 2019: we’re eager to see Victor Soderstrom and Tobias Bjornfot work on the back-end, while Albin Grewe may be the one leading the charge up front.
Not there: goal scoring machine Alexander Holtz is 2020 eligible and these days was still playing in TV-Pucken, the traditional Swedish regional junior tourney that ended today.
2020 eligible: F Noel Gunler (late ’01) , F Simon Andersson (late ’01), F Eric Juhlin (late ’01)
To watch for 2019: as suggested in the August Blue Dispatch release, centerman Matvei Guskov was close to making our 2019 Top 5 before the season and he has only been confirming his value to us, starting with a good showing as an underager at the Hlinka Memorial. Puck-moving defenseman Artemi Knyazev has struggled to bring his confident game to the MHL level so far and here against his peers gets a chance to get back on track.
Not there: we’ve been a bit surprised not to see sizeable goal scorer Danil Bashkirov and small but dynamic forward Dmitri Sheshin on the roster, as both have showed in the first part of the MHL season they could have probably been able to contribute.
2020 eligible: F Daniil Gushchin (2002), G Vsevolod Skotnikov (late ’01), D Alexei Goryachev (late ’01)
To watch for 2019: center Henri Nikkanen made our Top 5 in August and scored tying and winning goals in exhibition game vs Canada-Black back on Thursday. Ville Heinola is currently second in scoring among U18 defenders at the U20 level in Finland.
Not there: unfortunately, our early #1 for 2019 Kaapo Kakko will miss the event after being selected for it, just like it happened at Hlinka Memorial in August. His first showing on a big international stage will have to wait some more. Huge loss for the Finns. Also, powerful defenseman Mikko Kokkonen is already part of the U18 national team.
2020 eligible: F Veeti Miettinen (late ’01)
To watch for 2019: this should be a competitive Czech side. Slender right handed centerman Jonas Peterek was the closest Czech to our Top 5 back in August, forward Martin Lang has had a terrific start to the season and is the youngest player available for the 2019 draft. The roster as a whole holds more promise than last year’s one.
Not there: we were expecting to see 2020 eligible Adam Raska there, the late 2001 born is however playing with HC Frýdek-Místek these days (in the second tier Czech senior league) and might turn out to be a relevant loss.
2020 eligible: G Nick Malik (2002)
CIBC Canada-Russia series
Location: Moose Jaw, SK – Swift Current, SK – Owen Sound, ON – Sudbury, ON – Charlottetown, PEI – Moncton, NB
Schedule: 06-16 November 2017
Teams: Russia U20, CHL selections
U18 Five Nations
Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland
Schedule: 08-12 November 2017
Teams: Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA
U20 Four Nations
Location: Balashikha, Russia
Schedule: 8-10 November
Teams: Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden
Attending prospects who are first time eligible for the NHL Entry Draft:
CZE: J.Skarek, M.Kaut, O.Buchtela
FIN: J.Kotkaniemi, J.Ylonen, R.Kupari
RUS: V.Kravtsov, I.Muranov
SWE: A.Boqvist, J.Olofsson, I.Lundestrom, D.Gustafsson
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Schedule: 8-12 November
Teams: Czech R., Finland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada
U17 Four Nations
Location: Puchov, Slovakia
Schedule: 09-11 November 2017
Teams: France, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland
U18 Four Nations
Location: Fussen, Germany
Schedule & more: 09-11 November 2017 (scroll down)
Teams: Belarus, Slovakia, Germany, Denmark
U20 FIN-CZE friendlies
Location: Kopřivnice, Czech Republic
Schedule & more: 10-12 November
Teams: Czech Republic, Finland
Note: most players are U19 and the games are listed as such, but it’s actually an U20 event (several ’98 born players take part)
U20 Four Nations Cup
Location: Ventspils, Latvia
Schedule: 09-11 November 2017
Teams: Latvia, Austria, Belarus, Denmark
U20 Four Nations
Location: Monthey, Switzerland
Schedule & more: 10-12 November 2017
Teams: Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Slovakia
U16 CZE-SUI friendlies
Location: Klášterec nad Ohří, Czech Republic
Schedule & more: 10-12 November 2017 (scroll down)
Teams: Czech Republic, Switzerland
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