The World Junior Championships are officially in the rear-view mirror. The thrilling 11-day tournament featuring the best under-20 players in the world ended with a gold medal win for Canada, silver for Russia, and bronze for Sweden.
Four Red Wings prospects took home a medal. The only member of Detroit’s farm system participating that came up short was Moritz Seider of Germany, who defeated Kazakhstan in the relegation round to remain in the top-group.
Joe Veleno and Jared McIsaac were apart of the gold medal winning Team Canada. After both 2018 draft picks were shockingly sent home in the quarter finals of last years tournament, they came through this time and finished on top of the Junior Hockey Mountain.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 5, 2020
Veleno, specifically, played a huge role in the gold medal game against Russia, playing over 25 minutes as a forward. He caps off a truly remarkable career with Hockey Canada as a junior-age player, with a resume that includes:
- Became the first 15-year-old to be granted exceptional status into the QMJHL
- Became the first underage player to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
- Became the second 16-year-old to represent Canada at the Hlinka tournament (the other being Sidney Crosby)
- Became the first player to ever represent Canada twice at the Hlinka tournament
- Won the 2017 Hlinka tournament as team captain of Canada
- Captained Canada at the 2018 Under-18 Championships
- Represented Canada twice at the World Junior Championships
- Won gold for Canada at the 2020 World Junior Championships
Veleno finishes off the tournament with one goal and six points in six games. His game-by-game breakdown can be seen below:
McIsaac also played a pivotal role for Canada on the back-end. The soon-to-be Moncton blue-liner played a steady role next to New Jersey prospect Ty Smith for most of the tournament. Playing in those pressure filled games against Russia and Finland in the medal round will surely help his transition to pro hockey next season.
McIsaac finishes the event with one goal and four points in seven games. His game-by-game breakdown:
On the bronze medal winning Swedes, two Detroit prospects helped secure the third place finish: Jonatan Berggren and Jesper Eliasson. While neither served in a prominent role, their contributions were still felt, specifically in the preliminary round.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 5, 2020
In group play, Berggren registered a point in every game. It wasn’t until the medal round when his ice time saw a big drop. In seven games he scored one goal and five points.
As for Eliasson, the 2018 third rounder only started in one game, serving as the backup to Tampa Bay prospect Hugo Alnefelt. In an appearance against Kazakhstan in the preliminary round, Eliasson stopped 17 of 19 shots in a 6-2 victory.