It's a bit of a tradition waking up in the wee-hours and watching the world's best hockey players under twenty years of age play only for national pride and glory, rather than their pay stub. The Winnipeg Jets are represented with four prospects: Nic Petan and Joshua Morrissey for Team Canada, Andrew Copp for Team USA and Jan Kostalek for Team Czech.
Canada 7 : Germany 2
It's always difficult to judge from these games where you are seeing a gold-medal contending team versus a team that will be happy not to be relegated. Advance stats were not tracked at a team level for this first game, but will be for all future games.
Petan found himself centring Kerby Rychel and Curtis Lazar. The three players combined for 1G 1A and 7 shots on goal. At even strength, Petan played a pretty defensive game in the first two periods, tending to play up high and concentrating on defensive and neutral zone play. With a comfortable lead though, he did eventually play a more offensive game and created many chances, a goal and three shots on net in the third period.
Similar to Petan, Morrissey played a lot more tentatively in the first two periods. Morrissey was paired with Chris Bigras. Morrissey did not receive much power play time yet was able to get a shot on goal, with Matt Dumba being the only defenseman with more than a single shot on net. Morrissey had a few nice stretch passes, including one that was a primary assist on Sam Reinhart's second period goal. Still, Joshua shined best in the third period where he was active in Canada's transition game, and even created quite a few chances with some strong zone entry carries.
* Team statistics were not taken for this game so RelCorsi and contextual nuances are missed
United States 5 : Czech Republic 1
Another one-sided game although not as extreme.
Copp had a strong game in the faceoff circle, which of course caused him to be praised greatly by TSN. Overall Copp played well, centring the very north-south stylized third line for USA with Hudson Fasching and Stefan Matteau. Copp generated a team high six shots on goal, was 66% on the dot and created a primary assist.
Kostalek is one of only two drafted players on the entire Czech roster; the other being 2012 first round Radek Faksa. He mostly played with David Nemecek as his defensive partner. This game was a microcosm of Kostalek's skillset and style: he was deployed almost exclusively as a defensive zone specialist, moved the puck forward quickly and well, had a few huge open ice hits (one of which probably should have been an interference penalty), and the team played better with him on the ice than without, but didn't really create much offense.
All four prospects get tomorrow off and play on Saturday, with Canada taking on Czech Republic and USA faces Slovakia.