The holiday season is upon us and with it comes many great traditions – trimming the Christmas tree; stuffing the turkey; and sneaking out of family gatherings periodically to watch some of the World Junior Hockey Championships. This year’s tournament runs from December 26 to January 5, 2019 and features 10 teams in two groups:
The Jets look to have only three prospects in this year’s tournament. The top potential prospect, Kristian Vesalainen, has declined an invitation to participate in this year’s tournament, choosing to remain with his club team Jokerit. One Jets prospect who will not be there, but likely had some consideration for the Canadian team, is Peterborough Petes defenseman Declan Chisholm who is putting up good numbers, and getting some attention from scouts.
The Jets prospects to watch are:
David Gustafsson: Sweden - Chosen 60th overall, 2018 NHL Entry Draft
Dylan Samberg: USA - Chosen 43rd overall, 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Santeri Virtanen: Finland - Chosen 105th overall, 2017 NHL Entry Draft
It will be interesting to track how each of these players performs in the tournament, as none of the three are expected to one of the top prospects to watch in the tournament. However, all three have size and the type of game that could translate well to either the AHL or NHL level sooner than some other prospects. The Hockey Writers has a great write up on all three, and we’ll be tracking their progress during the tournament.