Sunday, December 23, 2007


WJC 2008: The Matt Halischuk Show

The IIHF World Juniors Championship Under-20 Tournament is upon us! Coming to you straight out of the Czech Republic, the best young players from Canada, Russia, the United States, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, and (for the first time ever) Denmark will compete for glory. Running from December 26 through January 5, the competition should be something fierce between Russia and Canada, not to mention the hosts and U.S. looking to spoil the party. Teams like Denmark, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan will look to stay alive in the top tournament for next year - already Latvia and Germany loom for the 2009 WJC.

If you're looking for a Canadian-centric as well as a complete source for the WJC that isn't by the IIHF, has an entire section for the tournament. And you'll do well to use it; with respect to the New Jersey Devils, there is only one Devils prospect in this tournament. No, it's not Alexander Vasuynov - for some reason, Russia did not select him. No, it's not Nick Palmieri, he was not selected by USA Hockey. It's, well, clearly stated in the title. 2007 4th Rounder and currently unranked by Hockey's Future among the Devils' top 20 prospects, Matt Halischuk has been having a good season with Kitchener. He is currently the team's second leading scorer with 12 goals and 36 assists. I dare suggest this is a breakout year because until this year, he has never represented Canada in international play. Being selected onto their WJC team is a huge accomplishment and it speaks highly of what Team Canada sees in Halischuk.

While coverage of the WJC in the United States is limited at best, I'll note anything worthy within in tournament be it the United States succeeding or Halischuk doing something of note.

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