Vancouver Canucks top prospects of week 11: 2018 World Juniors Preview

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Mathieu Joseph
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Mathieu Joseph /
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Four Vancouver Canucks prospects will represent their respective nations at the IIHF 2018 World Junior Championship, all with a good chance of challenging for the gold.

Since when did the Vancouver Canucks come to care so much about the World Junior Championships for the sake of their own prospects? If I recall correctly, it all started out with just two a few years ago, Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen representing Team Canada.

This year, the Canucks were this close to having six prospects compete at the U20 competition taking place in Buffalo, New York. After a strong showing at the summer showcase and the pre-tournament invitational, prospects Kole Lind and Mike DiPietro were cut by Team Canada.

Though DiPietro can play for Canada next year and prove them wrong for cutting him this year, this is the end of the road for Lind and his shot at Team Canada.

In this week’s watch of top prospects, we will be taking a look at the four prospects that are set to play in the tournament that has become a Boxing Day tradition for all of us. With the CHL and the NCAA on hiatus, for now, the focus of North American junior hockey will be solely on the World Juniors.

Meanwhile in Europe…

Meanwhile in Europe, where hockey continues despite the WJC, Jonathan Dahlen has continued to put up points. He now has 13 goals and 27 points in 22 games for Timra IK of Allsvenskan and is leading all forwards in ice time. In fact, Dahlen trails only three blueliners in ice time, logging nearly 18 minutes a night.

He is now at 1.23 points per game, which compares to Patrik Berglund‘s 1.25 ppg from ten years ago and to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare‘s 1.20 ppg from nine years ago.

There are rumours that Dahlen won’t make the much-anticipated jump to the Swedish Hockey League mid-season and continue to play for the Timra IK side as their top player. After all, Dahlen’s scoring pace ranks him at the top of the league and has helped Timra stay atop the Allsvenskan standings. It might not be a bad idea for him to learn how to utterly dominate and win a league even when the entire league is paying special defensive attention to him.