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Team Canada WJC - Virtanen update


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Thought I would put this here


Will this #WorldJuniors record stand forever? Markus Naslund scored 13 goals in 1993. http://www.worldjunior2016.com/en/news/thirteen-is-the-magic-number/ 


. No one has come close to beating Swedish star Markus Naslund's 1993 record for most goals in one World Junior tournament.

“I don’t know if it means a whole lot,” Naslund said. “It was a fun memory playing in the World Junior tournament. But that particular tournament, we lost the gold medal, and that’s what I remember the most. We lost 5-4 to Canada. In my mind, we were the best team in the tournament.”

Finishing second was a particularly bitter pill for the high-flying Swedes, favoured to win gold on home ice in Gavle in '93. They had a 53-15 goal differential, compared to 37-17 for Canada, which claimed its first of five straight titles. Close-but-not-quite was the rule under then-Swedish U20 head coach Tommy Tomth. He led Sweden to three straight silvers (1992-94) and added a bronze (1995).

“That’s been the story of my life, always winning the silver!” Naslund said with a rueful chuckle. The eight-year Vancouver captain and three-time First Team NHL All-Star also wound up with a silver (1993) and two bronzes (1999, 2002) from the IIHF World Championships. He did not play at the 2006 Olympics, where Sweden won gold in Turin, due to a groin injury.

Back in 1993, the Ornskoldsvik-born left wing with the stellar wrist shot was named captain at his second World Juniors. He suited up with two well-known players from his northern hometown of 55,000. They were on fire from Day One.


“It was a great line, playing with Peter Forsberg and Niklas Sundstrom, who came from the same small town,” Naslund recalled. “Putting us together...I mean, I played with Peter for a few years before that, too, but we had a similar chemistry as Todd, Brendan, and myself.”

Forsberg, who later became an IIHF Triple Gold Club member, still holds the single-tournament points record from ‘93 (31). The legendary centre’s grit and playmaking helped Naslund light the red light at an unprecedented pace. The Swedes walloped newly promoted Japan 20-1 – another tournament record – and Naslund scored five times.

The big question is, will anyone ever beat Naslund’s goal-scoring record? No other sniper has even gotten into double digits since he pulled it off.

The closest recently was Max Friberg, who scored nine times in Sweden’s 2012 gold medal run. At the 2015 tournament, three Canadians (Max Domi, Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart) and one American (Dylan Larkin) tied for the lead with just five goals apiece.

Naslund is sceptical about seeing his record topped in an era when team defence and goaltending have reached new heights: “It was a totally different game back then, and that makes it that much more difficult to break a record like that.”

The 43-year-old is currently developing a ski resort in Sweden with a business partner. It’s a long way from what he was doing in 1993. But his record lives on, in all its glory and wistfulness, kind of like an old Whitney Houston song.

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On 12/20/2015 at 1:35 PM, chilliwiggins said:

Program for one don't determine whether any player becomes an NHL'er.    Konecny is a fail in my mind by Benning not taking him at 23.   Anyways, Brock Boeser and Travis Konecny will be head to head on December 26 , then you can be the judge.   It should be an advantage for Brock since he's playing with his line mate from his team (Scmauchts), as well as a team (on paper) that has better offence.  My moneys on Konecny to clearly outperform boeser.   I hope konecny levels him

Based on what evidence?

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Quick text convo with Jim Benning. He confirms that Jake Virtanen will rejoin the Canucks after returning from WJC.


IMO the fastest way to get Virtanen back to a rhythm and forgetting this tournament is if he is sent back to juniors.

If...he had had a great tournament...

If...the Canucks were not such a fragile team right now

then I'd say he should stay.

But if all he is going to do is stew on the bench, thinking about how he screwed up, while Willie frantically tries to win and so shortens his bench every game to make the playoffs, then it does no good at all.  Better to have him be playing top minutes on the Hitmen, and regain his confidence by playing against his age group. 

I guess there is the excuse that the Canucks are so woefully untalented, and/or injured that it may leave Benning no choice.

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Certainly was a tournament to forget for JV.

In my mind, the top line of Marner, Strome and Point all played well as did Barzal, but there was big drop off from there.

Hicketts impressed me as well, but he'll be remembered for the wrong reasons in this tournament.

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