Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
Minten & Cowan shine in overtime loss to USA to wrap up preliminary games
2 months ago
If the Canada vs United States game was the appetizer for the World Junior Classic, the main meal will be great.
On Saturday afternoon, Team Canada took on Team United States in their final tune-up game before the start of the tournament, with America winning by the score of 6-5 in overtime. This game featured a Canada comeback, extracurricular whistle festivities, and two Leaf prospects, everyone you want in a game! Let’s take a look at how the Leaf prospects did, as well as other interesting notes.
Toronto’s second-round pick in 2022 picked up an assist on a pretty brutal rebound from Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Jacob Fowler. The 19-year-old centre man was elevated to the top line to play alongside Conor Geekie and Jordan Dumais. This past Tuesday, Minten had two goals and an assist in an 8-0 drubbing of Norway’s u25 team.
Between the Kamloops Blazers and the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League, Minten has five goals and 15 points in 13 games played, as well as four games in the NHL.
Cowan didn’t get on the score sheet on Saturday, but he was one of Canada’s best players as he was all over the ice generating chances. He was elevated to Canada’s second line and played alongside Matthew Poitras and Matthew Savoie.
The Leafs’ first-rounder in the 2023 draft has 12 goals and 39 points in 23 games with the London Knights, and it’s pretty clear he’ll smash his career-high 20 goals and 53 points in 68 games.
Macklin Celebrini is going to be a problem for the rest of the league, but a blessing for the team that drafts him. It’s rare for a u18 player to dominate the World Junior Classic, even Connor McDavid didn’t do it, but Celebrini looks great so far. He had a goal, an assist, and a disallowed goal.
Nate Danielson could be the unsung hero of Team Canada. Detroit’s first-round pick in 2023 plays the game at such a high-level for his age on both sides of the puck. He has yet to show off his shot, but there’s a solid chance he’ll be used on a shutdown line.
Canada opens the tournament for real on Boxing Day, as they’ll face off against Team Finland at 8:30 AM EST. Canada is in the tougher group, as they’ll have to contend with Team Sweden, Team Finland, as well as Team Germany and Team Latvia.
Let’s go Canada!
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