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By Peter Baracchini 23. December 2020
Following the success of Rasmus Sandin and Nick Robertson at the Junior World Championship last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be well represented again in 2021.
With six interested parties taking part in the tournament, there is no shortage of talents from their pool of interested parties competing for a gold medal. It may have been seven since Robertson was eligible, but he was not on the list. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that while the Maple Leafs would have loved to attend it, the main goal is to form the NHL club. eval (ez_write_tag ([[580,400], ‘thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-3’, ‘ezslot_1’, 662, ‘0’, ‘0’]);
While it would have been great to see him tear apart at the tournament, there are still plenty of perspectives for Maple Leafs fans to look at and evaluate.
If you don’t know Amirov, you’ve missed it as he has been spectacular since he was 15 in the 2020 NHL Draft. Overall rank was chosen. Although the tournament has not started yet, Amirov is ready to be an essential player in Team Russia’s success.
In 23 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa this season, he has scored five goals and three assists while averaging less than 14 minutes of ice time per game. He always uses his possibilities when he is on the ice. After Amirov was named best striker at the Karjala Cup, he will have another chance to prove his skills at the World Juniors. He is currently with Marat Khusnutdinov (Minnesota Wild, 37. Overall, 2020) and Vasily Podkolzin (Vancouver Canucks, 10. Overall rank, 2019) at the top. .
WJC teams are still working on final decisions to get to 25 men by Saturday / Sunday and the lines are still in the works but it seems like Marat Khusnutdinov (MIN) could be between Rodion Amirov (TOR) and Vasili Podkolzin (VAN).
There’s a reason he earned his spot as one of Russia’s best strikers. Amriov’s speed, quick hands, and shot make him a great prospect. He is very competitive and is always fighting for the puck. While most are concerned with his offensive play, his defensive play is every bit as strong as he can get into the shooting lanes and pressurize the puck holder to generate revenue.
Its presence on the top line is one reason why this line will be difficult to contain. In a tournament where there is no shortage of talent, Amirov will make an important contribution.
Abramov has continued to impress since the Maple Leafs drafted him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. After scoring 35 goals and 76 points in 2019-20, he recorded 14 points in nine games as captain of the Victoriaville Tigres. Despite limited games, Abramov did awesome and caught the attention of the Russian national junior team.
This is not the first time he has represented his country. Abramov scored seven points in five games at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and ended up in the top 10 while winning a bronze medal.
Abramov’s speed and playing skills will be of enormous importance to Russia at the tournament. It’s still uncertain where he will fit in the line-up, but given his talent he should be the center of the second row behind Khusnutdinov. Head coach Igor Larionov says he likes Abramov’s hockey IQ, but he’s currently listed as the team’s fifth center.
Abramov still has a lot to do. He has to prove himself to Larionov to get more meaningful minutes instead of being a healthy scratch. eval (ez_write_tag ([[580,400], ‘thehockeywriters_com-large-mobile-banner-1’, ‘ezslot_0’, 666, ‘0’, ‘0’]);
After two strong seasons he had one . 921 (2018-19) and a . With a percentage saving of 931 (2019-20) (SV%) and two consecutive seasons of 20 wins, Akhtyamov got off to a good start with Bars Kazan in Russia’s second highest tier, the VHL.
Sport a . With 935 SV% and a 3-2-3 record, the Maple Leafs’ fourth round pick secured a spot as one of the three goalkeepers for the Russian team. He has great movement on the net, good vision to locate the puck, and he is also aggressive at challenging the shooter which is why he sometimes gets into trouble.
Realistically, Akhtyamov won’t see much game time. Yaroslav Askarov, who finished 11th in 2020 from the Nashville Predators. selected is the undisputed starter. But in back-to-back games or when Askarov needs a break, you can expect to see Akhtyamov in the fold.
In his second professional season in the Liiga with Ässät, Hirvonen has become one of the few prospects who caught the attention of Leafs Nation. With nine points in 21 games in the 2020-21 season, Hirvonen has improved its value as a prospect. He will have the opportunity to demonstrate his skills and increase his membership with Team Finland at the World Juniors.
He’s small, but he plays a big game. At 5-foot-9, 172 lbs, his ability to compete and fight for the puck for possession stands out. He is responsible in all three zones. It is able to pause games in the defensive zone, move quickly through the neutral zone, and has excellent vision and speed to attack in the offensive zone while scoring precise passes. He also has a tendency to drive the net and the endangered areas.
The Maple Leafs selected him with their selection for the second round, 59 in total. in the 2020 draft, and Hirvonen was playing a game when he was notified on-screen that he had been drafted. eval (ez_write_tag ([[728,90], ‘thehockeywriters_com-large-mobile-banner-2’, ‘ezslot_7’, 670, ‘0’, ‘0’]);
Despite the increase in production and more minutes in the liiga, he is likely Finland’s third line center and he could see special teams for some time. Could make a real impression on the offensive.
Kokkonen, one of three returning defenders from last year’s tournament, will see more ice age and be an important part of the Finnish top four defensive. He has also taken a leadership role as assistant captain.
Last year Kokkonen scored two goals in seven games when Finland lost to Sweden in the bronze medal match. While there are plenty of others taking the offensive load up front and on the defensive, Kokkonen will bring his consistent defensive play back to the table.
His defensive mentality will complement a defense that already has strong offensive players like Ville Heinola. While he will be a fixture on penalties, Kokkonen’s offensive play shouldn’t be ignored. He hasn’t put up any strong offensive numbers but he has a great wrist shot that can hit the net and spread the puck really well. A player like Kokkonen as one of Finland’s best defenders will help them go far in the tournament.
With Kokkonen and the other returning players set to play a key role in the Finnish defense, Niemela, the Maple Leafs’ third round pick in 2020, is another key player.
Like Hirvonen, Niemela is in his second professional season in the Liiga. He had six assists and seven points in 43 games during the 2019-20 season. With more Ice Age and more opportunities in 2020-21, he has three assists in nine games.
Topi Niemela is really active in the offensive zone and is always looking for space to get into shooting positions. Watch him attack the high risk area when he sees the gap in cover for his first Liiga goal last season: pic. Twitter. com / ibFMGmNe3v
His two-way game is a real asset to Finland. While Niemela may not be an offensive point producer, he does so much that he is an excellent player. He possesses great speed and agility that allow him to be an effective puck mover and advance the game. Defensively, Niemela has great positioning and attention, and he’s a key player in penalty shootouts. eval (ez_write_tag ([[728,90], ‘thehockeywriters_com-Leader-2’, ‘ezslot_10’, 672, ‘0’, ‘0’]);
There’s a good chance Niemela will be used in Finland’s second defensive pair. He has a great vision for locating his teammates and making excellent passes for clean breakouts or quick moves in the offensive zone. In Finland’s game before the tournament, he had an offensive influence with two power play points, one goal and one assist against the USA.
The Maple Leafs’ talent at this tournament is strong. Four of their six prospects for the tournament were drafted in 2020 and they now have a great opportunity to add to their value. The combination of speed, dexterity and intelligence will be displayed at the start of the tournament. Fans should be delighted.
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Toronto Maple Leafs, National Hockey League, Ice Hockey, Junior Ice Hockey World Championships, Zach Bogosian, Mikko Kokkonen
World News – CA – Toronto Maple Leafs well represented at WJC 2021
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