As the 2019-2020 World Junior Hockey Championships start on Boxing Day, many people will be cheering for their favourite country, or prospects of their favourite team. This year, the Oilers have 5 prospects heading to the Czech Republic and today I will give you the rundown on them.
Edmonton’s hotshot goalie prospect Oliver Rodrigue is looking to seize the starting job for team Canada. There has been lots of speculation on who will win the starting job for Team Canada as they head to the Czech Republic, but the general consensus is that Rodrigue is the leading candidate for the job. Rodrigue has played well in the past for Canada, as in the U-18’s, he put up a 1.33 GAA and .949 SV in 2018. The Moncton Wildcats goaltender has 15 wins this year with a 2.79 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. Hopefully, he can backstop Canada back to the top of the WJC once again.
Raphael Lavoie will be looking to prove NHL teams wrong for not drafting him in the first round when he takes the ice with Team Canada on Boxing Day. Lavoie will be looking to pile up the points in the Czech Republic as he has been seen as an amazing offensive player with a great shot throughout his career. He has 44 points in 30 games this year for the Halifax Mooseheads. Heading into the tournament he was on the 3rd line while getting 2nd PP unit time as well.
Philip Broberg will be looking to light it up at the WJC this year. Last year he was in a lesser role with Sweden but this year he is expected to lead the team to a medal finish. After last year’s stunning collapse against Switzerland in the quarterfinals, Broberg said that “Sweden is always going for gold” and that “his team wants to be in the finals”. Broberg has 4 points in 24 games while playing in men’s league in Sweden. Oilers fans along with Oilers scouts will be watching closely at how their 2019 8th overall pick does in a top pairing role this year.
Matej Blumel, the 2019 100th overall pick, will be looking to lead the Czech Republic to a medal finish at home. The quick forward has recorded 3 points in 18 games while playing in the Czech Republic. He opted to play pro instead of playing at the University of Connecticut this year. Last year he put up 7 points in 7 games to lead the Czech’s to a surprising 4th place finish. He looks to do the same this year, as he is the RW on the top line
The Oilers would have had 5 prospects going to WJC, but Patrick Siikanen got cut by Finland. Ken Holland and the Front Office will be watching closely, as are the rest of the world’s hockey fans so if the kids do well, it will be known across the hockey community.
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