Team Sweden kicked off their summer evaluation camp WJCs scrimmages with a big 6-3 win over Team USA White on Sunday afternoon. Leafs prospect Carl Grundstrom picked up a pair of goals in the game, helping to secure the victory for the Swedes. Watch the 57th overall pick's two goals above. Grundstrom is a virtual lock to make the team, having played at last year's World Juniors. He is committed to play for Frolunda in 2016-17 after MODO was demoted from the SHL.
After going scoreless, despite three shots, in the United States' 5-1 loss to Team Canada yesterday, Auston Matthews has responded with two points today. His first point came on a pass to the point to set up Chris Wideman for a primary assist. His first goal came off a pass from Winnipeg Jets prospect Kyle Connor. Matthews is playing top-six minutes for Team USA as they lead Belarus 5-2 in the second period.
The Toronto Maple Leafs seventh round pick moved into fourth in SHL scoring with the two-goal night (afternoon).
After picking up a first period goal, Leafs prospect Mitch Marner added to it in the second period of tonight's game against the Sarnia Sting. His 27th goal of the season gave the Knights a 5-1 lead after two periods against their rivals. The goal came moments after Marner nearly set up teammate and fellow Leafs prospect J.J. Piccinich on a cross-ice pass that was stopped by Charlie Graham. Through two periods Marner has two goals and three shots on goal, winning 5/11 of his faceoffs.
The London Knights are visiting the Sarnia Sting tonight, and carry a 3-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to this goal from Mitch Marner. The goal, assisted by fellow Leafs prospect and linemate JJ Piccinich, sees the former fourth round pick slide a puck down low to Marner who later receives a rebound to finish his 26th goal of the season. With Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli in attendance to watch some of the 2016 NHL Draft's top prospects, Marner and Piccinich are paired on a line with projected top 10 pick Matthew Tkachuk, who also picked up an assist on the play.
In the midst of a big loss to Val d'Or, Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals finished this individual effort, dodging away from traffic to score from the high slot. The goal demonstrated some of the flash that helped Dzierkals carry Team Latvia into next year's World Juniors. In 36 games this season in the QMJHL, Dzierkals now has 43 points. His 1.19 points per game clip places him third among QMJHL rookies in scoring, behind Maxime Comtois (2017 NHL Draft) and Vitali Abramov (2016 NHL Draft).
Two goals and an assist for Andreas Johnson today in Sweden! See his game winner.
The Leafs say this episode is about opportunity; I say it's about loneliness.
After scoring five goals with the Oshawa Generals to start the season, Leafs prospect Stephen Desrocher has scored his first goal with the Kingston Frontenacs. Through 19 games with his new team, Desrocher now has 10 points. Watch the goal above, as Desrocher uses his heavy shot (his best asset) to tie the game for Kingston in their eventual 4-2 win.
Latvia is off to a strong start at the WJC's Division I tournament in Austria with back-to-back wins to start the tournament, including a 5-3 win over Kazakhstan today. Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals, after going scoreless in the first game, registered a goal and an assist in today's victory alongside a team-high six shots. Dzierkals is on leave from the QMJHL's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies -- where he has registered 33 points in 26 games as a rookie -- in order to represent his country. Latvia looks to continue their strong play on Wednesday when they play 1-1 Norway.
Team Canada and the CIS All-Stars are tied 2-2 at the end of the first period in the first of two back-to-back games this weekend thanks in part to a goal from Leafs prospect Travis Dermott. Dermott, playing on a pairing with Flyers prospect, slid up in the offensive zone to finish off a nice play from Julien Gauthier -- one of three draft eligible players in camp with Canada. You can read my story on Dermott, whose Erie Otters are beginning life without their star defensemen for the time being. Update: Dermott has added an assist to tie the game at the end of the second period.
Jeremy Bracco has always had a chip on his should but after being left off Team USA's World Junior Championship selection camp roster, the all-time development program assist leader really has something to play for. In two games since receiving the news, the 18-year-old winger has five points with the Kitchener Rangers. In 17 games since joining the Rangers as an OHL rookie, Bracco now has 23 points. Watch his two latest goals above.
After a big 'two-goal' night (one being a shootout winner) in Frolunda's CHL quarters win over Lulea, Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson picked up where he left off back in the SHL yesterday. Watch his two latest goals above. The goals gave Johnson 23 points in 25 SHL games this season -- his last before coming to North America.
Leafs prospect Nikita Korostelev is off to a relatively slow start to his post-draft season. After being taken with the Leafs' final pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, Korostelev has registered 17 points in 26 games this year. Watch his seventh goal of the season above, where he uses his best skill (his shot) to score from the high slot in Sarnia's 5-2 win.
Drafted 95th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, it took 18-year-old Leafs prospect Jesper Lindgren 22 games to register his first goal and second point in the SHL. After going scoreless in his first 17 games with MODO this, and sitting a couple of games, the J20-dominant defensemen finally broke out. You can read more about the young defensemen, ranked 58th in my final draft ranking with McKeen's Hockey last season, here.