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Take a walk through past World Junior Hockey glory of current Leafs players

A lot of Toronto players have been to the WJC. Take a look at how they did.

IIHF World Junior Championship - Semifinals - Canada v Switzerland
He was so young. And so good, even then.
Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

If you make it to the NHL, you were probably good as a kid, so it’s not surprising a lot of Leafs played in past World Junior Hockey Championships.

Connor Brown didn’t. Tyler Bozak didn’t, but most of the rest of the top nine did.

Here’s all the Leafs and Marlies skaters, when they played, and how they did:

Name Year Games Goals Assists Points Points per Game Medals
Name Year Games Goals Assists Points Points per Game Medals
Connor Carrick 2014 5 0 3 3 0.60
Morgan Rielly 2013 6 1 2 3 0.50
Rinat Valiev 2015 7 0 3 3 0.43 Silver Medal
Jake Gardiner 2010 7 0 3 3 0.43 Gold Medal
Travis Dermott 2016 5 0 2 2 0.40
Martin Marincin 2010, 2011, 2012 14 1 4 5 0.36
Matt Hunwick 2004, 2005 13 0 4 4 0.31 Gold Medal
Roman Polak 2005, 2006 13 0 4 4 0.31 Bronze Medal
Nikita Zaitsev 2010, 2011 12 0 0 0 0.00 Gold Medal
William Nylander 2015, 2016 8 4 7 11 1.38
Nazem Kadri 2010 6 3 5 8 1.33 Silver Medal
Mitch Marner 2016 5 4 2 6 1.20
Auston Matthews 2015, 2016 12 8 6 14 1.17 Bronze
James van Riemsdyk 2007, 2008 2009 19 12 10 22 1.16 Bronze Medal
Brooks Laich 2003 6 2 4 6 1.00 Silver Medal
Dmytro Timashov 2016 7 2 5 7 1.00
Andreas Johnsson 2014 7 3 3 6 0.86 Silver Medal
Milan Michalek 2003 6 2 2 4 0.67
Joffrey Lupul 2003 6 2 1 3 0.50 Silver Medal
Kasperi Kapanen 2015,2016 12 3 3 6 0.50 Gold Medal
Leo Komarov 2006, 2007 13 2 4 6 0.46 Bronze Medal
Frederik Gauthier 2014, 2015 14 0 2 2 0.14 Gold Medal
Marc-André Cliche 2007 6 0 0 0 0.00 Gold Medal
Kerby Rychel 2014 7 0 0 0 0.00

William Nylander is the champion by points per game, narrowly beating out Nazem Kadri for that honour. Kadri got a medal though.

James van Riemsdyk has always been good, and Mitch Marner’s 1.20 points per game was a disappointment, which is a good lesson in reasonable expectations because it looks good in hindsight.

Brooks Laich and Milan Michalek both played well in 2003, the oldest tournament played in by any of these guys. I’m sure neither believed they’d be in the AHL 14 years later, but that is how hockey goes sometimes. Joffrey Lupul played that year too, and he is nowhere to be seen now.

Six of these players were in the WJC last year!

Connor Carrick has the highest points per game of a defender, and Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick have identical records. Were you even expecting to see both of them on the list?

And now the goalies:

Name Year Games Played Save Percentage GAA Medals
Name Year Games Played Save Percentage GAA Medals
Frederik Andersen 2008 4 0.854 5.62
Jhonas Enroth 2007, 2008 8 0.898 2.54 Silver Medal
Jeff Glass 2005 5 0.922 1.4 Gold Medal
Karri Ramo 2006 1 0.861 6.21 Bronze Medal
Garret Sparks 2013 0 0 0 Gold Medal

Andersen’s one try at the top-level WJC was a bit of a disaster, but he has a gold and a silver in Division I play both at the U20 and the U18 level, so he proved his worth as a young goalie. He talked about his WJC expecience with Sportsnet, and it’s a very good read:

"That’s what it felt like when we went there," said Andersen. "We were playing against Bernier and (Steve) Mason, and Bernier had already played NHL games. We were like: ‘Woah, this kid’s good.’ This guy has already played a bunch of NHL games and we were there playing under-20 in Denmark and not even in the best league. Not even playing pro in Denmark, some of us.

Sparks is the man who got the gold for never playing (John Gibson was the starter), but there are some skaters who never got a point, two of them forwards!

Ramo has nearly as bad a record, one terrible game and a bronze medal. (Tuukka Rask was the starter that year.)

As for the future stars looking to join the Leafs who are playing this year:

Toronto’s Carl Grundström has one goal in seven games from last year’s contest, so he’ll have to really pile up points to challenge Nylander’s points per game rate. Jeremy Bracco has the ability to do it, although it would help if he hadn’t been last year’s Alex DeBrincat, cut for being too...something. And as for Joseph Woll, no one wants to be Garret Sparks or Karri Ramo, playing behind a future star. And he just might be doing that if the USA decides to ride Tyler Parsons hard, but if Woll gets a medal, it’s still earned.