Do we have in front of us the best Canadian team in the history of the World Junior Championships?
We will have to wait for the final before deciding. But once again, in the semifinals on Monday, Canada crushed their opponents, the Russians, by a score of 5-0.
Canada, who will face the United States in the grand final, has won five of its six games by three or more goals, and half by five or more goals.
He outrageously dominates the competition even though almost all of his players had not played games since March 2020, despite a two-week quarantine and the absence of the two best junior forwards in the country, Alexis Lafrenière and Kirby Dach.
This team led by André Tourigny did not allow the least numerically equal goal of the tournament. She gave up a goal to the Finns in her last four games.
A European club is happy to have three or four first-round picks in its formation. Canada totals 20 this year, a record.
The two members of his first defensive duo, tournament best, Bowen Byram and Jamie Drysdale, used more than 25 minutes each Monday night against the Russians, were drafted among the top six.
The second overall pick in 2020, Quinton Byfield, has been relegated to the center of the third line. Fourth line right winger Philip Tomasino was traded to Oshawa last year for… nine draft picks, including six in the second round.
Among these players drafted in the first round, seven were in the top ten and fourteen among the top twenty.
Two of the team’s best players, Byram and center Alex Newhook, phenomenal Monday after missing the previous game with injury, belong to the Colorado Avalanche. As if they needed reinforcements …
Tourigny even had the luxury of cutting off seven first-round picks!
“You know how we are, the coaches: we are going to find points to improve, explained André Tourigny. I don’t want to focus on that, but we were less good on some aspects, including the face-offs. ”
Canada was wary of these young Russians, however, especially their 6’4 ”goaltender and first choice Nashville Predators, Yaroslav Askarov. But for the second year in a row against Canada, Askarov looked bad.
In his defense, his defense seemed overwhelmed by the speed of the Canadians, and shots were allowed from positions very unfavorable to the Russian goalkeeper.
Montreal goalie from Canada, Devon Levi, an unknown last summer, had his third shutout of the tournament. He brings his goals-against average to 0.53 and his save rate to .975. He could break two records with another such match in the final.
“I’m not playing for the records, but for the gold medal,” Levi said wisely on video conference after the meeting.
“He’s been phenomenal so far,” said Tourigny. I repeat myself every day. I do not know what to say anymore. He was excellent. He knew how to give us confidence. “
Levi will join Northeastern, the same club as Canadian prospects Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble, after the tournament.
Seventh overall pick by the Buffalo Sabers in 2019, Dylan Cozens alone took first place in tournament scoring with 16 points in 6 games. But his closest pursuer, American Trevor Zegras, an Anaheim Ducks prospect like Jamie Drysdale, the Canadian defender, is just one point off the lead and he faced Finland late in the evening.
Canadian prospect Kaiden Guhle, the only 18-year-old defender on the team, was effective defensively again, in just under 15 minutes of play.
– With The Canadian Press