Hockey Future on Display

The NHL is on their mandated Christmas break until Wednesday the world now steps into the breech for all of those in need of a Hockey fix.  On Monday the 2023 IIHF under 20 Junior World Championships kicked off in Halifax Nova Scotia. On display is the future of the NHL.

10 countries sent their brightest under 20 years old to participate in this annual Holiday tournament.  Among the countries represented was the notable country not represented.  Russia was absent from this year’s tournament.  The USA and Canada are the two favorites expected to meet in the Tournaments championship game scheduled for January 5th. Hockey Future On Display In Nova Scotia.

Future Flyers

The Flyers do have representation in this year’s tournament.  Two current prospects have made the cut to represent their countries.  Among the Flyer’s representatives is Cutter Gauthier the Flyers 1st round selection in this past summer’s draft (5th overall).  He will anchor the left wing of Team USA’s 1st line. Brian Zanetti made the cut for his native Switzerland (another favorite to compete for the Gold). He was drafted by the Flyers in the 4th round of the 2021 draft. 

Gauthier is the hands-down big draw that many Flyers fans will be paying attention to. Before the tournament, he was killing it in the NCAA where he lays for Boston College.  Through 13 games at BC Gauthier has 10 goals and 6 assists. Because of this, the Flyers are hopeful that Cutter’s development will allow him to make the jump from the NCAA to the pros at some point this spring when BC’s season is completed.

Until then this week’s tournament will give Flyers fans their first look at one of the pieces that the Flyers hope will be part of the turnaround for the Orange and Black. Hockey Future On Display In Nova Scotia.

Generational Talent

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I would be negligent if I did not mention the biggest draw of them all in the tournament.  Team Canada’s Captain and consensus number-one pick in this summer’s upcoming draft is Conor Bedard.   Touted as the next generational talent Bedard already is tearing it up in the Western Hockey League of the Canadian Hockey League.  North America’s number-one league for junior players.  Bednard is possibly going to be the most-watched player in this tournament as many NHL teams will be vying for his services this summer. Through 28 games for the Regina Pats Bedard has 27 goals, 37 assists, and is a plus 14.          

This and That

Play began on Monday with Team USA defeating Latvia 5-2 Luke Hughes the younger brother of Vancouver Canuck Quinn, and New Jersey Devil Jack scored a goal, Canada lost to Chechnya 5-2 Bedard with one of Canada’s goals,   

Team USA and Team Canada are in different pools and will not face each other in first-round action. The USA and Switzerland are in the same pool.

Up next.  Team USA will face Slovakia on Wednesday at 4 pm Eastern, Team Canada will face Germany on Wednesday at 6:30 pm Eastern, and Switzerland will face Latvia at 4 pm Eastern on Tuesday.

All Games will be televised on the NHL Network.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.