Every team in the tournament votes for their own best three players. From the outside looking in, we tend to look at things like “boxcars” (goals, assists, points), but that doesn’t give the true value of a player to a team. They know which guys were most consistent within the team system, rallied the team when it was most needed, and did the little things basically only coaches and scouts care about. So, these should hold some merit. Here are the three best players on every team in the World Juniors, as voted by their teams:

(Click twice enlarge, clarify)

My personal top three for the tournament: 

3. John Gaudreau

2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

1. John Gibson

Kind of a no-brainer list this year.

Gibson was an absolute rock for the US. At no point in any game did you get the impression that any clean shot could beat him. He was composed, poised, and ready to answer all challenges. If I’m not making this clear enough, I was supremely impressed.

The US defense looked great – particularly Jacob Trouba, Jake McCabe and Seth Jones (I actually like Gostisbehere too), and a lot of the reason for that is the confidence that they had in their goaltender freed them up to play without fear. It’s not like they didn’t give up chances, they just got bailed out when they did. It’s a real treat knowing you’ve got a guy like that behind you.

Either way, Gibson was the runaway tournament MVP. The Anaheim Ducks drafted him, and man-oh-man, they must be licking their bills after watching him earn gold in the World Juniors.

Comments (3)

  1. Bourne, kind of curious to know what you think of the Nuge now? Or maybe better yet Daniel Wagner?? Daniel put out the piece on how he may go down as the greatest Canadian ever, besting Patrice B.?? (I’m too lazy to go back and re-read it.. but the 1st few sentences made me almost vomit because without a Gold medal around your neck the tourney is just a waste… Nobody talks about Nigel Dawes and Anthony Stewart lighting it up for a Silver in ’04 {Jeff Carter in there too}, only to get beat by this Zach Parise kid??)

    I guess if I’m going to list the most successful Canadian in this IIHF tourney out of the past decade, he’s not even in my Top 4…
    1a. Carey Price (’07 kept Canadians in it till SO)
    1b. Jonathan Toews (’07 just youtube his 3 straight goals in SO to single handidly win the Gold Medal)
    2. Patrice Bergeron (’05 only because I was at every game, how epic was that Tourney? Rosters, etc plus the Gold medal showdown with Ovechkin calling out Canadian media, saying Team Canada weren’t God’s & Generals, loved it, Crosby finished 4th on the team in pts even better!)
    3. John Tavares (’09 but it’s tough considering that team scored 46 goals, with Hodgson putting up a ton too)

    But then again it’s tough because this is just a Junior Tourney, we all know it doesn’t always transition to a great Pro Career in the Show.. Sorry this got long winded

    • Wow, didn’t really proof read that.. Mainly my question is if you were to Rank RNH up against the past decade of Junior Players to play for Team Canada where does his performance put him?

      2nd question do you agree this “Lockout Dream Team” won’t be talked about because they couldn’t even earn a medal? (Yet, had they won a Gold it would’ve been because of the lockout)

      • Anyone see that sweet celly my russain boys put on as they were skating by canadas bench, freakin classic.. whoever 21 is on canada looked like he was gonna whack someone with his stick.. thats how you celly

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