By Lindsey Brown
*Lindsey Brown is a former college goaltender for THE Ohio State and Saint Anselm College. She was raised on the very Minnesota pond water that gets tossed on the ice before every Wild game. You can find her at Wild games or somewhere watching hockey and drinking a Diet Coke.
2019 World Junior Championships Preview
Ahh yes, the magical days of the World Junior Championships are upon us. The WJC is one of the best tournaments in the world as it showcases the best and brightest under-20 prospects on the world stage. Hard-core hockey fans have this event circled on their calendar every year as it offers a snapshot of the next crop of talent entering the NHL. Hosted by defending-champion Team Canada, the 2019 WJC will be held in North America’s most beautiful city, Vancouver, British Columbia. Anyone remember what the atmosphere was for the 2010 Winter Olympics? As the kids say these days, it’s going to be LIT.
Remember when THIS happened last year?
The WJC have been bonkers for years, my friends.
I know what you’re thinking… LB, all these kids were born after Y2K and I don’t know any of them. Well lucky for you poor unfortunate souls, here are a few players I think you should keep an eye on over the course of the 2019 World Junior Championships.
Team USA: Jack Hughes
Current Team: USNTDP
Weight: 166 lb
Don’t let his size fool you, this kid is going to be mentioned in the same breath as Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid in a few short years. Hughes is a virtual lock to be the first overall selection in the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft. I’m not going to even attempt to describe how talented this Hughes is, I’ll just let one of his MANY highlight videos speak for himself.
Team Canada: Ty Smith
Current Team: Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Draft: 17th overall, 2018, New Jersey Devils
Weight: 176 lb
Excellent vision? Check. Elite playmaking ability? Check. Threat to score? Check. Smith has more than enough talent to be on the Devils roster right now but was sent back the Chiefs for seasoning and consistent playing time. Smith is undersized but incredibly skilled, I could see him developing into a less defensively-heinous version of Bruins defenseman, Torey Krug.
Team Russia: Something called Krill Kaprizov
Current Team: CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Draft: 135th overall, 2015, Minnesota Wild
Weight: 194 lb
Position: Left Wing
Has anybody ever heard of this guy?
Team Sweden: Olle Eriksson-Ek
Draft: 153rd overall, 2017, Anaheim Ducks
Weight: 198 lb
I’m just going to leave these right here…
Game schedules, rosters, and results can be found on the IIHF site.
The NHL Winter Classic is still a thing
On New Years Day, the NHL will stage their 11th installment of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Boston Bruins on the iconic Notre Dame Stadium field because that’s totally normal.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I think the Winter Classic is an absolute joke. But hey, at least they have some new teams playing this yea…..HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE THE STUPID A** BRUINS AND THE DUMPSTER FIRE THAT IS THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?!
Cool, now that we’re on the same page here are five Winter Classic Matchups that would be SICK but is logistically impossible and/or would never happen…
Who: Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils
Where: Mile High Stadium (Denver, CO)
Why: Does anyone remember the infamous 2001 Stanley Cup Final when the Avs defeated the Devils in Game 7? Or when THIS happened? Yeah, me either. Plus I wanna see Marty Brodeur and Patrick Roy fight in the Alumni game.
Who: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings
Where: The Fountains of Bellagio
Why: Do I really need to explain?
Who: Dallas Stars vs. Any team with a pulse/Carolina Hurricanes
Where: Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium
Why: I don’t care about the teams, but I think the venue would be awesome.
Who: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
Where: The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Why: It’s an iconic rink, downtown NYC, and I bet they could get SNL’s Leslie Jones to ref.
Who: Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets
Where: The Rainy River
Why: The NHL finally shut all Minnesotans up about never hosting a Winter Classic plus we all get to watch the magic that is Patrick Laine. Loser goes home via canoe.
How to get through the rest of the season as a fan of the Minnesota Wild
I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed but the Minnesota Wild are kinda on a slide of sorts.
My gift to you all this holiday season is a little something to take the edge off as the boys fail to convert yet another 2-on-1.
Drunk Bingo: Minnesota Wild Edition