Players who made an impact during World Junior Hockey Championships' evaluation camps

Being that it only lasts one week, it’s dangerous to read too much into the development camps for next year’s World Junior Hockey Championships. Still, these evaluation sessions can be crucial for teams to make certain roster decisions, or at least put some players on their radar. It can also be an interesting sample for teams looking to gather a little more intel for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Gare Joyce ran a great blog regarding the camps for ESPN’s NHL section. The author of scouting book “Future Greats and Heartbreaks” provided a “stock watch” based largely on what he saw last week.

One of the biggest movers is Swedish winger Gabriel Landeskog, a player who apparently plays a more “North American style” game than most Swedes. Joyce wrote another story about Landeskog, comparing him to mold-breaking Detroit Red Wings scorers Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen.

Adam Larsson

” … If you viewed Larsson more objectively, he’s probably coming in around a B-level after this week. If you’d never seen him before Lake Placid, however, you’d ask “Who is this guy?” People view him as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, though — not as a random top-10 guy — and that brings a certain set of expectations.

His “only OK” game still put him ahead of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, picked by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009. And honestly, at this point Larrson’s ahead of Victor Hedman at the same age. In Buffalo, he’s going to be on the ice all the time for Sweden and will be seen in a variety of situations. His stock is unchanged right now, but it’s likely going to go up come December.”

Joyce brings up another Swedish forward – center Victor Rask – as someone who might be able to make waves since he’ll be given a nice opportunity during the tournament.

Iiro Pakarinen

The Finnish right wing stands about 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds. He leveled Sweden’s Tim Erixon with a forecheck here and knocked the Swede out of the tournament. Pakarinen was born in 1991, plays for Kalpa in the Finnish league and had a few decent games with the under-19 Finland team in European tournament play. He has passed through a couple of drafts so far, though. He’s a low-risk longshot for a team with some loose change.

While the other players (Miihkali Teppo, Brandon Saad) didn’t see much of a change in their “stock,” American defenseman Adam Clendening‘s position might have improved even despite some struggles. Here is what Joyce said about Clendening.

He looked better in intrasquad games than he did in contests against Sweden and Finland. It might be that he looked good and had a comfort level playing beside Derek Forbort (a first-rounder of the Los Angeles Kings this June); he was less impressive and less effective when he moved beside Brian Dumoulin. One scout in Lake Placid said that Clendening “didn’t have much of a chance to show his shot and his offensive package,” but also said that he should get plenty of chances to do that in Buffalo. Cam Fowler, who was drafted in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks this year, didn’t attend camp but if the Ducks don’t keep him with the big club he can be safely pencilled in at the other PP point; this is a nice mix of left (Fowler) and right (Clendening) shots. Clendening’s stock is rising slightly; he’s a recommended buy.

So those are the movers and shakers in that short week of evaluations and scrimmages. The 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships should be great next year; expect some generous coverage here at PHT.

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    Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

    Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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    It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

    As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

    Actually …

    If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

    Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

    Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

    The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

    On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

    Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

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    Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

    The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

    You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

    At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

    Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

    (Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

    As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

    Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

    Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

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    Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

    Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

    Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

    That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

    Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

    Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

    Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

    Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

    Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

    Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

    The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.