The World Junior Hockey Championship officially kicks off today, which means we’ll get to see the top young players around the world go head-to-head for the next two weeks.
Every NHL team will have a prospect in the tournament, but some teams will have more than others.
The Philadelphia Flyers, for example, will be sending nine players (yes, nine players) to the World Juniors this year. That’s even more impressive considering the fact that Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny, who are currently on their NHL roster, are still eligible to play in the U20 event.
Just to put that into perspective, the Lightning, Stars, Flames, Bruins and Senators are tied for second in that category, and they’ll each have five players taking part.
Last year’s first-round pick, Russian forward German Rubtsov (pictured), headlines the team’s group of players heading this year.
One of the things that stands out most is the depth they have built up in goal. Philadelphia has three goalies on three different World Junior rosters.
Carter Hart (Canada), Felix Sandstrom (Sweden) and Matej Tomek (Slovakia) could all see some time between the pipes throughout the tournament.
Hart, in particular, has had a tremendous season in the WHL, where he’s put up a sparkling 1.85 goals-against-average and a .928 save percentage in 2016-17.
“Ron (Hextall) talked to him after he left camp and asked him to do what he did last year and be the best player he can be and he’s lived up to his word so far,” said Flyers director of player personnel Chris Pryor, per the Courier-Post. “He’s done all he can do. The kid’s getting an opportunity to represent their team so it’s good for the kid.”
The Flyers’ lone representative on Team USA is Tanner Laczynski. The 18-year-old was the team’s sixth-round pick last summer, and he’s performed very well at Ohio State this season.
The Courier-Post has the full list of Philadelphia’s prospects going to the tournament. Click here to see it.