Plymouth, MI – – It’s been a minute since I’ve covered this event. It’s great. I love international competitions. I love seeing Team USA in the USHL and outside of it. I watched two games, including Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, and the U.S. team. One thing rang true. Speed was going to be the big conversation point. Compared to the last time I covered this event. The speed has increased by 40-50%.
USA – Will Smith – This pivot was fast in the Fall Classic but he’s in mid-season form. He is the fastest player I’ve seen so far. Is end-to-end wraparound goal, happening in real-time, was impossible for the Finnish goalie to stop. It was something to see.
Switzerland – Maurice Pauli – This left wing played on a talented top line and he could get up the ice quickly.
Sweden – Otto Stenberg – He was playing top line left wing and his speed with the puck was exceptional.
Finland – Jesse Kiiskinen – This right wing can motor. He had a great scoring chance on the rush that led to a goal.
I didn’t rank these guys. I just wanted to give them their due. Here are honorable mentions:
USA – Ryan Leonard
Finland – Arttu Alasiurua
Sweden – Tom Willander
That’s it for now.