Hobey Baker Award winner and Calgary Flames prospect, Johnny Gaudreau, suits up for the U.S.
Photo: Bob Frid / Icon SMI
The 2014 IIHF World Championship takes place this year in Minsk, Belarus. Defending champion Sweden is looking to defend the title, while Switzerland will attempt to match last year's incredible run to the silver medal. Here's a closer look at 10 players to watch in this year's tourney…
10 PLAYERS TO WATCH
(in alphabetical order)
- Kevin Fiala
(LW), Switzerland/HV 71 (SHL):
Draft-eligible Fiala could be an important offensive performer for the contending Swiss this year.
- Johnny Gaudreau
(LW), USA/Boston College (Hockey East):
'Johnny Hockey' has excelled at every level (so far), so this is just the next test for the future Flame.
- Philipp Grubauer
(G), Germany/Hershey Bears (AHL):
Grubauer could be in Washington next season as a backup (at least), so he can earn points here.
- Kevin Hayes
(LW/RW), USA/Boston College (Hockey East):
Un-signed by Chicago, NCAA star Hayes may be auditioning for a new NHL opportunity in Minsk.
- Michal Jordan
(D), Czech Republic/Charlotte Checkers (AHL):
There may be an opportunity for Jordan to crack Carolina's roster next year, so he must impress.
- Roberts Lipsbergs
(LW), Latvia/Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL):
Un-drafted, the 19-year-old winger could catch the eyes of scouts with a solid showing at the worlds.
- Alex Ovechkin
(RW/LW), Russia/Washington Capitals (NHL):
It's been a year to forget for 'Ovi', but perhaps the worlds will help him get back on a winning path.
- Sam Reinhart
(C/RW), Canada/Kootenay Ice (WHL):
The possible first overall selection in next month's draft probably won't get much ice time here.
- Martin Reway
(C/LW), Slovakia/Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL):
The Montreal draft pick has plenty of skill, but will he get enough ice time to impress at the worlds?
- Linus Ullmark
(G), Sweden/MODO Hockey (SHL):
With no clear-cut starter on the defending champs, the 20-year-old Buffalo prospect may surprise.