Brennan Othmann leads New York Rangers prospects at 2023 World Junior Championships
Brennan Othmann has already generated quite a stir in the exhibition action for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. The tournament officials begins today and will conclude on January 5.
The New York Rangers top prospect, selected in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft had some teeth knocked out against Slovakia, came back out with a face shield and scored. He also attempted a lacrosse style goal known as ‘The Michigan’ and played some head games with his opponents in a last man off the ice showdown.
After winning Gold at the rescheduled 2022 World Juniors in August, followed by a strong camp with the New York, he’s exuding confidence. A lesson he learned from Artemi Panarin.
“We were sitting on the bench at a preseason game and he made a pretty sweet pass,” Othmann recalled. “I asked him, ‘How do you make those passes’, and he said, ‘Confidence’. It was pretty cool.”
Brennan Othmann leads Rangers prospects at WJC
It’s already been an eventful season for Othmann in the OHL. A big trade involving the Blueshirts prized prospect saw him move from Flint Firebirds to the Peterborough Petes back in November.
The 19 year-old has 13 goals and 35 points in 26 games split between the Flint and Peterborough of the OHL. However, he’s struggling to adjust and find a groove with just 2 goals and 11 points in 10 Peterborough matches.
“My focus is on the team goals and I want to win a championship. It’s what I set out to do at 16 years old,” Othmann said. “For me, it’s about learning how to be a pro and I want to play in the NHL next year. Right now, I’m a Pete and the goal is to win a championship and a Memorial Cup.”
That quest for a Memorial Cup will have to wait as he seeks to win back-to-back Gold medals with Canada. This time around, he’s going to play a more prominent role on the top lines and will see time with Seattle Kraken top pick Shane Wright.
2022 WJC Stats for Brennan Othmann (CAN): 6GP, 2G – 4A, 6PTS
Of course, the New York Rangers boast a few other prospects at the World Juniors including last year’s first pick of the 2022 Draft (second round) Adam Sykora.
The 18 year-old is currently playing for HK Nitra in Slovakia with 2 goals and 9 points in 20 games this season. He’s a feisty winger that loves to mix it up and should be enjoying an even more significant role this time around.
According to recent reports, the Rangers are hoping to bring Sykora to North America once this tournament concludes. They will need HK Nitra’s permission to get him to the WHL where his North American rights are being held by the Medicine Hat Tigers.
2022 WJC Stats for Adam Sykora (SVK): 4GP, 1G, 1 PT
The Rangers drafted the big winger (6-4′, 198 lbs) in the 5th round of the 2021 Draft. He’s a power forward that uses his size well and has shown offensive upside. This season, the 19 year-old is playing for Providence in the NCAA with 6 goals and 10 points in 18 games.
2022 WJC Stats for Jaroslav Chmelar (CZE): 3GP, 1G, 1 PT
Another 2021 Draft Pick (4th round), the 19 year-old is a winger that plays all three zones well. Vaisanen also has size (6-4, 187 lbs) and uses it to his advantage. This season for TPS in Finland’s top league (Liiga), he has just 3 assists in 27 matches. However, in five international games for Finland (u20) he has five goals.
2022 WJC Stats for Kalle Vaisanen (FIN): 7GP, 1G – 1A, 2PTS
Note: Rangers prospect Noah Laba is officially listed as an extra on Team USA’s roster in case of injury.
Laba, 19, was selected by the Blueshirts in the 4th round of the 2022 Draft. He has 11 points in 17 games for Colorado College of the NCAA.
Today’s WJC Schedule (12/26)
- Finland (Vaisanen) vs Switzerland – 11AM ET
- Sweden vs Austria – 1:30 PM ET
- Latvia vs USA – 4:00 PM ET
- Czechia (Chmelar) vs Canada (Othmann) – 6:30 PM ET
Tomorrow’s WJC Schedule (12/27)
- Finland (Vaisanen) vs Slovakia (Sykora)
- Germany vs Sweden
- Switzerland vs Latvia
- Austria vs Czechia Chmelar)
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