Rangers prospect Gabe Perreault and Team USA enter WJC favored to win

The World Junior Championships officially start today with New York Rangers prospect Gabe Perreault and Team USA entering as favorites to win it all. The Tournament will be played in Sweden, and concludes on January 5th. 

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Team USA tops the power rankings with Canada and host Sweden following right behind. In their two exhibition games, Team USA rallied to beat Sweden 5-3, and took down Canada in OT by a 6-5 score.

“Our group is continuing to build and I like the progress we’ve made,” said Carle, who is also the head coach at the University of Denver. “Our camp and two exhibition games were certainly helpful in getting ready for the tournament and we’ll be ready to go against Norway.”

Head Coach David Carle, Team USA Hockey

Related: Gabe Perreault named to Team USA roster

Gabe Perreault and Team USA enter WJC favored to win

Gabriel Perreault
Gabe Perreault (Photo Credit: BC Athletics)

Perreault, 18, is having a magnificent freshman season with the BC Eagles registering 25 points in 17 games to date. His 20 assists is tied for second in the NCAA and his play hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Rangers, who were fortunate to draft him 23rd overall this past summer.

“I see his stats and contributions at Boston College,” said Rangers’ coach Peter Laviolette. “It’s nice to see we have a player that’s off and running.”

In Team USA’s tune-up game against Canada, Perreault showed off his high HockeyIQ and playmaking abilities with an incredible pass for a tap-in tally to linemate Ryan Leonard.

Currently, fans are buzzing over the Blueshirts’ latest top draft pick’s play, but they’ll have to wait awhile before he throws on the big club’s sweater.

“Perfect scenario would be two years (in college) and hopefully winning a national championship before making the transition,” Perreault explained during camp.

Meanwhile, Gabe’s fellow Rangers’ draftee (third-round) and BC teammate Drew Fortescue is having a strong season on defense. Also 18 year of age, he’s posted 3 goals and 4 points in 17 matches. He’s also a member of Team USA as they look to get off on the right foot against Norway. Puck drop is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on NHL Network.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore