Rangers prospects face-off in WJC Gold Medal Game tonight

(January 1, 2015 – Source: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America)


The World Juniors is always loaded with young talent and this year the Rangers have plenty to be excited about. Three of their major prospects will battle for Gold tonight when Canada takes on Russia.

(December 14, 2014 – Source: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America)

Anthony Duclair- Duclair is currently 11th in scoring in the tournament with 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 games played. He is also a plus 8 playing mostly on Canada’s top line. Duclair has been strong on the puck, has set plays well, and has an edge to his game.

Every time he is on the ice he looks hungry. Duclair had 2 points in Canada’s rout over Slovakia. The Russians need to try to contain Duclair, because his aggressive style could pose trouble for the Russian defense.

(January 3, 2015 – Source: Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America)

Pavel Buchnevich- Buchnevich has been a sound player for Russia, he is currently 27th in the tournament in scoring with 1 goal and 4 assists in 6 games played. This ties him with 4 others as team Russia’s leading point producers. Buchnevich has been quick on the puck and is one of Russia’s main weapons.

He has pockets of time where he doesn’t seem to be producing, but it isn’t for a lack of effort. He has deceptive speed and has an edge to his game. When Russia played the USA, Buchnevich was nose to nose with the Americans between whistles. Buchnevich is a terrific skater and if Canada forgets about him he will make them pay.

(January 1, 2015 – Source: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America)j

Igor Shestyorkin- Shestyorkin is the back bone of the Russian team. He has been impressive in this tournament and is without a doubt a huge wildcard in this matchup. We know he has skill as a net-minder, but he’s also opened eyes with his play.

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News wrote of Shestyorkin “He’s also scary good thanks to his wicked athleticism and composure in the crease.” Shestyorkin is currently ranked 2nd for goalkeepers in save percentage with a .952 percent. He is also second in Goals Aganst Average with a 1.50 ranking and 1 shutout. If Russia wins tonight it will be on the back of Shestyorkin.

I expect an intense, fast paced game tonight but in the end I predict Team Canada to leave with gold. Don’t agree with me, tell me why I’m wrong in the comments.

You can follow me on Twitter @StevenLoffredo

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