December 31st had one thing on the docket for me and that was the USA v Canada game at the World Junior Championships. Now I wasn’t watching with any real care of who won or lost the game, I was simply watching to see the absolute best players we will see in the NHL one day.
Much have been made about McDavid and Eichel. They are great players with a great future. No need to beat a dead horse there. They are different players though, and seeing them both on the ice made it clear that to compare the two who are so different really doesn’t make too much sense. Lets just say they will both make the transition next year and should have very good long careers.
The game itself did not let me down.
The pace of the first period was simply beyond any pace I have seen in a long time at any level. Some like to say that this is the last time we get to watch wild horses run before they get the wild coached out of them. Well, those horses were running yesterday.
Max Domi is a stud. This kid can flat out play in any situation, and his compete level is off the charts. If you’re a hockey fan you will love Max Domi. If your a Coyote’s fan and you don’t come out to watch Max Domi next season you don’t deserve to have an NHL team.
Sam Reinhart looks to be elevating his game as well. Clearly out thinking other players on the ice, he has the anticipation that few have ever been blessed to have. He could have easily been named player of the game.
Sonny Milano, is continuing to get better. The kid has some serious hands and passing skills. Not quite NHL ready but he should be next season and he wont disappoint.
Hudson Faching is also a player who may have been a little under the radar this year. He was involved in a trade that sent his rights to Buffalo, and it looks as though they have another good young top six forward in the making.
Dylan Larkin was a dominating player. The University of Michigan player is NHL ready.
Darnell Nurse. The fact that the Edmonton Oilers don’t have this kid in the lineup now is only an indication that they are deliberately trying to tank for the first pick in the 2015 draft. He is a man among boys, and clearly NHL ready.
This was one of the few games of the year that lived up to the pre game hype. Not the McDavid v Eichel hype, but the anticipation of the teams playing. Canada won the game, but the fans who watched are the ones who really won yesterday.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher