Four of the five Calgary Flames prospects at the World Juniors were playing on Thursday Dec. 28. Let’s look at how they did.
Calgary Flames prospect and captain of Team Finland, Juuso Valimaki, opened up the games on day three of the World Juniors vs. Team Denmark. The Fins completely outperformed the Danes. They won by a score of 4-1 but outshot them 62-7. Props to Kasper Krog, Danish goaltender for only allowing four goals on those 62 shots. His entire team owes him beers (if they’re legal).
Valimaki, on the other hand, had a great game. He had eight shots himself, outshooting the entire Denmark team. He also had a goal and an assist, bringing him to three points in two games, all at even-strength. The only player on Finland who had more shots than Valimaki was Eeli Tolvanen, who had 11 shots.
Valimaki along with his defensive partner and third overall pick at the 2017 NHL Draft, Miro Heiskanen, were quite the duo in the game.
For Finland, we initially thought we’d be seeing Eetu Tuulola, but unfortunately, he seems to have maybe been either cut from the roster, or is a healthy scratch.
Let’s go on to Team Sweden vs. Team Czech Republic. The Swedes took this one 3-1 and outshot the Czechs 35-25. The lone Calgary Flames prospect in this matchup was Linus Lindstrom. He had 13:55 minutes of ice-time, had no points, two shots on goal, and four PIM. In Sweden’s first game, Lindstrom was the player of the game! While he had no points in that game either, he had 12:00 minutes of ice-time, 11 faceoff wins, 0 losses.
While he hasn’t been getting any points, he’s still been a decent dependable middle centreman.
Lastly, we have Adam Fox and Team USA vs. Adam Ruzicka and Team Slovakia. The Slovaks beat the Americans by a score of 3-2, which left everyone somewhat shocked. In USA’s first game of the tournament, they had a dominating 9-0 win vs. the Belarusians (that was so fun to say). Fox had one assist and he and his defensive partner, Quinn Hughes, were quite the fun duo to watch in that game.
They both led all defensemen on the team with shots, with Hughes getting three and Fox getting two. Fox had 17:33 minutes of ice-time which was second in defensemen after his partner Hughes. In this game, it wasn’t quite the same story. They were both left off the scoresheet and Fox had just one shot. He did however lead the team in ice-time with 21:17.
Ruzicka however had a much better game. In his first game, he has 17:05 minutes of ice-time, was left off the scoresheet, on the ice for just one goal against, and didn’t have any shots in Slovaks’ 3-2 win over Belarus. But in the win vs. the States, he had five shots and was on the ice for all the Slovaks goals and not on the ice for any goals against.
While he didn’t have any points, his line got all the goals. That third line consisting of Ruzicka, Filip Krivosik, and Samuel Bucek have been quite the trio. Krivosik had two goals, Busek was the lone assist on both those goals and Bucek had the game-winning goal with just 2:08 left in the game, unassisted.
On Friday, just two Calgary Flames prospects will be playing in what will be a must-watch outdoor game between Canada and USA at 1pm MT.