The World Junior Championships will play out like a preview of coming attractions for Detroit Red Wings fans over the next couple of weeks.
Nine different Red Wings prospects will play in the make-up tournament in Alberta. This replaces the tournament that started last December and then was shut down because of COVID-19. This is a complete do-over. None of last winter’s completed games will be counted.
The Red Wings will have four prospects play on the opening day of the tournament Tuesday. Goalie Jan Bednar will play for Czechia against Slovakia (2 p.m., NHL Network).
Defenseman Eemil Viro’s Finland team plays against Latvia (6 p.m, NHL Network). Viro will likely play in the American Hockey League for Grand Rapids this season. Forwards Carter Mazur and Red Savage will play for USA against Germany (10 p.m., NHL Network). Mazur will help Denver University defend its NCAA championship this upcoming season, while Savage will play his sophomore season at Miami.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 8, 2022
The Red Wings’ chief rooting interest is with the Swedes. Three top Detroit prospects — Simon Edvinsson, William Wallinder and Theodor Niederbach — are playing for Sweden.
Edvinsson Headed to Red Wings?
Six-foot-six defenseman Edvinsson should play for the Red Wings this season. Wallinder is another blue chip defensive prospect and Niederbach is one of the top forwards in the Detroit pipeline.
“When I was a little kid I always wanted to play in the World Junior Championship,” Edvinsson said. “I just played two games. That hunger goes a little bit more. It’s in the summer, I think that’s a good run-up to training camp to be prepared for the training camp. I always wanted to play in the World Juniors, always wanted to win one, too.”
Canada is the favorite, but the Swedes have an exceptional team. They launch their tournament Wednesday against Switzerland (2 p.m., NHL Network)
“After the World Juniors I think I’m going to go home and say goodbye to my family and everyone there and go straight up here (to Detroit) to fight for a spot,” Edvinsson said.
My Top 10 players to watch at the #WorldJuniors starting tomorrow:
1 Connor Bedard CAN
2 Mason McTavish CAN
3 Kent Johnson CAN
4 Luke Hughes USA
5 David Jiricek CZE
6 Thomas Bordeleau USA
7 Simon Edvinsson SWE
8 Logan Cooley USA
9 Dalibor Dvorsky SVK
10 Logan Stankoven CAN
— AJB 🐬 (@Arjun_AJB15) August 8, 2022
Both Wallinder and Niederbach will play for Rogle this season in the Swedish Hockey League.
Team Canada Leader
The Red Wings have two prospects playing for the very strong Canada team. Grand Rapids shutdown defenseman Donovan Sebrango is one of Canada’s alternate captains.
“I just try to bring my leadership and my experience playing against men and older guys and see that where that
takes us and hopefully that takes us to gold,” Sebrango said.
Detroit’s other Team Canada prospect is 6-foot-6 goalie Sebastian Cossa.
New York Rangers prospect Dylan Garand was Canada’s goalie in December, but Cossa had a strong postseason for his Western Hockey League team. The Canadians haven’t tipped their hand when it comes to who will be in net in this tournament.
“I’ve won the league in the Western Hockey League but we came
up short there in the Memorial Cup,” Cossa said. “Obviously, no matter where I play there’s something for me to prove myself. I want to win. No matter what level I’m at, when I’m playing games I’ve very competitive. I just want to win.”