The 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal game takes place on Saturday evening from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. Team Canada will play Team Finland. It is the first time ever that Canada and Finland will have played against each other in the World Junior Hockey Championship Final. Here are the top five National Hockey League prospects hockey fans should keep an eye on.
The Anaheim Ducks first round pick in the 2021 National Hockey League Entry Draft currently leads the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship Tournament in scoring with eight goals and 15 points. McTavish has also been outstanding defensively as he is a +12.
McTavish began the season with the Ducks organization. He had two goals and one assist for three points in nine games. In his first National Hockey League game, McTavish had a multi-point game in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
However, McTavish, a center, also spent a significant time in the Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes and the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 29 games, he had 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points, was a +30 with 31 penalty minutes. McTavish also guided the Bulldogs to the J. Ross Robertson Cup championship where they defeated the Windsor Spitfires four games two three in a seven game series. In the OHL Playoffs, McTavish had 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points. In the 2022 Memorial Cup, the Bulldogs made the Memorial Cup Final, but lost 6-3 to the Saint John Sea Dogs. In five Memorial Cup games, McTavish had six goals and two assists for eight points.
The right winger from Jyvaskyla maalaiskunta, Finland had 15 goals and eight assists for 23 points in 39 games with JYP Jyvaskyla in the Finnish Elite League this past season. He had two penalty minutes and was a -13. Kemell was drafted in the first round, 17th overall, by the Nashville Predators in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. At the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, he leads Finland in scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points.
The 19-year-old center from Oulunsalo, Finland had 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points in 41 games with Jukurit in the Finnish Elite League this past season. He had 32 penalty minutes and was a +26. Raty was drafted in the second round, 52nd overall, by the New York Islanders in the 2021 NHL Draft. At the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, he has three goals and seven assists for 10 points.
The 18-year-old defenseman from Calgary, Alberta has been the best blueliner at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton. Heading into the final, he has two goals and eight assists for 10 points in six games.
This past season, Zellweger had 14 goals and 64 assists for 78 points with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. He also won the Bill Hunter Trophy, which is presented to the WHL’s Top Defenseman. Like McTavish, Zellweger was drafted by the Ducks. He was Anaheim’s second round pick, 34th overall, in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
The forward from Kamloops, British Columbia has had four goals and five assists for nine points, and is a +7 in six games at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton. This past year, Stankoven was the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year and the Western Hockey League Player of the Year. In 59 games, he had 45 goals and 59 assists for 104 points. He has 16 penalty minutes and was a +46. Stankoven was drafted in the second round, 47th overall, by the Dallas Stars in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.