The Holidays are almost upon us. For those in the hockey prospect world, that means one thing. The 2020 World Junior Championships are around the corner.
The 44th edition of the tournament begins on December 26th in the Czech Republic and runs through January 5th. This marks the fourth time the Czech Republic will host the WJC.
Last year, Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects could be found all over the place. Over the past few years, the Flyers were one of the more represented organizations at the tournament. This year, it’s a different story.
Of all the prospects in Philadelphia’s farm system, 11 of them are eligible to compete in the World Juniors. Unfortunately, only four players are in a position to make a roster and represent their country.
It’s no surprise that Philadelphia’s former first-round pick will be manning the blueline for Team USA. Although York missed some games due to an injury, the young defenseman leads Michigan in points with nine in 14 games. In the past, York has succeeded in international play. He posted 11 points for Team USA in last season’s U-18’s and six points in seven games in the same tournament the year prior.
There will still be some cuts before the final roster is set in stone. However, barring some sort of travesty, Cam York is a lock to make the team on a very talented roster. Expect York and Team USA to make a real push for the gold medal.
Viewed as a surprise by some, Team USA decided to include the Flyers’ former 2020 second-round pick to their preliminary roster as well. Brink is off to a strong start to his freshman season for Denver. Through his first 16 games, the 18-year-old has six goals and five assists. However, his production throughout the season has been quite streaky. Brink possesses to post a multi-point game but then can go quiet for a string of contests.
In last season U-18’s Brink recorded three goals and three assists in five games. He is not a lock to make the team this year like York. Still, it is likely that Brink will be on the roster at the start of the tournament. Likely, he will start the tournament playing wing on either the third or fourth line.
Currently one of the most exciting Flyers prospects outside the professional organization, Yegor Zamula is a lock to make Team Russia. The 19-year-old blueliner is towards the top of the WHL in points among defensemen with 28 points in 28 games. His offensive-style meshes well with today’s NHL and he also possesses strong abilities in the defensive end. After a slight drought in the scoring department, Zamula has posted three points in his last two games.
Russia is always a contender in international play and has enough talent to do so again this year. Zamula will play a major role in the team’s overall success.
Unlike the previously mentioned prospects, Adam Ginning is set to take place in his second World Junior Championship. Philadelphia’s former second-round selection represented Sweden on the blueline last year, playing in four games. Obviously, in his second go-around, the young defenseman will look to make a bigger impact this year. Ginning is known for his defensive play; however, he has posted three goals at the SuperElit level this season.
Ginning’s year has been filled with some ups and downs thus far. However, a strong showing at the WJC could go a long way to ending what is most likely his last season in Europe on a high note. Do not be surprised if he is named Team Captain of Sweden for the tournament.
The number of Flyers at the World Juniors might seem a little underwhelming compared to past years. However, the four prospects representing the franchise are in a position to have a real impact during the tournament. All four of them are a part of strong teams with a realistic opportunity to win a medal. As always, the World Junior Championships are set to be extremely entertaining for everyone that follows hockey.
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports