New Jersey Devils: Takeaways from WJC Gold Medal Game

(Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils have watched the World Junior Championships with great interest and there was a lot to take in from the Gold Medal Game.

The New Jersey Devils are a team looking towards the future once again. The season has not gone according to plan. They sit in the last place in the Metropolitan Division but a way to feel better about the future is watching the World Junior Classics. The Devils have been well represented in this tournament over the years and this year is no different. Canada made it to the Gold Medal Game where they would meet Team Russia.

It was as exciting of a Gold Medal Game as you can hope for as a fan of hockey. The Devils had two members of the organization involved in the big game. Ty Smith and Kevin Bahl were representing team Canada while Daniil Misyul is representing Russia. The pair of Canadian Devils defenseman would go on to win the thrilling game 4-3.

Ty Smith and Kevin Bahl were both key cogs for Canada throughout the tournament. Smith has shown a good ability to carry the puck through the neutral zone and get it up to his forwards. Once he gets up to the Devils and is making passes to Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, it will be a vast improvement on the back end. He was good with his Canadian teammates in this tournament and was noticeable when carrying the puck.

Bahl is more of the defensive defenseman of the two. He is the guy who you put out there on the penalty kill or against the other team’s top lines. He was acquired along with two other prospects and two picks in the trade that sent Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes. Bahl showed in this game why his physical presence will be good for the Devils someday. There is still clearly some development to go, but everyone should be excited about his arrival to the big club. Bahl did take a penalty late in the game to give the Russians the chance to tie the game, but they killed it off.

The big mistake of the game was a turnover by Devils prospect Danil Misyul. That misplay of the puck put Akil Thomas alone where he scored a beautiful goal to give team Canada the 4-3 lead, which stood for the rest of the game. It was a major mistake for the young prospect, but he will learn from it in the end. It turned out to be the big game mistake.

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This was an exciting game for fans of both nations and hockey fans in general. It was also nice to see the Devils well represented in the game as well. There is also a chance that the Devils have another top-five pick in the draft where this game presented some of the world’s top eligible prospects. Guys like Alexis Lafreniere and Quentin Byfield will be there for the teams picking in the top three. If the Devils are in fact picking there, this was a good tournament for fans to get their first look at those kids.