New Jersey Devils Prospects In The World Juniors Championship Tournament

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16: Dawson Mercer #19 of Team Red skates during warm up for the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team White at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16: Dawson Mercer #19 of Team Red skates during warm up for the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team White at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

With the yearly World Junior Championship tournament only a few weeks away, fans are excited to watch hockey again at any level. This year, the New Jersey Devils are well represented as 6 players have made the tournament and some are expected to have big roles.

Team Canada

Dawson Mercer

Canada is an absolutely stacked team this year and is going heavy on skill. With this roster, they should be fully expected to win. Anything less will be a disappointment.

As for Dawson Mercer, it is very hard to tell where he will slot in currently thanks to all the competition. What Devils fans should be hoping for is a hot start that gets him on a line with one of the big centermen that will carry the top six like Kirby Dach or Quinton Byfield. With either of them, he will be able to play a lot of minutes and likely some high-pressure ones later in the tournament.

Having still only played in five games this year, Mercer may be a little cold at the start but he did still manage to score four goals and seven points. The coaching staff should look at him for a decent role on the roster.

Team Czech Republic

Jaromir Pytlik

The Czechs have a young team this time around and are not even the mid-tier team they used to be at any level. With only four drafted skaters and one goalie, it will be hard for them to make much noise in this tournament. The odds are they will be closer to the bottom than a medal this time around. With that said having a younger team should mean plenty of opportunity for the already drafted 19 year olds and it should be expected that they all receive top minutes against top players. Devils fans should keep an eye on how Jaromir Pytlik responds when playing against the best competition in his age group, even if the team itself does not stand up.

Team Russia

Shakir Mukhamadullin

Shakir Mukhamadullin has slowed way down in production in the KHL since a hot start, but at his age, it was bound to happen. As long as he keeps playing solid defense, no one should be worried. As for this tournament, expect him to play a big role for the team and be pushing for one of the best defenders in the tournament.

His big size and age should let him be a physical force on the ice while Devils fans will get to finally see how he looks for a good stretch of games live on TV instead of just highlights from across the world. If given the opportunity on the powerplay, his shot could really propel the numbers up in a short tournament and help Russia to a medal finish.

Arseny Gritsyuk

Arseny Gritsyuk has bounced around this season and will more than likely fill out the bottom of the Russian roster. One can not complain about a 5th-rounder putting up the kind of production he has so far this season. Having no points in 7 games in the KHL is not anything to be happy about, but at 19 years of age, what really matters for a non-1st rounder is producing where you can. With six points in eight games in the VHL and nine in six at the MHL, he is a guy to keep an eye on against his own age group and may end up surprising Devils fans.

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Team Sweden

Alexander Holtz

Still keeping up the good pace in the top league in Sweden, it is no surprise that 1st-round pick Alexander Holtz made the team. Holtz and Lucas Raymond were all over this tournament a year ago, so expect them both to absolutely dominate this year with the goal being points in every game.

He should be a step above most of the players in this tournament already and is one of the few players who is likely playing easier games in this than his own league. There is the potential for a big tournament showing that raises him in the eyes of everyone watching.

On the powerplay. Devils fans will be waiting eagerly for him to come over to snipe in goals alongside Jack Hughes in a season or two. He should be able to push the play especially against bottom teams very easily and another thing to watch is how his two-way play has improved. It is something the Devils would need from him moving forward, not just a pile of goals.

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Team USA

Patrick Moynihan

Late-round pick Patrick Moynihan like most players in North America this season has not been able to see much of the ice playing only two games. The United States has another strong roster and should be competing for a medal with Sweden, Canada, and Russia, but Moynihan will be seeing limited ice time. What Devils fans should be keeping an eye on from him is the two-way play and how he responds to only playing closer to 10-12 minutes a night because in all likelihood this is where he projects to be with this team moving forward. If he can be productive defensively and move the play during this it bodes well for the franchise moving forward.