The ‘Best Players’ from each country at the 2022 World Under-18s
Much of the 2022 NHL Draft class’ top-ranked prospects came to play at the World Under-18s.
In all, seven players ranked inside the first round of FCHockey’s Spring ranking for the 2022 draft were named ‘best players of each team’ to their country’s coaches at the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
All three Americans named to the team are ranked within FCHockey’s first 32 prospects for the draft, including captain Rutger McGroarty. McGroarty, ranked No. 12, has six goals and seven points in five games at the tournament, and an event-leading 27 minutes in penalties. Logan Cooley, No. 2, was also named to the list after netting nine points (three goals, six assists) through five games. Defenseman Lane Hutson, who leads the event with a plus-15 rating, completed the trio. He is ranked No. 27.
Canadian defenseman Owen Pickering and Finnish forward Joakim Kemell were also given the nod by their respective countries. Kemell, ranked No. 9, has four goals and five points in four games, and will play for bronze on Sunday. Pickering, who was eliminated by Kemell’s club in the tournament’s quarterfinal, had two assists and a plus-2 rating in four games. He is ranked No. 32.
Sniper Jiri Kulich, who leads the event with nine goals and has a share of the tournament lead with 11 points, was on Czechia’s list, as was Sweden’s Noah Ostlund. Ostlund, who will play opposite the Team USA trio for gold after besting Kulich in the semis, has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the tournament. He is ranked one spot ahead of Kulich at No. 21.
Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 pick for the 2023 NHL Draft, was also named to Canada’s list. Other members of the 2023 class to earn a nomination was Finnish winger Kasper Halttunen, and Czechia forward Eduard Sale.
Aron Kiviharju, a top prospect for 2024, was selected as well.
Here is the full rundown of the best players by team, as determined by coaches:
|CAN||Reid Dyck||Owen Pickering||Connor Bedard|
|CZE||Tomas Hamara||Eduard Sale||Jiri Kulich|
|FIN||Aron Kiviharju||Joakim Kemell||Kasper Halttunen|
|GER||Simon Wolf||Edwin Tropmann||Roman Kechter|
|LAT||Dans Lcmelis||Deivs Rolovs||Rainers Darzins|
|SUI||Louis Fullemann||Gregory Weber||Janick Liechti|
|SWE||Hugo Havelid||Mattias Havelid||Noah Ostlund|
|USA||Lane Hutson||Rutger McGroarty||Logan Cooley|