May 1, 2022

World Under-18s announce tournament Directorate Awards, All-Star Team

The hardware has been handed out.

With Sweden claiming gold at the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, the final tournament nods were also distributed to a deserving cast of players who turned in some memorable performances at an event full of worthy efforts.

None more so than Swedish goaltender Hugo Havelid.

Havelid was named the tournament’s top goaltender, and rightfully so. Havelid paced all netminders at the event with a 2.41 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. He put the exclamation mark on the event in the gold-medal game, making 47-saves against the high-octane offense of Team USA, including 17 in the second period and 20 in the third period.  

“There’s no doubt that NHL teams will be wary about drafting Havelid because he’s only about 5-foot-10, but he puts up great numbers every year, and his amazing heroics in the gold medal game against Team USA showed just how well he can handle pressure,” FCHockey scout Derek Neumeier said.  “He is much more mature, composed and polished than most goalies are at his age, and those characteristics helped him compensate for his below average stature.

“He makes himself look bigger in the net than he actually is because of his advanced form and positioning. He moves around in his crease well, doesn’t give up much for rebounds, doesn’t get caught scrambling often, and tracks the play in front of him at a high-end level.”

Logan Cooley, No. 2 in FCHockey’s Spring ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft, was named the tournament’s top forward by the Directorate. He finished tied for fifth at the Under-18s with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in six games. No forward at the event was as consistently dangerous in the offensive end as Cooley, who leaves with silver. 

“What a tournament for Cooley,” FCHockey scout Douglas Larson said. “It seemed like every time he was on the ice and had the puck you just couldn’t take your eye off the play with how quick and efficient he was able to drive offense for his team. His already known elusiveness with the puck was in full force and played a key part on why he was able to produce so well. Cooley had a great shot to go top three in the 2022 draft coming in to the tournament, and with the performance he put on I think he just cemented his name into one of the top three selections.

Lane Hutson, ranked No. 27, was awarded the tournament’s top defenseman nod by the directorate. Hutson finished tied for second in the tournament in scoring amongst blueliners with eight points — all assists — and boasted a plus-12 rating, also second. The 5-foot-9, 148-pound rearguard was as effective a puck distributer as there was. 

“It’s incredibly hard for small defensemen to survive in the NHL, but Hutson already plays in exactly the right way that he will need to as he moves forward in his career,” Neumeier said. “He plays with an abundance of smarts, focus, pace and competitiveness, and that allows him to be directly involved in the play almost every shift. He handles the puck very well and is incredibly active with his body, churning his feet rapidly and using head and shoulder fakes to shake off opponents.

“While he runs into some problems when trying to separate enemies from the puck, he does a great job sticking close and disrupting them as best he can. Hutson’s small size might give teams pause at their draft tables, but he’s the type of prospect who could make the ones who do end up regretting it.”

Havelid, Cooley, and Hutson were also named to the tournament’s media all-star team alongside forwards Jiri Kulich, who led the tournament with nine goals, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, who paced the event with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists), and defenseman Tomas Hamara, who finished with eight assists. 

Kulich, who helped Czechia to a fourth-place finish, was also named the tournament’s most valuable player by media. He scored nine of 22 goals for the club, and factored in on an impressive 50% of all total offense.

“He was the standout player at the Under-18s in my opinion,” FCHockey scout Austin Broad said. “I know a lot of his production came on the power play, but the skillset he was able to put on display for Czechia is impossible to ignore, and his elite shot was on full display. I think this tournament will give his draft stock a massive boost. NHL teams value goals, and Kulich showed that he’s one of the premier goal scorers the 2022 class has to offer.”

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