The 2021 World Junior Championship is starting in less than two weeks and some teams have already announced their final rosters for the tournament. The Russian team was one of the first teams who made an announcement. As was expected, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Maxim Groshev has made the team. After being traded from Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk to SKA St. Petersburg in November, the young Russian forward has lost some ice time in the KHL and even was sent to the minor leagues from time to time. However he’s still expected to fill a middle-six role on the Russian National team.
The final Russian junior national team roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship in Canada has been revealed!— Russia Hockey (@russiahockey_en) December 12, 2020
Click on the following link to find out who the management group selected for the tournament: https://t.co/Y1VpvB3h2k #RussiaHockey pic.twitter.com/8EMBDUd2PH
Hockey Canada also announced their roster for the World Juniors yesterday. Unfortunately, Gage Goncalves didn't survive the last cuts and won’t participate in the tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer. It was highly unlikely from the beginning that he would be able to fight for a roster spot against several first-rounders at the selection camp. But still it was a great opportunity for him to practice alongside future NHL stars for a month.
Sweden is also expected to announce their roster tonight. Yesterday they announced a new coaching staff for their teams, after the original staff tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and weren’t allowed to travel to Canada. Joel Ronnmark replaced Tomas Monten as the head coach for the team. Ronnmark is the head coach of the Vaxjo Lakers junior team and has experience coaching Sweden’s U18 teams in his career. Previously he was an assistant coach to Tomas Monten.
Besides the coaching staff, four Sweden players were also exposed to the virus and won’t participate at the World Juniors – William Eklund, Karl Henriksson, William Wallinder and Albin Grewe. As some point, the Sweden team was under danger of withdrawing from the tournament, after a week of tests and dialogues with the IIHF, the remaining part of the team was allowed to go to Canada. The Lightning goalie prospect Hugo Alnefelt is expected to make the final roster.
Sweden has named a new head coach for the #WorldJuniors. 30-year-old Joel Ronnmark will replace Tomas Monten, who can't travel to Canada after being tested positive for #Covid19. https://t.co/GvIVSrtJpB— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) December 11, 2020
Besides Groshev and Alnefelt, the Lightning don’t have other representatives at the World Juniors this year. Maxim Cajkovic, who was recently excluded from Slovak training camp for injuring his teammate Samuel Krajc, has shared a statement regarding the situation and apologised for his behaviour.
Maxim Čajkovič’s recent statement about his incident. Čajkovič was excluded from the Slovak U20 NT for “serious violation of sports and human values” after he injured his teammate Samuel Krajč (concussion).— Matej Deraj (@MatoDeraj) December 11, 2020
The statement was sent to Slovak media by his agent, I’ve translated it. https://t.co/hRVJ339WYu pic.twitter.com/tFvrvVt7l2
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected other teams: Germany lost two players who tested positive this week, including Chicago Blackhawks first round selection Lukas Reichel.
Germany's world junior team is also dealing with positive COVID-19 tests: Lukas Reichel and Nino Kinder are unavailable for the tournament.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 8, 2020
The Swiss team couldn’t count on three players due to positive COVID-19 tests as well.
Jannik Canova (led the WJC-U18 team point-production), Yves Stoffel (third year as a pro), and Kevin Lindemann (previous U17-team captain) will miss #WorldJuniors because of COVID-19. https://t.co/IXRWBadfz5— Jakub Hromada (@JakubHromada29) December 10, 2020
All 10 teams participating in the tournament need to report to Edmonton on Sunday. The pre-tournament games will start next weekend.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning are considering trading for Henrik Zetterberg’s LTIR with Tyler Johnson going the other way. Zetterberg has a $6,083,333 cap hit for one more year, however it will cost less after moving to injury reserve.
Friedman on SN960: “There’s been a rumor going around, actually started in Europe, that the Lightning might trade for Henrik Zetterberg’s LTIR from Detroit, which makes sense depending on what they give up. The report’s been Tyler Johnson, we’ll see if there’s any truth to that.”— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) December 12, 2020
The Orlando Solar Bears presented a roster for the upcoming season.
We may not have been able to have our Meet the Team event in person this season, but we still wanted you to get to know the guys before they hit the ice tomorrow!— Orlando Solar Bears (@OrlandoHockey) December 11, 2020
Ladies & gentlemen...YOUR 2020-21 ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS! pic.twitter.com/df7YMA5zex
Mitchell Stephens landed at the sixth place at our Top 25 Under 25 list [Raw Charge]
Stephens started the 2019-20 season in Syracuse as their number two center behind free agent pick up Chris Mueller. Injuries had plagued him in the previous season and the number one goal for him last season was to stay healthy and make up for lost time. He probably never imagined he’d be lifting the Stanley Cup at the end of the season.
Another photo of the Lightning players hanging out with the Stanley Cup.
If they are as good with an iron as they are with a hockey stick, well look out course! #stanleycup @nhl@TBLightning @HockeyHallFame @AvilaGolf They weren't..but they tried! pic.twitter.com/1oWIk2EZyy— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) December 12, 2020
Around the Hockey
The Detroit Red Wings traded Dmytro Timashov’s rights to the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations. The Red Wings acquired Timashov at the last season’s Trade Deadline from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Apparently the NHL is already considering changes to their division realignment plan. According to a report, the Dallas Stars will replace the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division, joining the Carolina Hurricanes, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Detroit Red Wings, the Florida Panthers, the Nashville Predators, and their Stanley Cup Final opponents - the Tampa Bay Lightning.
One potential solution to (temporary) re-alignment: MIN/STL to Pacific; DAL to Central— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 11, 2020