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World Juniors 2023

World Juniors 2023

Get ready for hockey's annual holiday classic with our World Junior Championship Preview! Inside you'll find breakdowns of each country, plus stories and predictions. Elsewhere in the issue, we have features on David Pastrnak, Gabe Vilardi, Nick Suzuki, Patrick Kane, Troy Terry, Jesper Bratt, Brandon Montour and many more. In addition, we count down the 2022-23 Reverse Retro jerseys, take an early look at the 2023 free-agent class and conclude our celebration of the WHA's 50th anniversary with Part 4 of the four-part series.

World Juniors Preview 2023

SLOVAKIA: SCOUTING REPORT

MUCH LIKE ITS NEIGHBORS from Czechia, Slovakia can return the vast majority of its 2022 WJC roster – as many as 16 players, in fact. And that doesn’t even include stars Filip Mesar (MTL) or Simon Nemec (NJ), both of whom skipped the tourney to prepare for their upcoming seasons in North America. Mesar brings scoring punch to a forward group that will also have weapons in Servac Petrovsky (MIN), Jakub Demek (VEG) and 2023 draft prospect Dalibor Dvorsky. Having Nemec running the power play and transition game from the point will also help the offense. Speaking of the blueline, Nemec will be aided by an experienced crew that can return five D-men from Edmonton, including 2023 draft prospect Maxim Strbak. In net, both goalies who played in Edmonton have…

NHL

PACIFIC DIVISION

The rebuilding Ducks picked a good year to load up on draft picks, and it makes sense they’ll be in the giving spirit beyond the holiday season. Anaheim has a quartet of pending UFA defensemen who can bolster the bluelines of Cup contenders. John Klingberg, Dmitry Kulikov, Kevin Shattenkirk and Nathan Beaulieu could be on the move in the coming months for even more draft picks. The Ducks already have six picks in the first three rounds of a deep 2023 class. They could have eight or nine by the trade deadline. After an off-season of roster upheaval and the loss of stars Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary is looking for some peace and serenity that can carry through all of 2023. GM Brad Treliving has earned that right with…

Borje Salming

BORJE SALMING

IT IS DIFFICULT, WHEN one dies, to find people who have a bad word to say about the person who has passed on. The only thing is, it was almost impossible to find anyone who had anything but wonderful things to say about Borje Salming during the 71 years he spent on Earth, 17 of which were spent forging a Hall of Fame career in the NHL. Former Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Jim McKenny did, however, manage to point out a major flaw in the man teammates called ‘King.’ “He was late for f---ing everything,” McKenny said. “The only reason I was around for the last three years is I was punctual and got Borje to practice on time. The only time he was ever early for anything was at SickKids…

World Juniors Preview 2023

LUKE HUGHES

LUKE HUGHES DID NOT get to see his brothers, Jack and Quinn, earn their silver medals with Team USA at the 2019 World Junior Championship. The then-15-year-old was busy with a tournament of his own in Toronto, with his Little Caesars team. Six months later, the youngest of the three smooth-skating siblings did travel to Vancouver with his family. And while Jack made the media rounds ahead of his No. 1 overall selection by the New Jersey Devils at the 2019 NHL draft, the middle Hughes brother didn’t hesitate to talk up the potential of his youngest kin. “He’s gonna be a hell of a player,” Jack said. “He’s big, can skate, can think. He’s pretty much a clone of Quinn.” Jack also revealed that Luke had led a pack of family…