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World Juniors Special 2024

World Juniors Special 2024

Get everything you need to know about the 2024 World Junior Championship with our annual preview edition! Inside, you'll find scouting reports for each country and features on key players to watch. Also in the issue: stories on Pettersson, Rantanen, Hintz, Byfield, Bratt, Necas, Karlsson, Zuccarello, Spooner, Flanagan and more, plus an early look at the 2024 free-agent class.

Buzz

DAZZLING DEBUT-O-METER

Connor Bedard made an instant impact in his first NHL game, leading forwards in ice time and chipping in an assist. But while his NHL debut was memorable, it doesn’t leap off the page quite like these other No. 1 overall picks

Buzz

PUCK CULTURE

10 NHL ‘PRE-ROOKIE’ CARDS FROM THE 2010s >1. MARC-ANDRE FLEURY 2002-03 Cape Breton Screaming Eagles ‘Flower’ had the most wins of any goalie during the 2010s, and he’s on the cusp of passing Patrick Roy for second place in all-time wins. Not to mention, he won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, 2016 and 2017. Before he was drafted first overall by the Penguins in 2003, Fleury had an award-winning season backstopping Cape Breton in the QMJHL. He was named the defensive player of the year and the best pro prospect in the ‘Q’ for 2002-03. One of Fleury’s earliest hockey cards is found in the Screaming Eagles’ trading card set issued that year. >2. SIDNEY CROSBY 2003 Rookie Review #56 A magazine called Rookie Review issued a card of ‘Sid the Kid’ when he…

OHL

YOUTH CAN DO IT

THERE IS AN INHERENT ignorance in being young. You don’t know what you haven’t experienced. And when you haven’t experienced anything, you have nothing to fear. That’s the situation the Mississauga Steelheads were in as, despite having the youngest roster in the OHL, they sat near the top of the league standings. At last year’s OHL trade deadline, Steelheads coach-GM James Richmond understood embracing the youth movement would be the best thing for the club in the long term, but even he didn’t think the turnaround was going to be so quick. “After trading (Owen) Beck, (Ethan) Del Mastro and (Luca) Del Bel Belluz, I knew that this year would be about giving the young guys some opportunity,” Richmond said. “I know some teams don’t love doing it and rely on…

2024 World Junior Championship

LENNI HAMEENAHO

HOCKEY IS ABOUT getting yourself in the right place at the right time and then capitalizing on your chances – both inside the rink and outside it. Lenni Hameenaho certainly has a knack for that. This season, the New Jersey Devils’ second-round draft pick in 2023 (58th overall) has been the hottest young player in the Finnish Elite League, with nine goals in 18 games, tied for fifth on the circuit’s goal-scoring ladder. And his team-high 14 points put him in the top 30 in scoring. Last season, the right winger scored nine goals and 21 points in 51 games, sixth-most on the Pori Assat team. “The team got off to a great start, so it’s been easier for me to play,” said Hameenaho, 19. “I feel that my development has continued in…