The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship concluded yesterday, Jan. 5, as Team Canada defeated Team Russia, 5-4, in the Gold Medal Game. Three Rangers prospects (Anthony Duclair, Pavel Buchnevich, and Igor Shesterkin) captured a medal in the tournament, the first time three Rangers prospects earned a medal in one year at the World Junior Championship since Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Ryan Bourque all won a gold medal with Team USA in 2010. The following is a complete breakdown of how each of the team’s prospects fared in the tournament:
- Anthony Duclair, RW, Team Canada – Duclair registered eight points (four goals, four assists) and posted a plus-11 rating to help Team Canada capture a gold medal.
He began the past week by tallying two points (one goal, one assist) in Team Canada’s preliminary round victory against Team Finland on Dec. 29. He recorded a point in each of the Canadians’ three playoff games in the tournament, registering an assist in the Quarterfinals against Team Denmark on Jan. 2, notching two points (one goal, one assist) in the Semifinals against Team Slovakia on Jan. 4, and tallying a goal 23 seconds into the Gold Medal Game on Jan. 5 against Team Russia.
Duclair ranked third among all tournament skaters in plus/minus rating (plus-11) and tied for fifth among all tournament skaters in goals (four). He became the first Rangers prospect to tally at least four goals in a single World Junior Championship tournament since Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast each recorded four in 2011. Prior to Duclair, the last current Ranger to capture a gold medal at the World Junior Championship while representing Team Canada was Marc Staal in 2007.
2015 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOTALS: 7 GP, 4-4-8, +11 RATING, 16 PIM
- Pavel Buchnevich, LW, Team Russia – Buchnevich tallied six points (one goal, five assists) to help Team Russia capture a silver medal. He is the first Rangers prospect to earn a medal in back-to-back World Junior Championship tournaments since Chris Kreider captured a gold medal and a bronze medal with Team USA in 2010 and 2011, respectively (Buchnevich captured a bronze medal in last year’s tournament).
He began the past week by tallying an assist in Team Russia’s preliminary round game against Team Sweden on Dec. 29. Buchnevich also notched an assist in the Russians’ Quarterfinals match against Team USA on Jan. 2 and in the Gold Medal Game against Team Canada on Jan. 5.
Buchnevich tied for eighth among all skaters in the tournament – and led Team Russia – in assists (five). He also led the Russians in shots on goal (21) and tied for the team lead in points (six) in the tournament. Including last year’s tournament, Buchnevich tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 14 career World Junior Championship contests.
2015 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOTALS: 7 GP, 1-5-6, -1 RATING, 2 PIM
- Igor Shesterkin, G, Team Russia – Shesterkin captured a silver medal with Team Russia and was named one of the Russians’ top three players in the tournament.
After posting a shutout in his first start of the tournament last week, Shesterkin played a key role in helping Team Russia advance to the Gold Medal Game. He stopped 39 of 41 shots he faced to lead the Russians to a 3-2 victory over Team USA in the Quarterfinals, and he followed that performance by making 26 saves in a 4-1 victory over Team Sweden in the Semifinals.
Shesterkin ranked second among all goaltenders in the tournament in SV% (.938; 121 saves on 129 shots) and finished third among all tournament goaltenders in GAA (1.98).
2015 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOTALS: 5 GP, 3-1, 1.98 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 SO
- Brandon Halverson, G, Team USA – Halverson did not appear in a game with Team USA this past week, and the Americans were eliminated from the tournament in the Quarterfinals by Team Russia on Jan. 2.
2015 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOTALS: 1 GP, 1-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%, 1 SO
- Daniel Walcott, D, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) – Walcott tallied three points (one goal, two assists) while helping Blainville-Boisbriand win all four of its games over the past week. He recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in the Armada’s 7-2 victory over Val-d’Or on Dec. 31.
The Rangers’ fifth round pick (140th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last nine games. Walcott has notched a point in 17 of 30 games this season, and has registered an assist in 16 of those contests.
Since he made his season debut on Oct. 10, Walcott is tied for sixth among QMJHL defensemen in assists (19). He also ranks eighth in the QMJHL – and third among league defensemen – in power play assists (16) this season. The Armada captain ranks third on Blainville-Boisbriand in assists and ranks fourth on the team in points (22) and plus/minus rating (plus-13) in 2014-15.
2014-15 QMJHL TOTALS: 30 GP, 3-19-22, +13 RATING, 32 PIM
- Ryan Graves, D, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) – Graves posted a three-game point streak over the past week, tallying three points (one goal, two assists) over the span. He has registered a three-game point streak on three occasions this season, all of which have occurred in the last 13 games.
The Rangers’ fourth round pick (110th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has tallied a point in nine of the last 13 contests, registering 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) over the span. Graves is tied for third among QMJHL defensemen in goals (eight) this season.
2014-15 QMJHL TOTALS: 22 GP, 8-10-18, +12 RATING, 22 PIM
- Marek Hrivik, LW, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) – Hrivik registered a three-game assist/point streak over the past week, tallying three points (three assists) and posting a plus-three rating over the span. He has recorded an assist/point in six of the last 11 games (eight assists over the span).
Hrivik is tied for fifth on the Wolf Pack in assists (nine) this season.
2014-15 AHL TOTALS: 34 GP, 2-9-11, -1 RATING, 8 PIM
Notes from the Wolf Pack’s three contests over the past week:
- Mackenzie Skapski made 27 saves on Dec. 31 at Portland and stopped 18 of 20 shots he faced to record the win on Jan. 2 vs. St. John’s. Following his first two appearances this past week, the 20-year-old had allowed two goals or fewer in six consecutive appearances, posting a 3-2-1 record with a 1.60 GAA and a .947 SV% (162 saves on 171 shots) over the span.
- Oscar Lindberg notched an assist and recorded eight shots on goal on Jan. 3 vs. St. John’s. He has tallied a point in six of his last nine games (one goal, five assists over the span), and has also registered at least five shots on goal in six games during the stretch. Lindberg ranks second on the team in goals (nine), points (21), and shots on goal (95), and is tied for second in assists (12) this season.
- Adam Tambellini, C, Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – Tambellini tallied a goal on Dec. 30 vs. Lethbridge. He recorded 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in nine games during December, and he registered a goal/point in seven of nine contests during the month. Tambellini ranks seventh in the WHL in goals (22) and is tied for 11th in plus/minus rating (plus-20) this season.
- Michael St. Croix, C, Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL) – St. Croix registered a single-game ECHL career-high four points (one goal, three assists) and posted a plus-four rating on Jan. 2 vs. Florida.
- Tyler Nanne, D, Madison Capitols (USHL) – Nanne tallied a goal on Dec. 30 vs. Green Bay. He has recorded a point in three of the last five games (two goals, one assist), and he has registered eight points (five goals, three assists), along with a plus-five rating in 13 games with Madison this season.
“He was impressive again at the World Junior Championship. He was a go to guy who showed his high-end talent throughout the last two weeks. He tries to make a difference every shift, which is encouraging for his future.” – Rangers Assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton on Pavel Buchnevich
“Not too many 18-year-old kids make the World Junior (Championship) the first year after they are drafted. For Brandon, with this experience, he’s going to be better. For a first year kid to nab that second role, we’re really proud of that. With Igor, when our North American scouts set their eyes on him for the first time, they said he’s one cool goaltender. He doesn’t let anything bother him.” – Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark on Brandon Halverson and Igor Shesterkin
“He has the ability to create something out of nothing with his tricky moves and his quick, surprising release. He plays a complete game and is an excellent prospect.” – Rangers European Scout Jan Gajdosik on Pavel Buchnevich
“He is just a great goalie, he saved us. He’s a great guy and a big part of our team.” – Team Russia forward Sergei Tolchinsky on Igor Shesterkin