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2020 World Junior Championship rosters –



The list includes their two first-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, United States forward Alex Turcotte (No. 5) and Sweden defenseman Tobias Bjornfot (No. 22).

“The entire organization is excited for all our prospects who will be representing their country in this year’s World Juniors,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said. “It’s an honor to compete in this tournament and that’s a credit to the hard work they’ve all put in. We look forward to watching them take another step in their development.”

The Arizona Coyotes are second with seven prospects, followed by the Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers with five each. All 31 teams will have at least one player participating.

The 2020 WJC runs from Thursday through Jan. 5, in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. The 10 teams are split into two groups. Group A consists of defending champion Finland, along with Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Kazakhstan and will play its preliminary-round games at Werk Arena in Trinec. Group B features the United States, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic and Germany and will play its round-robin games at Ostravar Arena in Ostrava.

NHL Network will broadcast live 20 games, including every U.S. game, as well as all games in the medal round.

World Junior Championship Rosters


Nicolas Daws, Guelph, OHL (2020 draft eligible)

Joel Hofer, Portland, WHL (St. Louis Blues)

Olivier Rodrigue, Moncton, QMJHJL (Edmonton Oilers)


Calen Addison, Lethbridge, WHL (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Kevin Bahl, Ottawa, OHL (New Jersey Devils)

Jacob Bernard-Docker, North Dakota, NCHC (Ottawa Senators)

Bowen Byram, Vancouver, WHL (Colorado Avalanche)

Jamie Drysdale, Erie, OHL (2020 draft eligible)

Jared McIsaac, Halifax, QMJHL (Detroit Red Wings)

Ty Smith, Spokane, WHL (New Jersey Devils)


Quinton Byfield, Sudbury, OHL (2020 draft eligible)

Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge, WHL (Buffalo Sabres)

Ty Dellandrea, Flint, OHL (Dallas Stars)

Aidan Dudas, Owen Sound, OHL (Los Angeles Kings)

Nolan Foote, Kelowna, WHL (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Liam Foudy, London, OHL (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Barrett Hayton, Arizona Coyotes

Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Raphael Lavoie, Halifax, QMJHL (Edmonton Oilers)

Connor McMichael, London, OHL (Washington Capitals)

Dawson Mercer, Drummondville, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Akil Thomas, Niagara, OHL (Los Angeles Kings)

Joseph Veleno, Grand Rapids, AHL (Detroit Red Wings)

Czech Republic


Lukas Dostal, Ilves, Liiga (Anaheim Ducks)

Nick Malik, Frydek-Mistek, Czech 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Lukas Parik, Spokane, WHL (Los Angeles Kings)


Tomas Dajcar, Litomerice, Czech 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Martin Has, Koovee, Finland 2nd division (Washington Capitals)

Karel Klikorka, ML. Boleslav Jr., Czech Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Simon Kubicek, Seattle, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Radek Kucerik, Saskatoon, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Ivan Lytvynov, Ceske Budejovice, Czech 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Libor Zabransky, Moose Jaw, WHL (2020 draft eligible)


Matej Blumel, Pardubice, Czech Extraliga (Edmonton Oilers)

Petr Cajka, Geneve Jr., Swiss Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Jan Jenik, Hamilton, OHL (Arizona Coyotes)

Jakub Lauko, Providence, AHL (Boston Bruins)

Jan Mysak, Litvinov, Czech Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Ondrej Pavel, Fargo, USHL (2020 draft eligible)

Matej Pekar, Barrie, OHL (Buffalo Sabres)

Karel Plasek, Brno, Czech Extraliga (Vancouver Canucks)

Jaromir Pytlik, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL (2020 draft eligible)

Adam Raska, Rimouski, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Otakar Sik, Litomerice, Czech 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Jan Sir, Liberec, Czech Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Michal Teply, Winnipeg, WHL (Chicago Blackhawks)



Justus Annunen, Karpat, Liiga (Colorado Avalanche)

Jasper Patrikainen, Pelicans, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)

Kari Piiroinen, Windsor, OHL (2020 draft eligible)


Santeri Hatakka, Ilves, Liiga (San Jose Sharks)

Ville Heinola, Lukko, Liiga (Winnipeg Jets)

Anttoni Honka, JYP, Liiga (Carolina Hurricanes)

Mikko Kokkonen, Jukurit, Liiga (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Kim Nousiainen, Kalpa, Liiga (Los Angeles Kings)

Peetro Seppala, Kookoo, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)

Lassi Thomson, Ilves, Liiga (Ottawa Senators)

Toni Utunen, Tappara, Liiga (Vancouver Canucks)


Eemil Erholtz, Sport, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)

Lenni Killinen, Assat, Liiga (Carolina Hurricanes)

Rasmus Kupari, Ontario, AHL (Los Angeles Kings)

Matias Maccelli, Ilves, Liiga (Arizona Coyotes)

Joonas Oden, Kookoo, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)

Ville Petman, Lukko, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)

Patrik Puistola, Jukurit, Liiga (Carolina Hurricanes)

Sampo Ranta, Minnesota, BIG 10 (Colorado Avalanche)

Aatu Raty, Karpat Jr., Finland Jr. league (2021 draft eligible)

Aku Raty, Karpat Jr, Finland Jr. league (Arizona Coyotes)

Antti Saarela, Ilves, Liiga (Chicago Blackhawks)

Kristian Tanus, Jukurit, Liiga (2020 draft eligible)



Tobias Ancicka, Lukko Jr., Finland Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Hendrik Hane, Dusseldorf, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Philipp Maurer, Landshut, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)


Alexander Dersch, Dusseldorf, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Niklas Heinzinger Bad Tolz Jr., Germany Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Leon Huttl, Lowen, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Philip Mass, EC Salzburg 2, Austria 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Eric Mik, Lausitzer, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Moritz Seider, Grand Rapids, AHL (Detroit Red Wings)

Daniel Wirt, Lowen, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)


Dominik Bokk, Rogle, SHL (Carolina Hurricanes)

Louis Brune, Heilbronn, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Tim Fleischer, Iserlohn, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Taro Jentzsch, Sherbrooke, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Nino Kinder, Winnipeg, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Dennis Lobach, Munchen, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Jan Nijenhuis, Wolfsburg, GER (2020 draft eligible)

John-Jason Peterka, Munchen, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Lukas Reichel, Eisbaren Berlin, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Luis Schinko, Lowen, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Justin Schutz, Munchen, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Tim Stuetzle, Mannheim, GER (2020 draft eligible)

Yannik Valenti, Heilbronn, Germany 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)



Roman Kalmykov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Vladislav Nurek, Ust-Kamenogorsk Jr, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Maxim Pavlenko, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)


Danil Butenko, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Madi Dikhanbek, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Tamirlan Gaitamirov, Des Moines, USHL (2020 draft eligible)

Timofei Katasonov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Artyom Korolyov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

David Muratov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Vladimir Shlychkov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)


Stanislav Alexandrov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Yusup Asukhanov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Konstantin Bondarenko, Ust-Kamenogorsk Jr, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Oleg Boiko, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Andrei Buyalsky, Temirtau, KAZ (2020 draft eligible)

Maxim Chalov, Ust-Kamenogorsk Jr, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Denis Chaporov, Temirtau, KAZ (2020 draft eligible)

Ruslan Demin, Temirtau, KAZ (2020 draft eligible)

Nikita Lyapunov, Ust-Kamenogorsk Jr, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Maxim Musorov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Alikhan Omirbekov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Vladislav Saiko, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Ansar Shaikhmeddenov, Barys 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)



Yaroslav Askarov, Neva St. Petersburg, Russia 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Daniil Isayev, Yaroslavl, KHL (2020 draft eligible)

Amir Miftakhov, Bars Kazan, Russia 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)


Danila Galeniuk, St. Petersburg, KHL (2020 draft eligible)

Anton Malyshev, Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Daniil Misyul, Yaroslavl, KHL (New Jersey Devils)

Daniil Pylenkov, Podolsk, KHL (2020 draft eligible)

Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL (Montreal Canadiens)

Egor Zamula, Calgary, WHL (Philadelphia Flyers)

Danila Zhuravlyov, Kazan, KHL (Anaheim Ducks)


Nikita Alexandrov, Charlottetown, QMJHL (St. Louis Blues)

Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl, KHL (Florida Panthers)

Pavel Dorofeyev, Magnitogorsk, KHL (Vegas Golden Knights)

Maxim Groshev, Nizhnekamsk, KHL (2020 draft eligible)

Alexander Khovanov, Moncton, QMJHL (Minnesota Wild)

Ilya Kruglov, Dynamo Moscow 2, Russia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Kirill Marchenko, St. Petersburg, KHL (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Ivan Morozov, Neva St. Petersburg, Russia 2nd division (Vegas Golden Knights)

Vasily Podkolzin, St. Petersburg, KHL (Vancouver Canucks)

Nikita Rtishchev, CSKA, KHL (2020 draft eligible)

Egor Sokolov, Cape Breton, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Dmitri Voronkov, Kazan, KHL (Columbus Blue Jackets)



Samuel Hlavaj, Sherbrooke, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Jakub Lackovic, Zilina Jr., Slovakia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Samuel Vyletelka, Lincoln, USHL (2020 draft eligible)


Martin Bucko, Kosice, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Boris Cesanek, Poprad, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Marcel Dlugos, Nove Zamky, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Samuel Knazko, TPS Jr., Finland Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

David Mudrak, TPS Jr., Finland Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Marko Stacha, Trencin, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Oliver Turan, Detva, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Martin Vitalos, Rogle, Jr., Sweden Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)


Maxim Cajkovic, Saint John, QMJHL (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Viktor Durina, Trencin, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Robert Dzugan, Trencin, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Martin Fasko-Rudas, Everett, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Nicolas Ferenyi, Trencin Jr., Slovakia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Dominik Jendek, Bratislava Jr., Slovakia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Kristian Kovacik, Trencin, Slovak Extraliga (2020 draft eligible)

Jakub Minarik, Nitra Jr., Slovakia Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Marek Minarik, Zilina, Slovakia 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Michal Mrazik, F, Linkoping Jr., Sweden Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Oliver Okuliar, Lethbridge, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Adam Pauliny, F, Martin, SVK-2 (2020 draft eligible)

Daniel Tkac, Merritt, BCHL (2020 draft eligible) 



Hugo Alnefelt, HV 71 Jr., Sweden Jr. league (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Jesper Eliasson, Almtuna, Sweden 2nd division (Detroit Red Wings)

Erik Portillo, Dubuque, USHL (Buffalo Sabres)


Tobias Bjornfot, Djurgarden, SHL (Los Angeles Kings)

Philip Broberg, Skelleftea, SHL (Edmonton Oilers)

Adam Ginning, Linkoping, SHL (Philadelphia Flyers)

Nils Lundkvist, Lulea, SHL (New York Rangers)

Mattias Norlinder, Modo, Sweden 2nd division (Montreal Canadiens)

Rasmus Sandin, Toronto, AHL (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Victor Soderstrom, Brynas, SHL (Arizona Coyotes)


Oskar Back, Farjestad, SHL (Dallas Stars)

Jonatan Berggren, Skelleftea, SHL (Detroit Red Wings)

Albin Eriksson, Skelleftea, SHL (Dallas Stars)

Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda, SHL (Los Angeles Kings)

David Gustafsson, Winnipeg Jets

Hugo Gustafsson, Sodertalje, Sweden 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Karl Henriksson, Frolunda Jr., Sweden Jr. league (New York Rangers)

Nils Hoglander, Rogle, SHL (Vancouver Canucks)

Alexander Holtz, Djurgarden, SHL (2020 draft eligible)

Linus Nassen, Timra, Sweden 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Linus Oberg, Orebro Jr., Sweden Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Nikola Pasic, Karlskoga, Sweden 2nd division (New Jersey Devils)

Lucas Raymond, Frolunda, SHL (2020 draft eligible)



Stephane Charlin, Sierre, Swiss 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Luca Hollenstein, Zug Academy, Swiss 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Akira Schmid, Omaha, USHL (New Jersey Devils)


David Aebischer, Gatineau, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Tim Berni, Zurich, National League, (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Nico Gross, Oshawa, OHL (New York Rangers)

Bastian Guggenheim, Langnau Jr., Swiss Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Mika Henauer, Bern, National League (2020 draft eligible)

Janis Moser, Biel, National League (2020 draft eligible)

Rocco Pezzullo, Ambri Jr., Swiss Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)


Fabian Berri, GCK Zurich Jr., Swiss Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Jeremi Gerber, Bern, National League (2020 draft eligible)

Gaetan Jobin, Charlottetown, QMJHL (2020 draft eligible)

Simon Knak, Portland, WHL (2020 draft eligible)

Gilian Kohler, Biel, National League (2020 draft eligible)

Julian Mettler, Kloten, Swiss 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Valentin Nussbaumer, Shawinigan, QMJHL (Arizona Coyotes)

Stephane Patry, Geneve Jr., Swiss Jr. league (2020 draft eligible)

Joel Salzgeber, Olten, Swiss 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

Sandro Schmid, Fribourg, National League (2020 draft eligible)

Kyen Sopa, Niagara, OHL (2020 draft eligible)

Matthew Verboon, Colgate, ECAC (2020 draft eligible)

Gian-Marco Wetter, Biasca, Swiss 2nd division (2020 draft eligible)

United States


Spencer Knight, Boston College, H-EAST, (Florida Panthers)

Isaiah Saville, Nebraska-Omaha, NCHC (Vegas Golden Knights)

Dustin Wolf, Everett, WHL (Calgary Flames)


Ty Emberson, Wisconsin, Big Ten (Arizona Coyotes)

Jordan Harris, Northeastern, H-EAST (Montreal Canadiens)

Zachary Jones, UMass, H-EAST (New York Rangers)

K’Andre Miller, Wisconsin, Big Ten (New York Rangers)

Mattias Samuelsson, Western Michigan, NCHC (Buffalo Sabres)

Spencer Stastney, Notre Dame, Big Ten (Nashville Predators)

Cameron York, Michigan, Big Ten (Philadelphia Flyers)


John Beecher, Michigan, Big Ten (Boston Bruins)

Bobby Brink, Denver, NCHC (Philadelphia Flyers)

Cole Caufield, Wisconsin, Big Ten (Montreal Canadiens)

Jack Drury, Harvard, ECAC (Carolina Hurricanes)

Parker Ford, Providence, H-EAST (2020 draft eligible)

Curtis Hall, Yale, ECAC (Boston Bruins)

Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton, OHL (Los Angeles Kings)

Shane Pinto, North Dakota, NCHC (Ottawa Senators)

Jacob Pivonka, Notre Dame, Big Ten (New York Islanders)

Nicholas Robertson, Peterborough, OHL (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Alex Turcotte, Wisconsin, Big Ten (Los Angeles Kings)

Oliver Wahlstrom, Bridgeport, AHL (New York Islanders)

Trevor Zegras, Boston University, H-EAST (Anaheim Ducks)

Players drafted by NHL teams

Los Angeles Kings (9) — SWE- Tobias Bjornfot, D, Djurgarden, SHL; CAN- Aidan Dudas, F, Owen Sound, OHL; SWE-Samuel Fagemo, F, Frolunda, SHL; USA- Arthur Kaliyev, F, Hamilton, OHL; FIN- Rasmus Kupari, F, Ontario, AHL; FIN- Kim Nousiainen, D, Kalpa, Liiga; CZE- Lukas Parik, G, Spokane, WHL; CAN- Akil Thomas, F, Niagara, OHL; USA- Alex Turcotte, F, Wisconsin, Big Ten

Arizona Coyotes (7) — USA- Ty Emberson, D, Wisconsin, Big Ten; CAN- Barrett Hayton, F, Arizona; CZE- Jan Jenik, F, Hamilton, OHL; FIN- Matias Maccelli, F, Ilves, Liiga; SUI- Valentin Nussbaumer, F, Shawinigan, QMJHL; FIN- Aku Raty, F, Karpat Jr, Finland Jr. league; SWE- Victor Soderstrom, D, Brynas, SHL

Carolina Hurricanes (5) — GER- Dominik Bokk, F, Rogle, SHL; USA- Jack Drury, F, Harvard, ECAC; FIN- Anttoni Honka, D, JYP, Liiga; FIN- Lenni Killinen, F, Assat, Liiga; FIN- Patrik Puistola, F, Jukurit, Liiga

Detroit Red Wings (5) — SWE- Jonatan Berggren, F, Skelleftea, SHL; SWE- Jesper Eliasson, G, Almtuna, Sweden 2nd division; CAN- Jared McIsaac, D, Halifax, QMJHL; GER- Moritz Seider, D, Grand Rapids, AHL; CAN- Joseph Veleno, F, Grand Rapids, AHL

New Jersey Devils (5) — CAN- Kevin Bahl, D, Ottawa, OHL; RUS- Daniil Misyul, D, Yaroslavl, KHL; SWE- Nikola Pasic, F, Karlskoga, Sweden 2nd division; SUI- Akira Schmid, G, Omaha, USHL; CAN- Ty Smith, D, Spokane, WHL

New York Rangers (5) — SUI- Nico Gross, D, Oshawa, OHL; SWE- Karl Henriksson, F, Frolunda Jr., Sweden Jr. league; USA- Zachary Jones, D, UMass, H-EAST; SWE- Nils Lundkvist, D, Lulea, SHL; USA- K’Andre Miller, D, Wisconsin, Big TenColumbus Blue Jackest (4) — SUI- Tim Berni, D, Zurich, National League; CAN- Liam Foudy, F, London, OHL; RUS- Kirill Marchenko, F, St. Petersburg, KHL; RUS- Dmitri Voronkov, F, Kazan, KHL

Edmonton Oilers (4) — CZE- Matej Blumel, F, Pardubice, Czech Extraliga; SWE- Philip Broberg, D, Skelleftea, SHL; CAN- Raphael Lavoie, F, Halifax, QMJHL; CAN- Olivier Rodrigue, G, Moncton, QMJHJL

Montreal Canadiens (4) — USA- Cole Caufield, F, Wisconsin, Big Ten; USA- Jordan Harris, D, Northeastern, H-EAST; SWE- Mattias Norlinder, D, Modo, Sweden 2nd division; RUS- Alexander Romanov, D, CSKA, KHL

Philadelphia Flyers (4) — USA- Bobby Brink, F, Denver, NCHC; SWE- Adam Ginning, D, Linkoping, SHL; USA- Cameron York, D, Michigan, Big Ten; RUS- Egor Zamula, D, Calgary, WHL

Vancouver Canucks (4) — SWE- Nils Hoglander, F, Rogle, SHL; CZE- Karel Plasek, F, Brno, Czech Extraliga; RUS- Vasily Podkolzin, F, St. Petersburg, KHL; FIN- Toni Utunen, D, Tappara, Liiga

Anaheim Ducks (3) — CZE- Lukas Dostal, G, Ilves, Liiga; USA- Trevor Zegras, F, Boston University, H-EAST; RUS- Danila Zhuravlyov, D, Kazan, KHL

Boston Bruins (3) — USA- John Beecher, F, Michigan, Big Ten; USA- Curtis Hall, F, Yale, ECAC; CZE- Jakub Lauko, F, Providence, AHL

Buffalo Sabres (3) — CAN- Dylan Cozens, F, Lethbridge, WHL; SWE- Erik Portillo, G, Dubuque, USHL; USA- Mattias Samuelsson, D, Western Michigan, NCHC

Colorado Avalanche (3) — FIN- Justus Annunen, G, Karpat, Liiga; CAN- Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver, WHL; FIN- Sampo Ranta, F, Minnesota, Big Ten

Dallas Stars (3) — SWE- Oskar Back, F, Farjestad, SHL; CAN- Ty Dellandrea, F, Flint, OHL; SWE- Albin Eriksson, F, Skelleftea, SHL

Ottawa Senators (3) — CAN- Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, North Dakota, NCHC; USA- Shane Pinto, F, North Dakota, NCHC; FIN- Lassi Thomson, D, Ilves, Liiga

Tampa Bay Lightning (3) — SWE- Hugo Alnefelt, G, HV 71 Jr., Sweden Jr. league; SVK- Maxim Cajkovic, F, Saint John, QMJHL; CAN- Nolan Foote, F, Kelowna, WHL

Toronto Maple Leafs (3) — FIN- Mikko Kokkonen, D, Jukurit, Liiga; USA- Nicholas Robertson, F, Peterborough, OHL; SWE- Rasmus Sandin, D, Toronto, AHL

Vegas Golden Knights (3) — RUS- Pavel Dorofeyev, F, Magnitogorsk, KHL; RUS- Ivan Morozov, F, Neva St. Petersburg, Russia 2nd division; USA- Isaiah Saville, G, Nebraska-Omaha, NCHC

Chicago Blackhawks (2) — FIN- Antti Saarela, F, Ilves, Liiga; CZE- Michal Teply, F, Winnipeg, WHL

Florida Panthers (2) — RUS- Grigori Denisenko, F, Yaroslavl, KHL; USA- Spencer Knight, G, Boston College, H-EAST

New York Islanders (2) — USA- Jacob Pivonka, F, Notre Dame, Big Ten; USA- Oliver Wahlstrom, F, Bridgeport, AHL

Nashville Predators (2) — CZE- Matej Pekar, F, Barrie, OHL; USA- Spencer Stastney, D, Notre Dame, Big Ten

St. Louis Blues (2) — RUS- Nikita Alexandrov, F, Charlottetown, QMJHL; CAN- Joel Hofer, G, Portland, WHL

Washington Capitals (2) — CZE- Martin Has, D, Koovee, Finland 2nd division; CAN- Connor McMichael, F, London, OHL

Winnipeg Jets (2) — SWE- David Gustafsson, F, Winnipeg; FIN- Ville Heinola, D, Lukko, Liiga

Calgary Flames (1) — USA- Dustin Wolf, G, Everett, WHL

Minnesota Wild (1) — RUS- Alexander Khovanov, F, Moncton, QMJHL

Pittsburgh Penguins (1) — CAN- Calen Addison, D, Lethbridge, WHL

San Jose Sharks (1) — FIN- Santeri Hatakka, D, Ilves, Liiga

Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class

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The absurdity of medal ceremony mask-wearing at the Tokyo Olympics – Yahoo Canada Sports



TOKYO — The International Olympic Committee on Sunday reminded athletes to keep wearing masks, especially at the one time when mask-wearing is completely unnecessary.

Dozens of athletes have now stepped up onto podiums here at the Olympics. They’ve draped medals around their necks, and listened to national anthems, with nobody within six feet of them. And in perhaps the proudest moment of their lives, with emotions washing over their faces, their families, forced to watch from home, haven’t been able to see those faces, because they’re covered by masks.

And when pictures circulated of a few swimmers posing on podiums with masks off?

A reporter asked IOC spokesman Mark Adams whether there’d been a relaxation of COVID-19 rules that require mask-wearing during medal ceremonies. “There is no relaxation,” Adams responded. “We would urge and ask everyone to obey the rules.”

But at the Tokyo Aquatics Center on Sunday, Olympic officials made a mockery of those rules. A non-story became a story because pictures circulated of swimmers arm in arm with masks off. But multiple athletes said after their competitions that they’d been directed to remove their masks for photos.

American swimmers Chase Kalisz (right) and Jay Litherland both had to wear masks on the podium ... at least for some of it. (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Network)

American swimmers Chase Kalisz (right) and Jay Litherland both had to wear masks on the podium … at least for some of it. (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Network)

“Someone in the front was holding a sign that said, ‘Don’t wear a mask,’” said gold medal-winning American swimmer Chase Kalisz. “So, um, I can’t speak for what the proper protocol was, but he had a sign that said ‘mask off’ and ‘mask on.’”

Hours later, silver medal-winning Canadian diver Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu confirmed: “At one point they said to take off masks for a picture.”

And then, after the medal ceremonies, swimmers and divers alike paraded around the pool deck, stopping for more pictures, arm in arm with their fellow medalists, masks sometimes on, sometimes off. They hugged coaches. One German diver put her mask on the ground, then in a pocket.

There are all sorts of protocol violations here. On the first night of competition, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe took her mask off for an interview with a dozen reporters in the post-match mixed zone. On Sunday, Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui lined up for an impromptu video interview against a wall outside the Aquatics Center after his improbable gold medal. Reporters surround him. A Tunisian Olympic committee official literally pulled Hafnaoui’s mask off, so cameras could see his beautiful face.

Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui speaks to reporters after winning gold ... without his mask on. (Henry Bushnell/Yahoo Sports)Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui speaks to reporters after winning gold ... without his mask on. (Henry Bushnell/Yahoo Sports)

Tunisian swimmer Ahmed Hafnaoui speaks to reporters after winning gold … without his mask on. (Henry Bushnell/Yahoo Sports)

Protocols are enforced inconsistently. And yet, at the most prominent moment of virtually zero danger, with swimmers who’ll soon hug maskless separated by several feet, and with nobody in their immediate line of breath, the IOC and Tokyo organizers have decided that they must wear masks. At most of more than a dozen medal ceremonies tracked by Yahoo Sports thus far, including those in archery, judo, taekwondo and fencing, athletes have been masked up.

There is an argument that doing so models proper behavior, and perhaps that’s what Adams, the IOC spokesman, meant when he said that mask-wearing “sends a strong message.” But there is an obvious counterargument, that behavior modeling must be reasonable, or else the world will see it for what it is: all for show. Hygiene theater is prevalent at these Olympics. Medal ceremony mask-wearing is just another version.

Yahoo Sports’ Jack Baer contributed reporting.

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Vancouver Canucks place Jake Virtanen on waivers for purpose of buying out contract – ESPN



The Vancouver Canucks placed Jake Virtanen on unconditional waivers Sunday for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning confirmed the decision in an announcement on the team’s official Twitter account.

Virtanen was placed on leave on May 1 after being accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a women four years earlier. The organization said at the time that it “does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.”

The suit, filed in British Columbia, alleges Virtanen took the woman to a hotel in West Vancouver in September 2017 and assaulted her as she repeatedly said no and pleaded with him to stop.

The Canucks said at the time they had “engaged external expertise” to assist in an independent investigation. The NHL said then it would not comment until the investigation was complete.

The Canucks are on the hook for paying a third of Virtanen’s remaining $3 million base salary, while freeing up $2.5 million in cap space.

Virtanen, 24, had five goals in 38 games last season, a year after scoring a career-high 18 goals in 69 games. Overall, Vancouver’s 2014 first-round draft pick has 55 goals and 100 points in 317 games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime first-round upset Tokyo Olympics – TSN



TOKYO — It was far from the performance Felix Auger-Aliassime was hoping for in his Olympic debut.

Playing on centre court of Tokyo’s Ariake Tennis Park on Sunday, Auger-Aliassime was eliminated in just under two hours by a player ranked 190th in the world who was not even scheduled to compete.

Australian Max Purcell, replacing the injured Andy Murray, upset the 15th-ranked Canadian in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the first round.

The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime never got into any kind of rhythm, except for a three-game winning streak that saw him go from down 1-3 to up 4-3 in the second set.

The Montrealer’s performance otherwise did not live up to expectations.

“It’s difficult to explain,” said the ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime a few minutes after the loss. “You have to give credit to Max for playing such a good match. Even if he’s more of a doubles player, he’s dangerous, he serves well.

“Despite everything, I still had chances to do better in this match. I had a very bad service game in the first set, which cost me. After that, I did not find ways to get back into the match. A little in the second set, but it was not enough.”

Purcell broke the Canadian to take a 4-3 lead in the first set and won all four points in the next game to go up 5-3.

“I played with confidence,” said Purcell. “I just had two great tournaments in singles. I won a Challenger just last week.

“I need to make the most every time I get in. I went out there thinking I could win, and I think I had just as much to lose as Felix in my mind.”

The Australian earned another break early in the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Auger-Aliassime then strung together his best tennis of the encounter, winning three games in a row to give renewed hope to his team gathered around the court.

But it was short-lived. The two players exchanged serves until the tiebreaker, where Auger-Aliassime fell flat.

“You always have to try to find solutions, to adapt,” said the Canadian. “It’s difficult, we don’t always play our best tennis. That was the case today.

“My first service game has been good. There was no reason (to struggle today). In training (Saturday), I served well. (Sunday,) I didn’t have a lot of good first serves, I couldn’t find the right pace.

“In the second set I started to serve better, but it was almost too late. He had gained confidence, he was leading the game and I was going through it. I tried to find solutions, but it didn’t work out.”

Auger-Aliassime was supposed to face Murray, but the two-time defending Olympic champion withdrew a few hours before his clash with the Quebecer.

Murray, 104th in the world, suffered a quadriceps injury in his right leg. He is still lined up to play the doubles portion of the tournament with teammate Joe Salisbury.

“It’s not easy for anybody, adjusting at the last second,” said Frank Dancevic, Auger-Aliassime’s coach. “You think you’re going to play one guy and somebody else comes, a different game style than Andy. So it was just a little bit of mental adjustment.”

Auger-Aliassime now turns his attention to mixed doubles, which kicks off later this week, with teammate Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa.

“It doesn’t change that much for me. Whether I play against Andy or Max, I had to play a good game” said Auger-Aliassime. “I would have had to find solutions.

“It for sure hurts. Coming here, I had the possibility of having a better tournament. Leaving so early is a bit unexpected and I am very disappointed. I have to accept it and I will try to bounce back in the mixed doubles.”

Purcell will next face Germany’s Dominik Koepfer, who downed Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

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