It was a lighter day for Canucks prospects on Day 2 of the World Junior Championships.
With the Americans afforded the day off, it meant that only two prospects were expected to dress yesterday and one wasn’t even supposed to play.
But we can still take a look at the one prospect who did end up playing and look ahead to today’s action.
Michael DiPietro (Canada)
DiPietro was the backup to Ian Scott in Canada’s 3-2 win over Switzerland.
Not much to say about that other than I think he backed up really well, showing that leadership and other intangibles. DiPietro is expected to get the start tomorrow versus the Czech Republic and the New Year’s Eve against Russia. Canucks fans are excited to see what he can do from here on out.
Toni Utunen (Finland)
0-0-0 +1 09:01 TOI
The Finnish team added Anttoni Honka onto their roster between Wednesday and Thursday’s contests and thus dressed seven defenceman in their 5-0 win over Kazakhstan. This was done as the pairing of Utunen and Otto Latvala got buried in the shot share against Sweden and Honka gives that pairing a different and more mobile look when out there.
As a result, Toni Utunen saw his ice time drop to 9:01 in yesterday’s game as there was only so much ice time to go around and the Finns were buzzing. The results of the addition were clear as Honka was a zone exiting machine:
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) December 28, 2018
Which is interesting to see as Utunen was actually really strong in his zone exits in that 2-1 loss to Sweden
Utunen (#Canucks) was surprisingly effective at exiting the zone, though.
Ville Heinola (eligible in 2019) had real problems created controlled zone exits. pic.twitter.com/hSf5c0933W
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) December 27, 2018
Regardless, Utunen was always going to be a depth defenceman for this group, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see him play the minutes that he has been. His simple game may compliment Honka quite well in the coming games and will be something to keep an eye on.
Finland has today off and then will resume their preliminary schedule on Saturday against Slovakia.
Here is the schedule for later today