Expectations and full schedules for each of the Canucks’ prospects at the World Junior Championships

Photo credit:Rena Laverty via usahockeyntdp.com
By Faber
1 year ago
The Vancouver Canucks have three of their prospects in attendance at the 2022 World Junior Championships.
Jacob Truscott and Joni Jurmo made their respective teams for the August tournament after not making the cut back in December at the IIHF’s first attempt at the 2022 WJC. Truscott was one of the final cuts from the December team while Jurmo wasn’t even invited to selection camp.

Jacob Truscott, LD, 6’1″, 180 lbs, USA

As a left-shot two-way defenceman, Truscott has an interesting path to get into games with Team USA. Truscott spent the majority of last season alongside fellow countryman Luke Hughes at the University of Michigan. Truscott and Hughes have pre-existing chemistry going into the tournament and have skated together as a pairing for USA in pre-tournament action.
Truscott believes that he is a two-way defenceman and this may be the case down the road. For now, if he is going to get minutes at the WJC, he will need to fall back to his defensive-minded style of play that saw him have success with Hughes last season in the NCAA. Though Hughes is left-handed, he plays the right side when on a pairing with Truscott. This gives Hughes the ability to fire plenty of one-timers from the point and as Hughes goes down low in offensive zone cycles, Truscott shades to the centre of the ice and uses an aggressive type of defending in the neutral zone to neutralize scoring chances.
We don’t expect to see Truscott eating up a ton of minutes for the United States but Truscott could end up seeing a decent amount of ice if head coach Nate Leaman believes that the Truscott-Hughes pairing is one of his best three options as defence duos. Truscott can also kill penalties and this could be a spot where he ends up getting minutes for USA aside from at even-strength.

Joni Jurmo, LD, 6’4″, 198 lbs, Finland

As we mentioned earlier, Jurmo wasn’t even invited to Finland’s world junior selection camp in December.
He has since turned 20, had a good finish to his Finnish Liiga season and showed well at Canucks development camp.
There’s a lot of raw skill in Jurmo’s game and that skill should be on full display in this type of tournament.
We see Jurmo as the second or third left-shot defenceman on Finland’s backend. He should get into most of Finland’s games but we wouldn’t be surprised for him to not be selected as one of the six best defencemen on a nightly basis.
Being one of the biggest and most physically mature players in this tournament will absolutely help Jurmo. The best-case scenario is that he shines for Finland during his debut and plays well enough to not be taken out of the lineup for the remainder of the tournament.
There is a chance this happens but Jurmo will need to be at his best and not make bad decisions with the puck. The Finnish blue line is deep and the defencemen will need to be good in their own zone for Finland to have success in this tournament.
Jurmo skates at a level that should put him in a position to have success in the WJC. It could end up being a great couple of weeks for Jurmo if he can get a couple of good bounces, capitalize on jumping in on scoring chances, and hold his own defensively.
First things, first, he needs to prove his worth in Finland’s lineup. He will skate on their second pairing in the tournament-opening game against Latvia.

Jonathan Lekkerimäki, RW, 5’10”, 170 lbs, Sweden

The Canucks have a boatload of Swedish prospects in their system but only one prospect has made Sweden’s 2022 World Junior team. That one player is 18-year-old Jonathan Lekkerimäki. He will be eligible to play for Sweden at this world juniors as well as the next two instalments of the tournament.
Lekkerimäki making Sweden’s team is a big accomplishment. To be used in a top-six role is even more impressive and that is what we are expecting to see from the Canucks 2022 first-round pick.
He scored a goal in the pre-tournament play and it looks like Lekkerimäki will be used on Sweden’s power play unit — a spot where he dominated at the most recent U18 tournament.
With two more years of eligibility for this tournament, this year’s world juniors feels like a warm-up for Lekkerimäki. It’s already great to see him getting lots of minutes and special teams time and this is a great stepping stone for what is to come in his career.
There should be some decent numbers put up by Lekkerimäki in this tournament but don’t expect him to be at the top of Sweden’s scoring. That should come in a couple of years.

Schedule for Canucks prospects

All times in PDT
Day One (Aug. 9th)
Jurmo vs Latvia: 3 pm
Truscott vs Germany: 7 pm
Day Two (Aug. 10th)
Lekkerimäki vs Switzerland: 11 am
Day Three (Aug. 11th)
Jurmo vs Czechia: 11 am
Truscott vs Switzerland: 7 pm
Day Four (Aug. 12th)
Lekkerimäki vs Austria: 11 am
Day Five (Aug. 13th)
Truscott vs Austria: 11 am
Day Six (Aug. 14th)
Jurmo vs Slovakia: 11 am
Lekkerimäki vs Truscott: 7 pm
Day Seven (Aug. 15th)
Jurmo vs Canada: 3 pm
Lekkerimäki vs Germany: 7 pm
After each team completes their four qualifying games, there will be four quarterfinal games on the 17th of August.
Two semifinal games on the 19th of August.
The tournament will conclude with the bronze medal game at 1 pm and the gold medal game at 5 pm on August 20th.
We will keep you updated with all the latest news, clips, and highlights from the tournament as well as a breakdown of each day of the world juniors.

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