2018 All-Tournament Team
The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship has come and gone. Here are the players who left the biggest mark on the tournament hosted by Buffalo.
Casey Mittelstadt (USA) – Forward
Directorate Award: Top Forward
Mittelstadt, the Buffalo Sabres first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, did not disappoint Sabres fans who were looking to catch a glimpse of what the future may hold. In his first taste of World Juniors action, the 19-year-old center finished tied for the tournament lead in points with 11 (4+7) in seven games as he helped Team USA to a bronze-medal finish.
Filip Gustavsson (SWE) – Goaltender
Directorate Award: Top Goaltender
Gustavsson was the backbone of a steady Swedish defensive front that earned silver. The Penguins draft pick (2016, second round) made 25 saves in the gold medal game and finished the tournament with a .924 save percentage and a 1.81 goal-against average in seven starts.
Rasmus Dahlin (SWE) – Defenseman
Directorate Award: Top Defenseman
Dahlin entered the tournament as the presumptive first-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and did nothing to devalue his stock. A steady and dynamic presence, Dahlin, 17, racked up six assists and 25 shots on goal, which led all defensemen, over the course of the tournament.
Cale Makar (CAN) – Defenseman
With eight points (3+5), Makar tied with Libor Hajek of the Czech Republic for the scoring lead among defensemen. His three goals were also tied for most among rear guards with two of them coming on the power play. A first-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche in 2017, Makar will continue his season at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.
Filip Zadina (CZE) – Forward
Representing the surprise of the tournament, Zadina’s eight points (7+1) were second on the team in scoring to 2017 first rounder Martin Necas. Zadina, who is eligible for the NHL Draft in 2018, scored twice in the Czech Republic’s quarterfinal upset over Finland, including a late game-tying goal that sent the game into overtime and then a shootout.
Kieffer Bellows (USA) – Forward
Bellows led the tournament with nine goals and broke Jeremy Roenick’s record for most goals scored by a U.S. player in a single World Junior Championship. The 19th overall pick by the New York Islanders in 2017, Bellows wrapped up his second World Juniors tournament with 10 points, including two game-winning goals.