College hockey is back this weekend, but rather than dive right back in, we’re passing along a final update on the World Junior Championship, where four of the Minnesota Wild’s top prospects were in action.
Luke Kunin and Jordan Greenway return with gold medals, while Kirill Kaprizov was the tournament’s breakout star and Joel Eriksson Ek continued his steady march to the NHL.
With signees and draft picks spread out across two continents and more than a dozen junior leagues, keeping up with the Minnesota Wild’s various prospects can be a daunting task.
From managing streaming plans and tracking down cable channels, to learning a few new languages (Puhutko suomea?), keeping tabs on the next generation can be a full-time job.
FOX Sports North has you covered.
From Finland to Fargo, we’re breaking down the stats and bringing you a comprehensive look at the Wild’s prospect pipeline each and every week.
So, let’s take a look at the week that was in the latest edition of the Young Wild Tracker.
Jordan Greenway, LW, Boston University (NCAA)
Greenway was a wrecking ball for Team USA in Toronto. He assisted on the Americans’ first goal in the championship game, letting the Canadian defenders drift down low before rifling a tape-to-tape pass to a trailing Charlie McAvoy. He finished with three goals and nine points, but the real story was his work on the boards, where Greenway put his 6-foot-5 frame to great use winning puck battles and shrugging off defenders. He returns to BU this weekend, where the Terriers face UMass in an outdoor game at Fenway Park.
Luke Kunin, C, Wisconsin (NCAA)
Kunin finished the tournament with just two goals (four points) while playing on a line with Greenway, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The Badgers’ captain registered 23 shots on goal, second amongst all U.S. skaters to Clayton Keller, for a fluky 8.7 shooting percentage. He should be back in Wisconsin in time for their weekend series against Michigan State. He leads the Badgers in scoring with 11 goals.
Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Salavat Yulaev (KHL)
North America finally got a look at post-breakout Kaprizov, the 19-year-old who has been terrorizing the KHL this season, and he didn’t disappoint. Kaprizov led the tournament in scoring with nine goals and tied for the lead with 12 points, powering Russia to a bronze medal. He’s headed back to Ufa for the KHL stretch run, where he has 15 goals and 30 points for Salavat Yulaev. His current contract isn’t up until 2018, but if his play in Toronto is any indication Kaprizov will be worth the wait.
Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestad BK (SHL)
Eriksson Ek opened the scoring in Sweden’s 5-2 loss to Canada in the semifinals with a nifty shorthanded goal, capping an impressive showing in Toronto. The Swedish captain scored six goals (nine points), but lost out on a medal after Sweden struggled to a 2-1 defeat in the bronze-medal game. He returns to the SHL, where he has a goal and two assists for No. 9-ranked Farjestad BK.