The World Juniors competition gets underway today and some of the Bruins prospectS will be competing this year. The U19 international tournament will feature six Bruins players on five different teams.
Urho Vaakanainen will be playing for Finland. He saw some time this year on the Bruins before getting knocked out with a concussion a while back. Vaakanainen played well in his limited time with the Bruins and the B’s are hoping the World Juniors is a good spot for him to get his legs back and recover fully from the affects of a concussion.
Kyle Keyser will be playing for the USA. Keyser was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bruins last summer. He should be one of the top options for the USA. Keyser currently plays in Oshawa and has a 2.67 GAA and a .931 SV%.
Jakub Lauko will play for the Czech Republic during the tournament. Lauko is an 18 year old forward with a big frame at six feet, 175 pounds. He’s had a solid season in the QMJHL with 12 goals and 14 assists. He was a third round pick last year and Bruce Cassidy spoke highly of him after development camp.
Daniel Bukac will be playing with Lauko on the Czech Republic. Bukac was seventh round pick by the Bruins two years ago. Bukac is a huge right shot defenseman listed at 6’6″ and 215 pounds. He’s spent this season in the OHL and gotten 2 goals and 4 assists while maintaining a +14 rating.
Jack Studnicka will be playing for Team Canada this year. He was a second round choice by the Bruins two years ago and had an impressive showing in pre-season play. In the OHL this year he’s got 12 goals and 21 assists. Studnicka is pegged to be one of the best offensive players in the tournament.
Pavel Shen is going to be playing for Team Russia. Shen was a seventh round pick last year and is currently playing in the KHL. Shen hasn’t found an offensive stride there but he is only 19 years old so this tournament might kickstart his offense.
The World Juniors first game is today at 4:00 between the Czech Republic and Switzerland. The USA plays at 6:30 against Slovakia, then Canada will play Denmark at 8:00 and the last game of the night is between Finland and Sweden at 10:30.
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-Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)