Dallas Stars: World Junior Championship

Dallas Stars defense prospects Patrik Nemeth (2nd round/2010) and John Klingberg (5th round/2010) took home gold medals from the World Junior Championship as Sweden defeated Russia 1-0 in overtime in Calgary Thursday night.

Nemeth assisted on the game’s only goal. After losing the puck on a wrap-around attempt, Nemeth tracked the puck down in the neutral zone to force a turnover and teammate Mika Zibanejad jumped on it, droved the net and scored on a backhand at 10:09 of the extra period.

It was the second time that Nemeth had assisted on a game-winning overtime goal against Russia in the tournament. Nemeth ended up with five points (0 goals, 5 assists) in six games, tying for third in defensemen scoring in the tournament. His plus-seven rating tied for sixth best among all players at the World Juniors.

Klingberg had three assists in six games for Sweden.

Stars defense prospect Jamie Oleksiak (1st round/2011) didn’t factor in the scoring as Canada defeated Finland 4-0 to take the bronze medal at the tournament.

Dallas Stars defense prospects Patrik Nemeth (2nd round/2010) and John Klingberg (5th round/2010) will go for gold tonight when Sweden takes on defending champion Russia in the title game at the World Junior Championship game in Calgary. Game time is 7 p.m. and it will be carried on the NHL Network in the United States.

The Swedes, who haven’t won gold at the World Juniors since 1981, beat Russia 4-3 in overtime in the preliminary round when a Nemeth shot was tipped into the net by Joakim Nordstrom. Nemeth is tied for the team lead in defensemen scoring with four points (0 goals, 4 assists). He’s second on Sweden with a plus-six rating.

Stars defense prospect Jamie Oleksiak (1st round/2011) will be playing for a bronze medal when Canada takes on Finland this afternoon. Game time is 2:30 p.m. and that game will be carried by the NHL Network in the United States.

Dallas goaltending prospect Jack Campbell (1st round/2010) stopped 21 of 22 shots Wednesday night as the USA beat Switzerland 2-1 to take seventh place in the tournament. It was a disappointing tournament for the Americans, who were one of the favorites to medal. Campbell, playing in his third and final World Juniors, was 3-2 with a 2.62 goals against average and .907 save percentage. His 10 career wins at the World Juniors is a U.S. record.



Stars prospects go for gold at World Juniors

December, 25, 2011
12/25/11
11:01
PM CT
The NHL resumes play on Monday and Monday also marks the opening of the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

The tournament, which runs through January 5, features some of the top young players in the world suiting up for their countries.

Four Dallas Stars prospects will play in this year’s tournament: Goaltender Jack Campbell (USA); defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (Canada); defenseman Patrik Nemeth (Sweden); defenseman John Klingberg (Sweden).

All four Dallas prospects should be in the medal hunt with Canada, Sweden and the United States among the favorites at the tournament.

G Jack Campbell (1st round, 11th overall/2010)

Campbell will be playing in his third World Juniors. He helped Team USA win the gold medal in 2010. Last year he led the USA to a bronze medal and was named the tournament’s outstanding goaltender, posting a 1.70 goals against average and .941 save percentage. Campbell’s been a big time performer for the USA in international play.

“He's been phenomenal … his international record really speaks for itself,” Team USA coach Dean Blais told NHL.com. "He's had just one loss on the big international stage at the elite level. He brings confidence and continues to push himself to say he's the guy. His compete level is like a Mike Richter. He doesn't like a puck to get by him whether it's at practice or a game. His mental preparation is second to none.”

D Jamie Oleksiak (1st round, 14th overall/2011)

This will be Oleksiak’s first time suiting up for Canada at the World Juniors. Oleksiak, who has dual citizenship, could have played for either Canada or the United States, but chose to play for Team Canada. At 6-7, 244 pounds, Oleksiak will be perhaps the biggest player at the tournament.

"With Jamie, we're just looking for a real solid defender, a guy that moves the puck up the ice and plays well in his own end,” Team Canada coach Don Hay told the Edmonton Journal. “Killing penalties, he's going to be tough to go against in the front of the net, can handle people.”

D Patrik Nemeth (2nd round, 41st overall/2010)

This will be Nemeth’s second World Juniors for Sweden. He had one assist and a plus-one rating in six games last year as the Swedes finished fourth. Nemeth is a defensive defenseman and should be a key player on the blue line for Sweden in this tournament.

D John Klingberg (5th round, 131st overall/2010)

Klingberg played for Sweden last season as well, picking up one goal, one assist and a plus-two rating in six games. He’s a skilled, offensive defenseman and that’s the role he should play for Sweden. Expect to see him a lot on the power play.

Tournament format

Group A: Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Latvia
Group B: Canada, United States, Finland, Czech Republic, Denmark

The teams will play a round-robin series within each group after which the top three teams in each group will advance to the playoff round. The top-seeded team from each group automatically advances to the semifinals. The second and third placed teams from each group will play a cross-over quarterfinal game, and the two winners advance to the semifinals. The winners of the semifinal games play for the gold medal and the losers of the semis play for the bronze.

Monday’s games

Finland vs. Canada, 2:30 p.m. (NHL Network US)
Latvia vs. Sweden, 4:30
Denmark vs. USA, 7:00 p.m. (NHL Network US)
Switzerland vs. Russia, 9:00 p.m.

Links

International Ice Hockey Federation
USA Hockey
Hockey Canada
NHL.com World Junior Championship coverage

Kari Lehtonen made his mark at World Juniors

December, 24, 2011
12/24/11
8:55
PM CT
The World Junior Championship, which gets underway Monday in Canada, can be a proving ground for young players as they try to work their way to the National Hockey League. And it’s a tournament where Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen made his mark early in his hockey career.

Lehtonen played three years for Finland (2001-2003) at the World Juniors, and the 2002 tournament in Czech Republic was the one where he really stood out.

“It was my first tournament as the starter,” Lehtonen said. “It was my first season playing in the Finnish Elite League, too, so it was just a great year for me. “

Finland had taken the silver medal in 2001. Lehtonen was the backup in that tournament, playing in one game. The Finns were considered a favorite to medal again in 2002. They had an impressive roster with future NHL players like Jussi Jokinen, Mikko Koivu, Tuomo Ruutu, Sean Bergenheim and Joni Pitkanen.

And then there was Lehtonen, who was the top rated goaltender for that year’s NHL draft and had been impressive in the Under-18 World Junior Championship, leading Finland to a gold medal in 2000.

But the World Juniors, also known as the Under-20 World Junior Championship, was the big stage. And it was a big tournament for players who were in the mix to be drafted. A player’s stock could go up or down based on his performance at the World Juniors.

“You try not to think about it, but everybody knew it,” Lehtonen said. “That’s the hard part of that tournament. It’s so short; it’s two weeks or something like that. It’s just seven or eight games. If you have a bad stretch everybody thinks you’re not that good, but you are trying not to think about it and then after the tournament you’re ‘Whew, I’m happy that it went well.’ Especially that year, the year I was going to be drafted.”

Things went better than well for Lehtonen at the 2002 World Juniors. Lehtonen, 18-years-old at the time, was named the best goaltender at the tournament, posting a 1.17 goals against average and a .943 save percentage (116 saves on 123 shots) in six games.

The highlight of the tournament for Lehtonen was a 4-1 preliminary round victory over Canada in which he stopped 42 of 43 shots.

“That was the greatest feeling ever,” he said. “After that we felt we could go all the way.”

The Finns beat the Czechs 3-1 in the quarterfinals, but then in the semifinals they lost 2-1 in overtime to Russia, which went on to beat Canada in the gold medal game.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes you think about it and what could have been,” Lehtonen said.

Finland went on to beat Switzerland 4-1 to take the bronze medal. Lehtonen, considered the top goaltender for the 2002 NHL Entry Draft heading into the season, helped solidified that position with his performance at the 2002 World Juniors.

“It was one of those times where I started feeling that I could be a really good goalie,” Lehtonen said. “I saw myself playing against the best players of my age, and I was doing very well.”

Lehtonen capped off that season by helping Jokerit win the Finnish Elite League championship, and was named the playoff MVP. He was then selected 2nd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.

He played in his final World Juniors in 2003, leading Finland to another bronze medal in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lehtonen had a 2.19 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in six games played.

“The building was packed, crazy media attention,” he said of the tournament held in Canada. “It was a good step forward in playing under pressure, and getting used to that. Lots of fun and good memories.”

Encountering an agitating Steve Ott

The World Junior Championship was Kari Lehtonen’s first encounter with the agitating abilities of current teammate Steve Ott, who was a member of Canada’s World Junior team in 2001 and 2002.

“He was agitating. I remember him shooting pucks at me,” said Lehtonen. “I played against him two years. I don’t remember which game it was, but he was shooting at me while I was trying to stretch during the warmups. He kept shooting pucks at me.”

Ott said he doesn’t specifically remember shooting pucks at Lehtonen, but did admit he could have done something along those lines.

“He probably doesn’t remember because he has done that dozens of time,” Lehtonen said with a smile.

2012 World Junior Championship

The 2012 World Junior Championship begins Monday in Calgary and Edmonton. Four Dallas Stars prospects will play in the tournament: Goaltender Jack Campbell (USA); defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (Canada); defenseman Patrik Nemeth (Sweden); defenseman John Klingberg (Sweden).
Dallas Stars prospect Jamie Oleksiak will suit up for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Team Canada made final roster cuts at its selection camp this morning and Oleksiak, Dallas’ 1st round pick (14th overall) in 2011, is one of seven defensemen on the 22-man roster.

Fellow Dallas defense prospects Patrick Nemeth (2nd round/2010) and John Klingberg (5th round/2010) are on Sweden’s roster for the World Juniors. Goaltender Jack Campbell (1st round/2010) will play for the United States.

The tournament, which will be held in Calgary and Edmonton, runs from December 26 through January 5.
As expected, Dallas Stars defense prospects Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg were named to Sweden's team for the 2012 World Junior Championship, which will be held in Calgary and Edmonton from December 26-January 5. Sweden's roster, which was named today, is here.

Both Nemeth and Klingberg played in last year's tournament for Sweden,which finished fourth after falling to Team USA in the bronze medal game.

Nemeth, a 2nd round pick (41st overall) in 2010, is playing for AIK in the Swedish Elite League this season. He has one assist in 25 games.

Klingberg, a 5th round pick (131st overall) in 2010, is playing for Jokerit in Finland's top league this season. He has one goal and two assists in 19 games.

Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell, the team's 1st round pick (11th overall) in 2010, is expected to be the No. 1 goaltender for the United States at the tournament. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, the Stars' 1st round pick (14th overall) in 2011, has been been invited to Canada's National Junior Team selection camp, which will determine Canada's roster for the World Juniors.

Stars prospects wrap it up at USA camp

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
6:42
PM CT
Dallas Stars prospects Jack Campbell, Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg called it a week in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon as Sweden defeated the U.S. 6-4 in the final game of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Klingberg picked up one assist in the game for Sweden and finished the camp with one goal and two assists in four games. The Stars’ fifth round pick (131st overall) from 2010 was impressive at the camp. He handles and moves the puck extremely well. He can get himself into trouble sometimes when he overhandles the puck, but it doesn’t happen that often. He also did a nice job in some one-on-one defensive situations.

Nemeth, the second round pick (41st overall) from 2010, had no points Saturday and two penalty minutes. He ended up with one goal, one assist and 18 penalty minutes (all minors) in five games. He played a pretty solid two-way game. He was good defensively for the most part and picked his spots to jump into things offensively at the other end. Nemeth was on the ice in the final minutes of Saturday’s game as Sweden protected a one goal lead and was aggressive in protecting the front of the net. The penalties and the fact that he was kicked out of the first game for barking at the ref obviously were issues.

Campbell, Dallas’ first round pick (11th overall) in 2010, served as the backup on Saturday and did not play. He ended up getting into three games for the USA and my unofficial stats had him playing 150 minutes and posting a 2.80 goals against average and .915 save percentage. Campbell played extremely well and established himself as the USA’s top goaltender in the camp. That’s no surprise. It’s really tough to judge goalies when you are watching online with one wide camera angle, but I thought he was outstanding. Faced a lot of quality chances at times and responded with quality stops.

Stars defense prospect Patrik Nemeth was among the goal scorers as Sweden defeated the USA 4-1 Wednesday at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY.

Nemeth gave Sweden a 3-0 lead early in the second period, pinching into the slot, taking a pass and then beating Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell with a wrist shot from close range.

Nemeth also picked up three minors in the game (cross checking, boarding and roughing). He now has picked up seven minor penalties in three games at the camp.

Campbell stopped 23 of 27 of shots and made several nice saves. His only real blip was when he was caught out the net while trying to play the puck in the first period, and that resulted in a shorthanded goal by Sweden that made it a 2-0 score.

Campbell has now stopped 75 of 82 shots in about 150 minutes played at the camp.

Stars defense prospect John Klingberg, who left Tuesday’s game against Finland with an undisclosed injury, did not play for Sweden on Wednesday.

The USA plays Finland Thursday afternoon.

USA junior evaluation camp notes

August, 9, 2011
8/09/11
11:18
PM CT
Dallas Stars prospects John Klingberg and Patrick Nemeth did not factor in the scoring as Sweden routed Finland 7-1 Tuesday at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY.

Klingberg did not play in the third period after suffering an undisclosed injury late in the second period of the game. Klingberg tested the injury during a break late in the second, looked uncomfortable and did not play after that. We’ll have to wait and see if Team Sweden provides any kind of update.

Before going out of the game Klingberg played well. He was more consistent than Monday's game against USA Blue, when he was spectacular at times and then committed some bad turnovers at other times. Tuesday, he handled and moved the puck well and appeared to have an assist on one of the two Sweden goals that were waved off in the game. One thing I’ve noticed during the two games I’ve seen him play at the camp (via streaming webcasts on fasthockey.com) is that he shoots the puck a lot more on the power play than he has in the past. And, as I noted during the development camp last month, his shot has improved over the last year.

Nemeth played a solid game as well. He was more active offensively than the first game and had a couple of good scoring chances. He played well defensively. He wasn’t in as much penalty trouble as he was on Monday, although he did take a high sticking minor that put Finland on a five-on-three advantage. Sweden was able to kill off both penalties.

It was a pretty dominating performance by the Swedes overall. Sweden plays the USA on Wednesday.

Tuesday morning tidbits

August, 9, 2011
8/09/11
8:59
AM CT
A couple of notes for your Tuesday morning.

*NHL.com is breaking down all 30 NHL teams over a 30 day span. Today the focus in on the Dallas Stars and how they make up for the loss of Brad Richards. An excerpt:
Despite the loss of Richards, the Stars are still a team to look out for in the West. Nieuwendyk did a good job of addressing the team's needs in free agency by taking Richards' expected salary, and divvying it out to a handful of role players that make Dallas deeper on all fronts.

You can read NHL.com's take on the 2011-12 Stars here.

*USA Hockey has trimmed 15 players from the roster at its National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY. Among the 29 players remaining are Stars prospect Jack Campbell, which is no shocker. Also still on the roster are Plano natives Stefan Noesen, a first round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2011, and Seth Jones, who at 16 is the youngest player at the camp. The players remaining will take part in the remaining international games against Sweden and Finland at the camp. The USA Hockey release is here.
Dallas Stars prospects Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie did not factor in the scoring during Sunday night’s Red-White game at Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Team Red won 8-2.

Oleksiak, who played for Team Red Saturday, changed teams for Sunday’s game and suited up for Team White. The 6-7, 244 pound Oleksiak was paired with Carolina prospect Ryan Murphy, a smallish and offensive-minded defenseman. It made for an interesting combination.

Ritchie opened the game on a line with Calgary prospect Patrick Holland and San Jose prospect Michael Sgarbossa.

Sunday’s game wrapped up Canada’s development camp. Oleksiak had one goal and one assist in the two intrasquad games at the camp. Ritchie didn’t score in either of the games, but did score two goals and pick up an assist in a series of scrimmages earlier in the week.

The camp one step in the process as Hockey Canada looks to select its 22-man roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship. How players perform during the first part of the upcoming season will play a big role in who makes the final roster.

USA camp update

Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell did not play in Sunday’s intrasquad game at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, which saw USA White defeat USA Blue 4-2. On Monday Campbell’s USA Blue squad plays Sweden, which features Dallas prospects Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg.
Dallas Stars prospect Jamie Oleksiak had one goal and one assist Saturday night in the Red-White game at Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Oleksiak opened the scoring late in the first with Team Red on the power play. His shot from the point found its way through traffic and past goaltender Tyler Bunz.

The big defenseman came close to giving Team Red a 3-1 lead early in the second when he went to the front of the net, but a shot that deflected off him was stopped by Bunz.

Oleksiak picked up a secondary assist on Team Red’s fourth goal and was cutting in front of the goaltender when Mark Stone’s shot went into the net to make it a 4-1 game.

But Team White scored four straight goals to pull out a 5-4 win. The last two goals were scored by Edmonton prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and that drew a big reaction from the crowd.

Team Red had nine defensemen in the game and Oleksiak, Dallas’ first round pick (14th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, was usually paired with Florida prospect Erik Gudbranson and Phoenix prospect Brandon Gormley.

Stars prospect Brett Ritchie (2nd round/2011) played right wing on a line with Phoenix prospect Lucas Lessio, Calgary prospect Patrick Holland and San Jose prospect Michael Sgarbossa. The line didn’t factor in the scoring, but did create a couple of chances.

Team Red and Team White play again Sunday night, the final day of Canada’s camp.

Campbell gets win in USA intrasquad game

Stars goaltending Jack stopped 29 of 32 shots and picked up the win as USA Blue defeated USA White 4-3 in an intrasquad game at the USA Hockey National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY. Campbell was particularly sharp in the first two periods, stopping 23 of 24 shots as USA White generated several quality chances.

The two teams play again Sunday afternoon.
There were three 20 minute scrimmages Thursday at Canada's National Junior Team development camp in Edmonton and Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie made an impact.

The Stars' second round pick (44th overall) in the 2011 draft, scored two goals as Team Red beat Team White in the third scrimmage. He also helped set up the game-winning goal as Team Red won the first scrimmage as well.

USA camp opens Saturday

The USA National Junior Evaluation Camp opens Saturday at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell is among the 44 players taking part for Team USA.

Players at the camp are vying for a spot on Team USA’s roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship, which will take place Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

Along with practices, the camp will feature intrasquad scrimmages and games against teams from Sweden and Finland. Stars defense prospects Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg are on the Swedish roster.

USA Hockey's evaluation camp site is here. There are links to the rosters and information on the live webcasts of the various games.

All games from the camp will be streamed on a pay-per-view basis on fasthockey.com. Below is a schedule of the games from the USA camp and Canada’s National Junior Team development camp in Edmonton. Stars prospects Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie are taking part in the Canadian camp. Both are on Team Red at Canada's camp. Jack Campbell is on Team Blue for the USA.

NHL.com talks to Jamie Oleksiak

August, 4, 2011
8/04/11
2:16
PM CT
NHL.com's Mike Morreale is covering Canada's National Junior Team summer development camp in Edmonton, and he has a good story up this afternoon about Dallas Stars prospect Jamie Oleksiak, who is back to focusing on hockey after making some big decisions this summer.

You can read the story here.

Oleksiak, Ritchie go camping

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
7:01
PM CT
The Dallas Stars’ top two picks in the 2011 NHL Draft hit the ice in Edmonton Wednesday as Canada opens its National Junior Team summer development camp.

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (1st round/14th overall) and right wing Brett Ritchie (2nd round/44th overall) are among 47 players taking part in the camp, which is one part of the process as Canada picks its 22-man roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship. How players perform during the first part of the 2011-12 season will be a big factor. There will a selection camp in December, after which the final roster will be revealed.

I’d think Oleksiak has a pretty good shot at making the final roster. Ritchie could be a long shot. Time will tell though.

The summer development camp runs Wednesday through Sunday and will feature Red-White games on Saturday and Sunday. Both Oleksiak and Ritchie will play for Team Red. The games are scheduled to be streamed on the internet on a pay-per-view basis by fasthockey.com.

Saturday August 6, Red vs. White, 8 p.m. (CT)
Sunday August 7, Red vs. White, 7 p.m. (CT)

Hockey Canada’s World Juniors site is here.
The camp schedule is here.
The Red and White rosters are here.

Oleksiak and Ritchie won’t be the only Stars prospects to hit the ice this week. Goaltender Jack Campbell (USA), defenseman Patrik Nemeth (Sweden) and defenseman John Klingberg (Sweden) will be in Lake Placid, NY later this week for their country’s World Junior summer camps.

The USA is hosting teams from Sweden and Finland for a series of exhibition games. Those games are scheduled to be streamed on the internet by fasthockey.com. More on that later in the week.

NHL Note: Islanders vote fails

Voters in Nassau County, New York Monday rejected a $400 million referendum that would have paved the way for a new arena for the New York Islanders. That leaves the Islanders' future on Long Island in doubt. The team's lease at Nassau Coliseum expires after the 2014-15 season. Here are two articles on the aftermath of the vote:

NHL wants Isles to stay on Long Island

What the Long Island Vote Means for the Islanders (and NHL Fans)

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