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Under-18s mean more for NHL scouts because of the epidemic

Next week և the two skating rinks on the outskirts of Dallas will be the center of the hockey space for the two NHL leaders preparing for the project և very good prospects that have not yet been seen in person.

The International Under-18 Hockey World Cup is an annual major tournament featuring some of the best players eligible for conscription. It is even more under the microscope this year as the coronavirus epidemic devastated developmental leagues, some of which had no season.

The tournament is the last chance of this year to see what Columbus Blue Jackets CEO Yarmo Kekalainen called the project’s “harvest cream”. Unlike most years, this is the only opportunity for GM scouts to see some of the best players in person before being drafted this summer.

“The best players all fit in one place,” said Mark Janet, Los Angeles Kings Scout Director. “It’s great to see the kids, especially this year, because if you don’t see the kid live, it’s really, really hard to get the full standard of a player.”

This tournament did not exist a year ago, leaving the preparations for the 2020 project in limbo. The teams watched the players for almost two full seasons – videos – until the sport stopped.

Hockey never made it to the Ontario Hockey League, which refused to play last season’s limited to the various leagues in the Canadian Junior Championships. The Canadian Hockey League has canceled the Memorial Cup, which usually serves as another opportunity for the Junior National և Scout Championship.

Most of America’s best prospects are on the ice with the US National Team Development Program, which plays in the United States Hockey League or NCAA. The tournament in Plano-Frisco, Texas, allows for more apples to be valued, especially as Canadian-European prospects have had more difficulty playing against adults this season.

“You see some of these guys being knocked down when they try to go online when they come out of the corner,” Janet said. “They are playing against a 30-year-old former NHL professional. Now you want to see, well, they’re going to go against the 18-year-old D in the US or the 18-year-old D in Canada, now he’s going to be knocked down. “Is it the fact that he was not strong enough in the Swedish league or the fact that he is not competitive enough?”

Kekalainen, whose “Blue Jackets” have three first-team selections, will be there, watching and trying to evaluate the tournament like any other year.

“You watch the games, you want to make sure that because you know this is your only chance to see some of the guys up close, that you can focus as much as possible, եք probably copy it if you miss something, video again “Watching that same game,” he said. “That’s the message we will have with our scout staff.”

The players of the tournament know that this time the lights are brighter. Throughout the season, many people played in the stands without scouts. Those who are lucky enough to play at all.

“It’s very important not only for me but for everyone, but especially the Ontario boys. They have not had a chance to play yet, so I’m sure they’re looking forward to it, “said first-round draftsman Corson Seulemans, who has played just eight games in the Alberta Youth Hockey League this season. “It’s kind of the main study point for this year, so it’s great.”

Yannetti wants to make sure that the under-18s do not focus on the pre-conscription stage more than a decade after overestimating the tough Bryden McNaby tournament in the 2009 conscription third round. The kings repented of their mistake, and five years later exchanged with McNab.

Yanetti and his staff plan to enter the tournament with a checklist of what they are looking for, focusing on the ability to see the players in person.

“There are some things you can do in the video, you can not do. “To see how they slide, how they compete,” he said. “You look at their ability to do it at high speed, at high speed. This, without a doubt, should be the fastest pace, the most competitive tournament according to their peer group. ”

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Follow AP hockey writer Steven Wino on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL և https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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