The World Junior Summer Showcase wrapped up this weekend. How did the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospects perform?
The 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase just wrapped up in Plymouth, Michigan this weekend. Running from July 26th – August 3rd, the annual event consists of U20 players from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the U.S. coming together in preparation for the IIHF World Juniors beginning on Boxing Day, December 26th. This time around, the Carolina Hurricanes had six players represent their countries. How did they perform?
2018 Second rounder, Jack Drury donned the red, white, and blue and suited up for team U.S.A. once again. Appearing in seven games, although in a limited role, at the 2019 IIHF World Championships, Drury failed to register a point and was a minus one on a Silver Medal winning squad.
In the three games he played this weekend, Drury scored a power play goal, with a single assists for two points. Logging five shots on goal and four penalty minutes, Jack will likely be among those named to the American team this winter. This time around, look to see Drury in a more expanded role.
Hurricanes 2019 first rounder Ryan Suzuki and 2019 second rounder Jamieson Rees both suited up in two games for the Canadians. The two forwards were held pointless and had a combined one shot on goal with two penalty minutes. With the depth of Canada, they both saw limited ice time and will have to have good starts to their season if they want to make the final roster.
Finland featured a trio of Hurricanes prospects, 2019 third round picks Patrik Puistola and Anttoni Honka, and 2018 fourth rounder Lenni Killinen. Killinen appeared in five games posting two assists with seven shots on goal and ten penalty minutes. It is likely that all three of the Finns will make the final roster, with Killinen playing in more of a depth role.
The two big stand outs were Puistola and Honka, who at time showed off some chemistry connecting on a handful of goals. Puistola appeared in four games scoring three times, one on the power play, while adding an assist for four points. With ten shots on goal and two penalty minutes, Patrik was a key member of Finland’s offense and should see a fair amount of ice time this winter.
Puistola certainly has NHL potential and, should he keep improving, could be another Finnish gem found by the Hurricanes in the third round. His shot was on full display throughout the summer showcase and he was often found in the dirty areas around the net, something you’d want to see from the young forward.
Anttoni Honka was considered to be a boom or bust type of prospect with some concerns about the defensive side of his game. In the five games he played, it looks like the Hurricanes made a smart pick this past June.
Scoring two power play goals, three total, to go along with four assists for seven points, Honka proved that he is a true threat from the back end. Although he didn’t necessarily “run” the Finnish power play, Honka was dynamic, with four of his seven points coming on the man advantage. Should this play translate to the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes will have a solid piece for opposing teams to contend with.
In the 2019 World Juniors, Honka saw limited ice time. This time around, he should be a key piece in Finland’s top four defense and on their special teams. Honka was the Hurricanes’ best prospect during the summer showcase which bodes well for their 2019 draft class.
Although Suzuki and Rees didn’t do much to stand out in the two games they played, the Hurricanes prospects performed rather well overall. It is likely we’ll see Killinen, Puistola and Honka on the Finn’s final roster and Drury once again will likely play for team U.S.A. in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.
What prospect are you most looking forward to watching develop?