Connor McDavid is blowing the hype out of the water.
The 1997-born forward dominated competition that were mostly two years his senior. McDavid not only led the tournament in scoring, but was named MVP and Best Forward following his exceptional play.
McDavid helped lead Canada back to prominence with a gold medal. It was the first time the Americans didn’t capture gold in the past five tournaments.
Several players increased their draft stock with solid tournament performances. Here’s a look at some of the players from Team Canada and Team USA that left a lasting impression in Sochi, Russia.
Connor McDavid (C, 2015)
Named tournament MVP after producing 6-8-6-14 totals, setting a new Team Canada point total .. recorded back-to-back hat tricks in round robin play against Sweden and Switzerland .. electrifying talent with the puck as he was able to generate offense out of innocent-looking plays .. double under-ager used this tournament to put himself on the hockey world map .. the most heralded prospect to come out of the CHL since Sidney Crosby.
Morgan Klimchuk (RW, 2013)
Tied for 7th in tournament scoring riding shotgun with McDavid on Team Canada’s first line .. highly involved in the offensive zone due to his ability to stay with plays and makes incredible use of his shot selection .. a permanent fixture for head coach Don Hay in PP situations where Klimchuk delivered the offensive goods.
Nicholas Baptiste (RW, 2013)
Recorded two key assists in the gold medal game, including the GWG .. was used in all situations and played a simple, yet effective game showcasing his above-average skill-set .. took advantage of his ice-time and played in all situations, including the dying minutes of both the gold medal and semi-final game to help Team Canada preserve its lead.
Laurent Dauphin (LW, 2013)
Showed up when it mattered most with his best performance in the gold-medal game where he scored a goal and an assist in the gold-medal final .. a fearless and hard-nosed competitor who would always fight his way into the slot or go hard to the net .. skating was exposed at times but made up for it with keen attention to detail and uncompromising work ethic.
Samuel Morin (D, 2013)
Cool, calm and collected, he logged a ton of minutes and was very practical in terms of his decision-making .. simplistic in his approach, he utilized his speed advantageously and kept forwards to the outside with his long reach .. played with a heightened intensity .. his draft stock soared after this tournament as he has great size and is only scratching the tip of his potential.
Dillon Heatherington (D, 2013)
Consummate two-way tower of power, he was always involved along the boards and winning loose puck battles .. showed a keen sense of anticipation and was never out of position .. staunch defensive efforts coupled with the ability to make a play with the puck made him highly-serviceable.
Philippe Desrosiers (G, 2013)
Only undefeated goalie in the entire tournament went 6-0 while only allowing six goals against all tournament .. recorded back-to-back shutouts, including final game of round robin against Sweden as well as the quarterfinal game against Czechs .. never fell behind in one game this tournament as he always played with the lead .. aggressive in his reads and handling the puck, plays a determined butterfly style and was very diligent with his rebounds .. upped his draft stock considerably with stand-out performance.
Steven Santini (D, 2013)
Named the tournament’s best defenseman .. Santini’s no nonsense approach, coupled with his physical brand of play, kept the opposition not only in check but off the scoreboard .. one of the most physically-imposing defensemen at the tournament despite going pointless, he recorded the highest +/- for his team (+8) second-highest in the tournament.
Tommy Vannelli (D, 2013)
Hard to imagine that he only joined the Program a few weeks before the start of the U18 World Championships as he took over the PP duties and was on the ice for the dying stages of the gold-medal game looking for the equalizer .. calculated and ultra-poised on the line to make a play .. showed good defensive awareness to complement his maturing offensive game.
JT Compher (C, 2013)
Returned for his second consecutive U18 World Championship (won gold in 2012 as an under-ager), capturing a silver medal in 2013 for his efforts .. heart and soul player went to the wall each and every game with gutsy performances, including the shootout winner in semi-final game against Team Russia .. team captain averaged a point a game and was relied upon by Coach Granato to score goals and kill penalties .. a jack of all trades.
Tyler Motte (C, 2013)
Recorded the highest amount of goals for Team USA with five while providing clutch scoring .. a dual-threat due to his work ethic, Motte was always in motion and could make plays by quickly charging up ice .. great in transition, he would often catch the opposition off guard with timely stick raises.
Michael McCarron (RW, 2013)
Biggest player up front in the entire tournament came slightly unraveled against Team Sweden with undisciplined penalties but rebounded nicely in both the semi-final and gold-medal game .. imposed his will and was extremely effective down low when charging the net .. caught up ice on a handful of occasions as he struggled with the big ice surface but showed good patience and offensive prowess.