ivan-hlinka-logo_2015

czech-coach-celebrationCanada failed to medal at this year's Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, finishing fifth and ending an eight-year consecutive gold-medal streak.

The Czech Republic - co-hosts along with Slovakia - won gold for the first time in the 25-year history of the event - with a 4-3 win over Team USA in the final.

Several underage prospects stood out at the tournament - players not eligible until the 2018 NHL Draft - which is usually an indiction that this wasn't a superior set of prospects.

NHL Scouts

NHL Scouts

This year featured a thin crop in Russia beyond marquee prospect Klim Kostin as well as a subpar draft class from both Sweden and the United States. There was also no standout Canadian defencemen.

At the start of the event, I thought this might be a pretty deep group of prospects, but as the tournament went on I became less and less enamoured with the top-end talent.

In general, a rather disappointing group of defencemen on the whole - where for perhaps the first time in memory there were no North American blueliners that looked like first-round NHL picks.

On a positive note, it looks like Finland is going to have an impressive group of defencemen in this draft, including a couple that played in the Hlinka Memorial, and this might be the strongest group of Czech forward prospects in quite a few years.

FINAL STANDINGS

  1. Czech Republic (GOLD)
  2. USA (SILVER)
  3. Russia (BRONZE)
  4. Sweden
  5. Canada
  6. Finland
  7. Slovakia
  8. Switzerland

Click on the country names above to access player scouting notes by team

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