Tonight at 9:30 est the puck will drop at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton. The match up everyone wanted USA vs Canada. The Canadian’s are looking to add a 19th Gold Medal and extend their WJC all time record. The American’s will try to win their 5th Gold Medal while beating Canada on their home soil. Team USA has beaten Canada 3 times in Gold Medal games and twice before beating them north of the border. There will be a few NY Rangers prospects that could play a big role in tonight’s game.
Berard has been a force on the 3rd line for Team USA and is constantly around the puck. In 6 games played he has 1 goal, 4 assists and is a +8 plus minus for the tournament. Berard is the second youngest player on the team and is looking like a 5th round steal for the Rangers. He has been great in the corners and setting up teammates for scoring chances. Despite being just 5’9 he is not afraid to throw around the body and play physical. He has been compared to Canadians do everything forward Brendan Gallagher. If Berard continues to progress the Rangers should have a future top 9 forward coming their way in a few years.
Skinner has made less of an impact for Team USA. Only playing in one game so far. Skinner was drafted in the 4th Round by the Rangers in the 2019 entry draft. The 6’2 stay at home defensemen had a very good Sophomore season with the London Knights in the OHL last year. Scoring 6 goals and producing 32 points in 62 games played. He also finished with a +22 plus minus on the year. Although the final lineup has yet to be posted I do not believe Skinner will be dressed tonight.
The highly rated defensemen has been very good for Team Canada. After scoring in yesterdays Semifinals game Schneider has 3 points and a +8 plus minus rating in 5 games played. He has brought also brought an edge to the teams blueline. Registering 25 penalty minutes for the tournament. After three very good seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings the Rangers selected him 19th overall in the 2020 entry draft. There is a good chance we see him and Berard go head to head in the corners tonight.
Garand has been the back up to Devon Levi in all 6 Team Canada games. He played the 3rd period against Germany where he allowed 1 goal on 6 shots. Garand was drafted in the 4th round by the Rangers in the 2020 entry draft. He had an excellent sophomore season for the Kamloops Blazers where he played 42 games last year winning 28 of them and had a 2.21 GAA. Garand should be backing up the red hot Levi tonight and I believe we only see him if an injury occurs.
I will be locked in tonight to watch these exceptional teams square off once again with a Gold Medal on the line.