San Jose Sharks World Juniors Recap Day 1


All three San Jose Sharks prospects were in action on the first day of World Junior action. So how did they fare on day 1? Well, all teams with a Sharks prospect lost today so I see nothing has changed. But lets start with the early game.

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Switzerland vs. Sweden

Switzerland must have realized that Sweden was a heavy favorite entering this tournament because early in the game, this happened.

"William Nylander gets absolutely leveled at centre ice"

Along with William Nylander, Sweden also lost Joel Eriksson-Ek and Adrian Kempe to injury. So while they dominated Switzerland in this one, they could struggle with their forward depth later on. Despite the 8-3 score, those injuries are what defined this game.

As for the Sharks in this game, Timo Meier didn’t have the best start as he contributed with a nasty cross-check to end the first period. Outside of that, this is how he did.

So Meier contributed more than a quarter of the Swiss shots. Even if these shots are low quality, no shot is bad as rebounds are always a possibility. This is needed production for a Swiss team that was out-shot by over double. However, I feel like Meier has another gear to show Sharks fans before this tournament is over so look for him to show that later on.

As for Noah Rod, he was one of the few Swiss players that didn’t do something dirty (until a slash in garbage time). He contributed two shots of his own which included a tip-in goal off of an Edson Harlacher shot. Otherwise both players were shelled by an overwhelming Swedish offense.

This was an ugly game for Switzerland, highlighted by some ugly goaltending that won’t inspire any confidence in the near future. If they are going to rebound, it starts with that.

Canada vs. USA

In the marquee match of the day, Team Canada faced their rivals from the United States in a game that is usually reserved for New Year’s Eve. I didn’t expect Sharks prospect Rourke Chartier to play much with him starring on the fourth line. But his versatility paid off as he was trusted with more ice time as the game progressed.

Chartier looks like he already earned the trust of the coaching staff as his defensive responsibility showed in his deployment in the defensive zone. His usage involved the penalty kill but outside of an Alex DeBrincat slash, there were three penalties in this game. So the penalty-kill unit wasn’t tested often, something that should be monitored later in this tournament.

He did manage an assist off of a beautiful rush with Julien Gauthier and Mathew Barzal, but the story of the game went like this.

Canada won the scoring chance battle, but what Switzerland found out is that in a short tournament like this one, PDO rules everything. Goaltending is half of the PDO battle and if your goalie sucks, your team will suck. The playoffs are the same way, which makes these type of events all the more exciting.

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So if Canada can get Mackenzie Blackwood back from suspension, they will finish much better than today’s result. As for Switzerland, at least there is a good chance that they will avoid relegation. But their effort against Sweden wasn’t promising. Lets hope for a better result from the Sharks’ perspective going forward.