Sasha Chmelevski represented the San Jose Sharks at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and put his dazzling skills on display as Team USA earned the silver medal Saturday night.
For San Jose Sharks prospect Sasha Chmelevski, getting the opportunity to dawn your country’s colors and compete at one of the highest levels of world-class competition is a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
At this year’s tournament Chmelevski took his game to the next level on a loaded United States roster. As the lone representative of the San Jose Sharks in the 2019 WJC, Chmelevski proudly represented his team and country throughout the events in Victoria and Vancouver.
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After knocking off Russia in the semi-final round, the U.S. brought back their 1960s uniforms to go for gold against Finland. Chemelevski heated up at just the right time in the tournament as he shined on the top line with Jack Hughes – the projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Down 2-0 into the third period, the 19-year-old winger entered the offensive zone and gave Hughes a good look on goal, but was denied. A big rebound bounced to Chmelevski at the bottom of the left face-off circle and the Sharks prospect fired a shot past Finnish netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
Moments later, Chmelevski set up the game-tying goal. With former San Jose Sharks teammate Josh Norris, the two connected on a cross-ice pass and Norris one-timed a bullet by Luukkonen to knot the score up 2-2.
Finland would go on to clinch the gold medal on Kaapo Kakko’s game-winner with 1:32 remaining in the third period, but Chmelevski was named the U.S. player of the game with a goal and assist.
After the two-point night in the gold medal game, the Sharks prospect finished the WJC tied for eighth with six points and tied for sixth with four goals.
Furthermore, four of Chmelevski’s six points came when it mattered most: the medal rounds. When he wasn’t scoring, Sasha Chmelevski played a critical role as a threat alongside first line mates Jack Hughes and Noah Cates.
The Sharks selected Chmelevski in the sixth round (No. 185 overall) in the 2017 NHL draft and he was been worth it all repping team teal at the national level.
Chmelevski will return to the Ottawa 67’s where he has 12 goals and 27 assists in 30 games. Last year, the Huntington Beach native skated six games with the San Jose Barracuda and recorded four points during that stretch.
All in all, the San Jose Sharks front office, coaches, players and fans should be proud of Chmelevski’s performance on the main stage at the 2019 World Junior Championship. They have a lot to look forward with his bright future on the horizon.