With some of the best teens in the world converging on Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., for the World Under-18 Championship, we needed an insider to draw up a book for us on the talent. Stepping into the role was Drew Shore, a 2009 draft eligible center from Team USA who is committed to the University of Denver next season.
Team USA won its first three games at the tourney (plus two exhibition tilts) and Shore, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound center, had two assists.
Here’s how Shore saw some of his early opponents:
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, LW (Sweden): He was used fairly sparingly in our exhibition game, but seemed to control a lot of the play when he was out there. He is an excellent skater who protects the puck well and can make all plays at high speed. Draft eligible in 2009.
Anton Lander, C (Sweden): The captain of their team. He plays a simple game and is solid in all areas. Lander is strong on the puck, reliable defensively and good on faceoffs. Draft eligible in 2009.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D (Sweden): Very good offensive instincts, good hands and always seems to have the puck on his stick. Good on the power play and has a hard, accurate shot. Draft eligible in 2009.
Mikael Granlund, C (Finland): Very skilled and creative centerman who is good on draws and excellent at creating offense. He has great hands and is very good at finishing around the net. Draft eligible in 2010.
Toni Rajala, RW (Finland): Very skilled, good skater and is good at breaking defensemen down 1-on-1. Draft eligible in 2009.
Teemu Pulkkinen, RW (Finland): Has a very good shot and is excellent at getting open in the offensive zone so his linemates can pass him the puck. Draft eligible in 2010.
Joonas Nattinen, C (Finland): Very gifted offensively. Plays with a lot of poise and is excellent at running the power play. Draft eligible in 2009.
Andrej Stastny, C (Slovakia): A big centerman (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) who works hard at both ends of the ice. Draft eligible in 2009.
Look for another Drew Shore scouting report on THN.com next week.