Closing out Hlinka
Casey Cizikas, who had 18 goals and 41 points in 62 games with Mississauga St. Michael\'s Majors in the OHL last season, claimed a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic this weekend. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Closing out Hlinka
Canada won the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament this weekend, dispatching the Russians 6-3 in the final. The U.S., meanwhile, finished in seventh place, concluding the event with a 6-5 win over Switzerland. We have one final post coming from our player-scouts Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis and Collin Bowman, but in the meantime, The Hot List – our weekly roundup of players we can’t wait see in the NHL one day - takes a look at who improved their stock in Piestany and Breclav.
1. Kirill Kabanov, LW – Moscow Spartak (Rus): He loves chess, he speaks English and he does wonderful things with the puck. Kabanov is still a lanky kid, but he’s also only 16, so he definitely has time to fill out. The skills are all there for him to be a top-flight NHLer. Draft eligible in 2010.
2. Tommi Kivisto, D – Jokerit (Fin): Kivisto will join Red Deer in the Western League this season and considering the clinic he put on at the Ivan Hlinka, the Rebels will be glad to have him. The 6-foot-1 Finn plays a solid two-way game on the blueline. Draft eligible in 2009.
3. Steven Whitney, RW – Lawrence Academy (Mass. HS): A 5-foot-7 dynamo, where else would you expect Whitney to commit to but Boston College? It probably helps that his brother, Joe, is an Eagle, but Steven will make a name for himself, just as he did with Team USA last week with six points in four games. Draft eligible in 2009.
4. Mikael Granlund, C – Karpat Oulu (Fin): Granlund was all over the scoreboard in Slovakia and he already has YouTube-worthy goals to show off his puck skills. At 5-foot-8 he’s not going to intimidate anyone physically, but he also has a couple years to make that offensive arsenal even scarier. Draft eligible in 2010.
5. Casey Cizikas, C – Mississauga-St. Mike’s Majors (OHL): Part of Canada’s recipe for success en route to the gold was balanced scoring and Cizikas came through in a big and unexpected way. He and third-line mates Cody Eakins and Garrett Mitchell each scored in the key 4-3 win over Sweden. Draft eligible in 2009.
6. William Wallen, RW – Djurgardens (Swe): Wallen will help out Cizikas this season as the Swedish winger is set to join the Majors. He tallied more than a point per game for Djurgardens’ Under-20 team last season and did the same at the Ivan Hlinka, sniping four goals and five points in four games. Draft eligible in 2009.
7. Louis Leblanc, C – Lac St. Louis Lions (QMAAA): The only non-major junior forward on the Canadian squad, Leblanc showed why he is one of the most coveted prospects coming out of Quebec. Unfortunately for La Belle Province, Leblanc is off to the USHL and Omaha this year, which will be a brief stopover before he heads to Harvard the season after that. Draft eligible in 2009.
8. Jacob Josefson, C – Djurgardens (Swe): Another high-scoring Swede, Josefson did his part in Piestany, throwing up five points in four games. Josefson plays big for his average-sized frame and can really move. Draft eligible in 2009.
9. Zach Budish, C – Edina Hornets (Minn. HS): The linebacker on skates was consistent in the points department for a USA squad that was more about gaining experience than medal contention. The 6-foot-4 beast has a lot of college suitors waiting for his decision. Draft eligible in 2009.
10. Marek Mazanec, G – HC Plzen (Cze): Mazanec managed to put up some solid statistics for a middling Czech team bereft of any star power and will be expected to do the same as he works his way up the Plzen ladder. Draft eligible in 2009.
The Hot List, a weekly roundup of minor league, junior, college and high school players we’re excited to one day see in the NHL, appears every Tuesday, only on thehockeynews.com.
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