The World Championships are over with Finland capturing the gold medal with a 3-1 win over Canada behind the play of a team-oriented roster, which included 18-year-old Kaapo Kakko, who will be a top-two pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. However, the MVP of the tournament wasn’t from Finland as Canada’s Mark Stone was named the MVP. Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was named the top goaltender, while fellow countryman Nikita Kucherov was named the top forward at the World Championships. The Czech Republic’s Filip Hronek was named the top defenseman. Vasilevskiy, Hronek, Mikko Lehtonen, Jakub Voracek and William Nylander rounded out the All-Tournament team.
Meanwhile, Kakko along with teammate Henri Jokiharju, have already won the U18 World Championships, the U20 World Championships and now the Men’s World Championships. In fact Kakko and Jokiharju are the seventh and eighth players in IIHF history to win all three titles.
- The Buffalo Sabres are thrilled to see one of their own having a dominant World Championships as winger Sam Reinhart continues putting up impressive numbers since signing a two-year “show me” bridge deal last offseason. He answered that by putting up a career-high 65 points last season and is beginning to develop into that impact forward the team envisioned when they drafted him second-overall in 2014. Reinhart had three goals and five points in 10 games for Canada, which won the silver medal. The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington adds that it was important for Reinhart to play well, especially with general manager Jason Botterill being a part of the management team and a new head coach in Ralph Krueger to impress. If he can continue his offensive success, he should be able to cash in next summer.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes that the Ottawa Senators have already begun discussions with restricted free agent defenseman Cody Ceci and his agent, J.P. Barry, on a long-term contract. Ceci, who can be an unrestricted free agent in 2020-21, has expressed interest in returning to the team, but Garrioch writes that if the two sides fail to hammer out a deal, the team intends to trade Ceci before the start of the season. Ceci has been a key part of their defense as he averaged 22:34 of ATOI last season, but the team needs to know that he will be part of their long-term plans. Garrioch also mentions that the team is likely to move defenseman Ben Harpur as it doesn’t look like he fits into their defensive plans and is no longer waiver-exempt.