While Team Canada took home the gold medal at the IIHF 2023 Men’s World Championship a few hours ago, partial host country Latvia made waves earlier this morning by capturing the bronze, their first-ever medal at the tournament. Later today, after Canada’s win over Germany, the IIHF announced Vancouver Canucks netminder and Team Latvia starter Arturs Silovs was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Silovs is the first Latvian to be named MVP since the IIHF began awarding the honor in 1999, and he’s the first Latvian in the history of the tournament to earn a single directorate award.
It’s been a quick rise up the prospect ranks for Silovs, who Vancouver selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Still just 22, Silovs commanded a starting role with the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks this year and earned five NHL appearances, the first of his career.
With more action came more responsibility, and Silovs has stood up to the task over the last 18 months or so. He had a similarly stellar performance at last year’s Worlds, posting a .952 save percentage in four games, but didn’t get the full team effort that Latvia presented this year to earn the bronze.
This year with Abbotsford, Silovs posted four shutouts and a .909 save percentage in 44 games, adding in a respectable .908 save percentage in his NHL appearances. He finishes his second World Championship with a .921 save percentage in 10 games.