The Ivan Hlinka Memorial is a major draft eligible event for NHL talent evaluators and typically serves as the jump-off for the season.
The 2012 Hlinka was no different, with Canada capturing its fifth straight gold medal at the event on the strength of Nathan MacKinnon’s hat-trick against Finland in the championship game. MacKinnon, who added two goals and six assists in Canada’s first four games, led all players in scoring.
2012 Ivan Hlinka Top 10 Scorers (Unofficial)
F Nathan MacKinnon (Can) 5 GP 5 G 6 A 11 PTS
D Josh Morrissey (Can) 5 GP 1 G 8 A 9 PTS
F Sam Reinhart (Can) 5 GP 3 G 5 A 8 PTS
F Lukas Wallmark (Swe) 5 GP 4 G 3 A 7 PTS
F Max Domi (Can) 5 GP 3 G 4 A 7 PTS
F Adam Erne (USA) 4 GP 5 G 2 A 7 PTS
F Andre Burakowsky (Swe) 5 GP 3 G 3 A 6 PTS
F Gabe Guertler (USA) 4 GP 3 G 3 A 6 PTS
D Anthony DeAngelo (USA) 4 GP 0 G 6 A 6 PTS
D Robert Hagg (Swe) 5 GP 3 G 2 A 5 PTS
But these stats do not tell the entire story of the week-long event. In a tournament like this the top offensive contributors do not always mean the guys with the biggest impact on the events outcome.
Below are a few of the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournaments top performers and those who in the eyes of NHL talent evaluators have boosted their 2013 draft stock because of this initial showing.
Nathan MacKinnon, Canada, Centre
MacKinnon did nothing at the Hlinka to dispute his current ranking of top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. He led the tournament in scoring as well as creating many offensive chances with his dogged hard work and effort level. MacKinnon’s highlight moment in Breclav came in the gold medal game where he netted a hat trick on route to winning gold. Scouts believe his offensive skill set coupled with an ability to do everything at a high rate of speed utilizing his dynamic skating ability and willingness to work harder than everyone else will see him develop into an NHL star sooner than later.
Josh Morrissey, Canada, Defense
When Canada needed a power play point man and offensive catalyst from the back end, Morrissey stepped up. He was one of the top rearguards in the event and tops on Canada’s bluelie. His quick fluid mobility, crisp and accurate passes, excellent vision and strong defensive zone play made him a dangerous weapon each and every time he jumped over the boards.
Curtis Lazar, Canada, Winger
Lazar was the power winger on the top line as he worked hard on the forecheck and battled hard along the boards for pucks. He fed well off his linemates’ strengths well and complimented their high-end skills. His shot was on display as well as his excellent skating abilities as he ended up second on Canada’s entry with three tallies.
Felix Westermarck, Finland, Winger
Westermarck made the most of this opportunity he received as a late roster replacement on the Finnish roster. His good size, skating, hands and his willingness to shoot the puck were key to his offensive success. He co-led the team in goals with four and produced at clutch moments for the spunky Finnish group.
Lukas Wallmark, Sweden, Centre
One of the top names for Sweden coming into the Hlinka, Wallmark lived up to his billing as he proved to be Mr. Everything offensively for the Swedes at this tournament. He ran the power play and also created chances at even strength. He handled the puck well, showed some good playmaking ability and opportunistic scoring.
Andre Burakowsky, Sweden. Winger
One of the top draft eligible prospects heading into the event, Burakowsky did nothing but improve his stock as he was able to create chances and capitalize on a fair share of those. Coupled with his quick and mobile feet, silky smooth hands and quick shot, his willingness to bring it all game long makes him a top end prospect for the upcoming draft. He produced three goals and six points in five contests.
Pavel Buchnevich, Russia, Centre
Buchnevich had a very good showing at the Hlinka despite failing to produce at an expected pace. He had many talent evaluators drooling over his blend of potential size, skating, elite hands and creativity. He displayed the ability to slow things down and control the pace of many shifts despite. He finished with just a goal and an assist in four contests.
Nikita Zadorov, Russia, Defense
Zadorov again showed flashes of being both a dynamic puck mover as well as a wrecking ball physical defender. He continued to use his impressive size and mobile skating stride well in all three zones. The soon-to-be London Knight finished with three assists to go along with his solid defensive zone work despite Russia’s disappointing fifth place finish.
Adam Erne, USA, Winger
Erne was Mr. Everything to the American’s as he was timely and opportunistic in his scoring chances as well as playing that big body game he is known for. He had a direct drive to the net in most contests and created havoc on second and third chances against some of the smaller defenders in Slovakia.
Others who impressed talent evaluators included Canadian forward Max Domi who showed some strong playmaking abilities, Canadian forward Jonathan Drouin, who was a top line player and contributed with his smarts and hand skills and Canadian goaltender Zach Furcal, who was not called upon to steal any games but held the fort admirably anyways and earned the goose egg in the gold medal contest.
Centre Aleksi Mustonen was a pint size force for the plucky Finns as was his teammate and fellow size challenged defender Mika Ilvonen. Finnish winger Jonatan Tanus, who is likely to suit up for Peterborough of the OHL this season, showed flashes of his dynamic skills and creativity. He produced three goals in the five contests.
Swedish defender Robert Hagg was one of the better defenders in the tournament, not only in his own zone but also as a two-way force. Hagg’s teammate, winger Jacob De la Rose, was also able to put a positive showing together despite his team’s rather disappointing result as he used his size, power game and skill to create offensive opportunities.
Czech goaltender Rene Svoboda had a real nice tournament as he played some real tight games in net. Czech captain and top defenseman Jan Stencel had a strong showing despite his lack of size. Forward Lubos Rob Jr. was able to produce some timely offense for the Czechs as well.
Russian winger Sergei Tolchinsky had yet again another solid performance for his squad as he was able to contribute using his skill and speed. He potted three goals and one assist in four contests. American defender Tom Vannelli was a good surprise for us as well as he possesses good size, mobile skating ability and smooth puck distribution skills despite not producing the numbers to back that up.
With the conclusion of the Hlinka, next up is the start of various league play around the globe where more prospects can both improve or drop in regards to their draft stock.
Stay tuned all season to FC for continued updates on the 2013 NHL Draft class.