With the hockey calendar creeping through November, the 2022 World Junior Championships are drawing closer. The annual holiday tournament provides a stage for the game’s brightest up and comers to put their skills on display and allows fans to get a sneak peek at some of their team’s top prospects.
The Maple Leafs were well represented at last year’s event and while they may not send as many players this time around, there are still a few Leafs prospects in the running to suit up for their respective countries when the puck drops on Boxing Day.
Topi Niemelä | RHD | Finland
Niemelä earned the award for Best Defenseman at last year’s tournament and he is a lock to return as a key member of the Finnish squad this year. The 2021 WJC was a coming-out party for the young blueliner as he showed that he could be an impactful offensive player from the backend, finishing the event with two goals and six assists in just seven games. He was one of the top players at the recent World Junior Summer Showcase as well, tying for the scoring lead among defensemen with a pair of goals and four assists through …
Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation