Future NHL stars are developing in the Canadian Hockey League this season. Each week, NHL.com features some of the top NHL members in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.
There were 30 NHL-drafted prospects who left their CHL teams to compete in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, led by four from the Montreal Canadiens.
Among them was the Canadian striker Joshua Roywho finished fourth in the tournament with 11 points (five goals, six assists), including an assist in the winning goal for the gold medal in Canada’s 3-2 overtime win against the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Roy was also successful at Sherbrooke of the QMJHL, where he is third on the team with 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 26 games.
It was a big rise for the 19-year-old, who was picked by the Canadians in the fifth round (No. 150) in the 2021 NHL Draft.
“He was the first pick overall in the (2019) Q (draft) and I don’t think he got out of the blocks like he was hoping, or anyone did,” said Rob Ramage, director of player development at Canadians. “He ended up changing teams mid-season, going from Saint John to Sherbrooke, where he is now. And things began to change for him. We were lucky to get him… discount isn’t the right word but really, fifth round pick and here is (he) one of the top scorers. … I think we caught him at a good time as his value went up.
Vincent RohrerThird-round pick (No. 75) in the 2022 NHL draft, had three points (one goal, two assists) in five games and was Austria’s captain.
“That seems to be his character,” Ramage said. “We saw that at the development camp in July. The boy has a great mind. Very mature for his age.”
Rohrer has 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) in 26 games with OHL’s Ottawa this season.
“The level of performance is really high,” said Ramage of the 18-year-old forward. “Not a tall guy (5ft-10, 160lbs). Like so many of our young people, he will have to go to the weights room in the summer because he is not physically ready yet. But hockey feeling, skills, It’s very good. And in competition, he doesn’t shy away. He’s not a big guy and yet he’s in the thick of things, he’s in the fight all the time.”
Forward Philip Mesar Slovakia led on six points (two goals, four assists), including the decisive goal in a 6-3 win over the United States in the preliminary round.
The 19-year-old, who was selected by the Canadiens in the No. 26 first round of the 2022 draft, has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 17 games with Kitchener from the OHL.
“He had a really good rookie tournament,” said Ramage. “He stood out, he played like a pro, his habits were really, really good. … It’s just the details [in his game]. You see, this guy is very responsible for a young man.”
Owen Beck Colton Dach (Chicago Blackhawks) joined Canada for the medal round after suffering an injury and having one assist and a 4:23 ice time average in three games. However, Canada coach Dennis Williams spoke positively of Beck’s contribution, particularly after his first game, a 4-3 overtime win against Slovakia, when he played two shifts averaging 1:41 but took a penalty in one of them .
“A lot of people might look at that and be like, ‘Oh, he played a minute,'” Williams said. “Well that was a great minute. We needed that minute from him.”
The 18-year-old, selected in the second round (#33) of the 2022 draft, has 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 30 games for Mississauga of the OHL.
“It’s exciting for the organization and of course for the Montreal fans,” Ramage said of the Montreal players at World Juniors. “You’re getting a taste of it now with the guys who are with them [Canadiens]but now they’re getting a better preview of what’s to come on a pretty big stage.”
TO SEE OTHERS
Pavel MintyukovD, Saginaw (Anaheim ducks): Mintyukov ended December with 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 10 games and became the first player to be named OHL Defender of the Month for three consecutive months. The 19-year-old, who was picked by the Ducks with the No. 10 draft of the 2022 draft, leads the OHL defenseman and is third among all players with 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) in 35 games and starts Friday .
Patrick HamrlaG, Rimouski (Carolina Hurricanes): Hamrla made his first shutout of the season with 18 saves in a 4-0 win over Shawinigan on December 28. The 19-year-old made his second a night later with 14 saves in a 9-0 win over Victoriaville. Picked by the Hurricanes in the No. 83 third round of the 2021 draft, Hamrla is 7-0-1 in his last eight games before Friday with a 1.54 clean sheet average and a .936 save percentage. In 24 games this season, he’s 13-8-2 with a 2.64 GAA and an .889 save percentage.
Kyle MasterD, Kamloops (Minnesota Wild): Masters had 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) during a seven-game scoring streak that ended Wednesday, and he had at least two points in six of the seven games. Selected by the Wild in the fourth round (No.118) of the 2021 draft, the 19-year-old has amassed 35 points (six goals, 29 assists) in 33 games through Friday, more than double the last Season when he had 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 65 games.