Monday, January 05, 2009

Canadiens World Junior History

103 Players And Counting

The World Junior Hockey Championships were held for the first time in 1974. Doug Jarvis, undrafted and representing the Peterborough Petes was the first (future) Canadien to play in the tournament. Though the tournament had humble beginnings, it soon became a barometer for young talent, especially following the Gretzky tournament of 1978. The Canadiens scouts over the years have clearly used the tournament to make their minds up, which is either very efficient or very lazy (I can't quite decide yet). And since Jarvis there have been 102 other World Junior alum to suit up for the big club in Montreal, including a whopping 50 for team Canada.

On the eve of the big climax to the junior tournament, I thought you might all enjoy a look at Habs to participate in this tournament over the years.

Of the current Habs (coaches included), there are only a handful of players who never suited up for their country at this event – 10 in all. The list is headed by Guy Carbonneau, who probably would have made the cut in 1978 were it not for some political in-fighting and no Quebec presence on the Gretzky edition of the team (Ray Bourque and Michel Goulet were also overlooked). Robert Lang also missed out, probably because he was a late bloomer if his patchy stats from Czechoslovakia from that time are to be believed. The others are less surprising with Lapierrs, Kostopoulos, Dandenault, Laraque, D'Agostini, Gorges, Bouillon and O'Byrne all missing out on their opportunities.

Team Canada
Steve Begin, Patrice Brisebois, Andrew Cassels, Kyle Chipchura, Eric Chouinard, Shayne Corson, Alain Cote, Russ Courtnall, JJ Daigneault, Jason Dawe, Marc Denis, Eric Desjardins, Gerald Diduck, Karl Dykhuis, Stephane Fiset, Doug Gilmour, Jeff Hackett, Kevin Haller, Doug Jarvis, Yvan Joly, Mike Keane, Guillaume Latendresse, Gary Leeman, Claude Lemieux, Trevor Linden, Rollie Melanson, Olivier Michaud, Kirk Muller, Garth Murray, Dave Orleski, Patrick Poulin, Carey Price, Yves Racine, Rob Ramage, Mark Recchi, Mike Riberio, Stephane Richer, Michael Ryder, Pierre Sevigny, Richard Sevigny, Bobby Smith, Doug Soetaert, Alex Tanguay, Jose Theodore, Scott Thornton, Darcy Tucker, Pierre Turgeon, Sylvain Turgeon, Ryan Walter, Jason Ward

USSR/CIS/Russia
Sergei Berezin, Valeri Bure, Andrei Kovalenko, Alexei Kovalev, Vladimir Malakhov, Andrei Markov, Alexander Perezhogin, Oleg Petrov, Sergei Samsonov, Sergei Zholtok

Sweden
Patrik Carnback, Kjell Dahlin, Jonas Hoglund, Patrik Kjellberg, Mats Naslund, Niklas Sundstrom

Czechoslovakia/Czech and Slovakia
Jozef Balej, Jaroslav Halak, Roman Hamrlik, Marcel Hossa, Tomas Plekanec, Martin Rucinsky, Petr Svoboda, Tomas Vokoun, Richard Zednik

Finland
Marti Jarventie, Marko Kiprusoff, Saku Koivu, Juha Lind, Jyrki Lumme

USA
Jim Campbell, Chris Chelios, Tom Chorske, Ron Hainsey, Chris Higgins, Sean Hill, Pat Jablonski, Mike Komisarek, Tom Kurvers, Scott Lachance, John Leclair, Craig Ludwig, Max Pacioretty, Matt Schneider, Bryan Smolinski, Alfue Turcotte, Eric Weinrich, David Wilkie

Switzerland
David Aebischer, Mark Streit

Poland
Mariusz Czerkawski

Belarus
Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn (Grabovski only ever played in the B-tier competition)


Top player at position honours
Best forward – Niklas Sundstrom
Best goalie – Stephane Fiset, Jose Theodore, Marc Denis, David Aebischer, Carey Price

Tournament All-star team
Forward – Mats Naslund, Shayne Corson, Alexei Kovalev, Martin Rucinsky, Valeri Bure, Niklas Sundstrom, Sergei Samsonov
Defence – Scott Lachance, Andrei Markov, Mark Streit
Goalie – Stephane Fiset, David Aebischer, Carey Price


Top 10 Games played
21 – Niklas Sundstrom
15 – Scott Lachance
14 – Shayne Corson, Patrice Brisebois, Chris Higgins, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Tomas Plekanec, Eric Desjardins, Karl Dykhuis, Gary Leeman, Jason Ward, Jim Campbell, Kjell Dahlin, Ron Hainsey, Marcel Hossa, John Leclair, Eric Weinrich, Sergei Zholtok


Top 10 Points
33 – Niklas Sundsrom
19 – Shayne Corson
18 – Saku Koivu
16 – John Leclair
15 – Mats Naslund
14 – Martin Rucinsky
13 – Jim Campbell, Kjell Dahlin, Sergei Samsonov, Russ Courtnall

Top 10 Points per game
2.00 – Martin Rucinsky
1.86 – Russ Courtnall
1.67 – Bobby Smith
1.57 – Niklas Sundstrom, Andrei Kovalenko, Alfie Turcotte
1.43 – Alexei Kovalev
1.36 – Shayne Corson
1.33 – Ryan Walter
1.29 – Saku Koivu

Top 10 Goals
18 – Niklas Sundstrom
10 – John Leclair, Sergei Samsonov
9 – Shayne Corson, Martin Rucinsky
8 – Kjell Dahlin
7 – Jim Campbell, Russ Courtnall, Chris Higgins
5 – Mats Naslund, Andrei Kovalenko, Alexei Kovalev, Valeri Bure, Ryan Walter, Juha Lind, Richard Zednik, Yvan Joly

Top 10 Goals per game
1.29 – Martin Rucinsky
1.00 – Russ Courtnall
0.86 – Niklas Sundstrom
0.83 – Ryan Walter, Richard Zednik
0.80 – Doug Jarvis
0.77 – Sergei Samsonov
0.71 – John Leclair, Andrei Kovalenko, Alexei Kovalev, Valeri Bure, Juha Lind

Top 10 Points (Defenceman)
11 – Patrice Brisebois
8 – Scott Lachance
7 – Ron Hainsey
6 – Andrei Markov, Tom Kurvers
5 – David Wilkie, Eric Desjardins, Rob Ramage, Alain Cote, Jyrki Lumme
4 – Kevin Haller, Marko Kiprusoff, Petr Svoboda

Top 10 Points per game (Defenceman)
0.86 – Tom Kurvers
0.79 – Patrice Brisebois
0.71 – Alain Cote, Jyrki Lumme
0.57 – Kevin Haller, Marko Kiprusoff, Petr Svoboda
0.53 – Scott Lachance
0.50 – Ron Hainsey
0.46 – Andrei Markov


Finally, for a bit of fun to wrap up the post, I thought a Canadiens all-time WJC participant roster based on WJC performance (including personal stats and medal standings), interesting considering the current Habs featuring:

Forward lines:
Mats Naslund – Saku Koivu – Niklas Sundstrom
Martin Rucinsky – Shayne Corson – Alexei Kovalev
John Leclair – Ryan Walter – Andrei Kovalenko
Sergei Samsonov – Doug Jarvis – Russ Courtnall

Defence pairings
Patrice BriseboisAndrei Markov
Scott Lachance – Eric Desjardins
Mark Streit – Rob Ramage

Goalies
Carey Price
David Aebischer

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