The IIHF World U20 Championship, more commonly known as World Juniors, is still slightly more than two months away, but Chris Peters at The United States of Hockey has already begun his pre-tournament preview.
Johnny Gaudreau — LW — Boston College — The small, but dynamic forward already has five points through the first three games for BC. He has championship pedigree as both a USHL and NCAA champ and unrivaled puck skills among his peers. His ability to create offense is why he gets a spot.
Peters considers Gaudreau a lock for the roster, one of nine players upon whom he bestows that distinction, but only one of only two NCAA players (Jacob Trouba, Michigan). Peters slots Gaudreau in as the first line left wing in his projected roster.
Boston College has been well-represented at recent World Junior Championships, with Bill Arnold on last year's roster; Chris Kreider, Brian Dumoulin, and Patrick Wey on the 2011 bronze winning team; Kreider on the 2010 gold winning team; and Kevin Hayes on the 2009 team. Gaudreau was the only Eagle invited to this summer's evaluation camp, where BC Associate Coach Greg Brown served on the staff. Henrik Samuelsson, younger brother of former Eagle Philip Samuelsson also attended the camp but is considered a long shot to make the roster.
The downside of this of course is that the tournament will take Gaudreau off the Eagles' roster for a period of time. While the last four tournaments were held in North America, this year's tournament will be held in Ufa, Russia. USA Hockey will hold its final evaluation camp in New York December 16th through 18th, and the tournament runs December 26th through January 5th. Gaudreau stands to miss both of the games of the Eagles' holiday tournament in the Mariucci Classic as well as an out-of-conference game against Yale on January 3rd.