Thursday, December 24, 2009

USA World Junior Predictions: How'd I do?

All the way back in June I threw my hat into the ring on predictions for this seasons USA World Junior Championship roster. Now that USA Hockey has officially released the finalized roster, let's go back to my original guesses and see how I did.

Goaltender Predictions:

Mike Lee (St. Cloud State)-Correct Selection
Jack Campbell (USA NTDP U18)-Correct Selection

Analysis: At the time I made my selections this was pretty much a no brainer in my opinion. Brandon Maxwell had fallen out of flavor with USA hockey and Campbell and Lee were both coming off huge seasons. Joe Howe from Colorado College made a great late push with an outstanding first half but I think USA had these picked for a while.

Defense Predictions:

John Carlson (Hershey Bears)-Correct Selection
Cam Fowler (Windsor Spitfires)-Correct Selection
Jake Gardiner (Wisconsin)-Correct Selection
John Moore (Colorado College)-Incorrect Selection
Aaron Ness (Minnesota)-Incorrect Selection
Nick Leddy (Minnesota)-Incorrect Selection
Matt Donovan (Denver)-Correct Selection

Actual selections not included:

Brian Lashoff (Kingston Frontenacs)
John Ramage (Wisconsin)
David Warsofsky (Boston University)

Analysis-Picking four out of 7 isn't terrible but it isn't great either. At the time, I felt Fowler, Carlson, Gardiner, and Moore were absolute locks. Moores stock has continued to decline after snubbing Colorado College late in the summer (Still think he should have made the team). I expected Aaron Ness to have a much bigger season than he has had at Minneosta. I think we can all agree that he's been extremely over-rated since coming to Minnesota. Nick Leddy was doomed as soon as he broke his face early in the season. I think the big surprise here is John Ramage who wasn't even invited to camp. He has had a great freshman season and should add some much needed physicality to the US lineup.

Forward Predictions:

F-Tyler Johnson (Spokane Chiefs)-Correct Selection
F-Danny Kristo (North Dakota)-Correct Selection
F-Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota)-Correct Selection
F-Mitch Wahl (Spokane Chiefs)-Incorrect Selection
F-Phil McRae (London Knights)-Correct Selection
F-Mike Chichy (North Dakota)-Incorrect Selection
F-Jeremy Morin (Kitchener Rangers)-Correct Selection
F-Derek Stepan (Wisconsin)-Correct Selection
F-Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame)-Correct Selection
F-Zach Budish (Minnesota)-Incorrect Selection
F-Drew Shore (Denver)-Incorrect Selection
F-Ryan Bourque (Quebec Remparts)-Correct Selection
F-Vinny Saponari (Boston University)-Incorrect Selection

Actual selections not included:

Jeremy D'Amigo (RPI)
Chris Kreider (Boston College)
Jason Zucker (USA NTDP U18)
AJ Jenks (Plymouth Whalers)
Luke Walker (Portland Winterhawks)

Analysis-Had a slightly better picking percentage on the forwards but not by much. But I'll take 8 out of 13 any day of the week. Surprised not to see Wahl back especially after he was on the team last year and is having a solid year this season. I should have known better than to pick Chichy after his falling out with USA Hockey. Budish hasn't had the start that I thought he would have had with Minnesota (I still don't think Minnesota is a good fit for a kid like Budish, he's got an NHL body and plays with a physicality that just doesn't fit in with the Gophers style). All the locks are on there like Schroeder, Stepan, and Kristo.

Overall Predictions: 14 of 22 for an accuracy rating of about 64%. Not terrible for putting this together in June.