The World Juniors showcase many of the NHL’s future stars. The championships have historically been dominated by two countries, Canada and Russia.
With the World Juniors set to drop the puck next Tuesday (12/6) in Buffalo, New York, I decided to look at the historical player and country scoring data to see which players and countries stood out. Here is look at what I found.
Appearances by Country
There are 6 countries (Canada, Finland, Sweden, United States, Russia/Soviet Union/C.I.S, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic) have appeared in each of the 41 championships. Japan and France round out the bottom of the list with 1 appearance each.
Medals won by Country
As I mentioned earlier, Canada (16 gold medals) and Russia/Soviet Union/C.I.S (13 gold medals) captured the gold in 29 of 41 championships. The United States and Finland are next on the list with 4 gold medals each. When we look at overall medals, Russia/Soviet Union/C.I.S. lead with 35 followed by Canada (30). Sweden (17) is third on the list with a majority of their medals being silver (10).
Per Game Goals/Assists
When we look at goals vs assists per game, we start to understand why Canada and Russia/Soviet Union/C.I.S dominate the championships. The Soviet Union (C.C.C.P) averaged about 6.5 goals per game and Canada is not too far off with 5.2 goals per game. At the bottom of the list is France which averages a single goal per game.
When we look at players with the highest goals per game average, Finland’s Keijo Tutti (1.71), Russia’s Herman Volgin (1.57) and Sweden’s Markus Naslund (1.50) round out the top three. The “Great One” Wayne Gretzky (1.33) ranks 7th on the goals per game list.
Let’s now look at the points per game leaders. Points per game is calculated by adding goals and assists and dividing by the games played. Here you’ll find the list littered with many of the NHL’s superstars. Sweden’s Peter Forsberg (we have his autographed Flyers jersey hanging in the Qlik lunchroom in Radnor, Pa) leads all points producers with an astonishing 3 points per game. Canada’s Wayne Gretzky is second with 2.83 points per game and the United States’ Doug Weight rounds out the top three registering 2.71 points per game.
The World Junior Championships shines the light on the up and coming NHL stars. Many of last year’s NHL first round picks participated in the event. If you want to get a jump on seeing who your team should draft next year, be sure to tune in over the holidays. I provided the full app so that you perform your own analysis into the data.
Here’s to getting up on your skates and always skating with your head up!
Photo by Shreyans Bhansali on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA