1. Goaltenders and Europeans are featured in the "Fab Five" this week. Three Euros lead their teams at the World Junior Championships in different ways. A 2012 draft pick puts up impressive back-to-back games in the "Q." And a 2010 pick playing in his first North American pro season also notches a career "first" in back-to-back games.
By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
THREE STAR SELECTIONS FOR THE WEEK ENDING 01-05-13
Goaltender Niklas Lundström was the only one of five Blues' prospects in this year's World Junior Championships to come home with a medal. The 2011 draft pick (132nd overall) backstopped Sweden to a Silver Medal by taking the road less traveled; he came in cold, off the bench, to play the shootout round of the Dec. 28 game with Switzerland, turning aside all three Swiss attempts to post a 3-2 win. The next day, Lundström stopped 20 of 21 Latvian shots to stake Sweden to a 5-1 victory.
After a day off for New Year's, Lundström again came in from the bench; after the Swedes had roared out to an early 3-0 lead on arch-rival Finland, the Finns came back with three goals and chased Swedish starter Joel Lassinantti early in the second period. Lundström came in and turned away 23 of 24 Finnish shots the rest of the way, leading Juniorkronorna to a 7-4 win. In the semifinal game vs. host Russia, Lundström and Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevski dueled to a 2-all tie after regulation and OT, but the Swedish stopper again denied every attempt in the shootout round to preserve a 3-2 win. In the Gold Medal game, Team USA beat Lundström twice, and added an empty-netter late, for a 3-1 USA win.
Second Star honors this week go to fellow 2011 pick (41st overall) Dmitrij Jaskin. The Russian-born winger skates internationally for the Czech Republic, where he grew up while his father was pursuing a career in the Czech Extraliga, and Jaskin did his adopted homeland proud in the WJC with three goals and six points to lead the Czech entry in scoring on their way to a fifth-place finish.
This week's Third Star is goaltender Francois Tremblay of the QMJHL's Val-d'Or Foreurs. The 2012 draftee (146th overall) posted victories in back-to-back games last weekend, 7-2 at home against Victoriaville (32 saves) on Friday and 3-2 at home on Saturday (26 saves) against Patrick Roy's Remparts de Quebec.
Honorable Mentions for this past week go to defenseman Petteri Lindbohm, who was named captain of the Finnish entry at the World Juniors over more high-profile prospects like Mikael Granblund and Teuvo Teravainen, and Swedish winger Sebastian Wännström, who scored in back-to-back games for the Evansville IceMen (ECHL) over the weekend (and added a third goal in as many games on Sunday afternoon).
Just missing out on this week's "Fab Five" were Kamloops (WHL) defenseman Joel Edmundson, with a power-play tally and two assist in two games last week for the Blazers, and Penn State center Max Gardiner, who tallied a pair of assists and a career-high 12 PM in two contests for the Nittany Lions.
|*** FIRST Star ***||** SECOND Star **||* THIRD Star *|
|Niklas LUNDSTRÖM||Dmitrij JASKIN||Francois TREMBLAY|
|Sweden (WJC)||Czech Republic (WJC)||Val-d'Or (QMJHL)|
|** 3 games played this week||** 3 games played this week||** 2 games played this week|
|** 164 mins, 5 GA, 2-1-0||** 1 G, 3 A, plus-1||** 120 mins, 4 GA, 2-0-0|
|** 1.82 GAA, 94.2 save %||** 6 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW||** 2.00 GAA, 93.5 save %|
THREE STAR POINT STANDINGS FOR THE WEEK ENDING 01-05-13
Players receive four points for being named First Star, three points for Second Star, two points for Third Star, and one point for Honorable Mention. The top ten prospects in the Three Star point standings for this week are as follows:
|Dmitri Jaskin||Moncton, QMJHL/Czech Rep, WJC||3||2||2||0||22|
|Yannick Veilleux||Moncton, QMJHL||3||2||0||1||19|
|Ty Rattie||Portland, WHL||2||1||0||4||15|
|Jake Allen||Peoria, AHL||2||1||0||3||14|
|Vladimir Tarasenko||SKA St. Petersburg, KHL||2||1||0||3||14|
|Ryan Tesink||Saint John, QMJHL||1||1||2||3||14|
|Jordan Binnington||Owen Sound, OHL||0||2||2||2||12|
|Niklas Lundström||AIK Solna, SEL/Sweden, WJC||1||0||1||2||8|
|Jaden Schwartz||Peoria, AHL||0||2||0||2||8|
|Teemu Eronen||Jokerit, SM-Liiga||0||2||0||1||7|