Every year the best under 20-year-old kids in hockey get together to play in the IIHF World Junior Championships. This year’s tournament took place in Buffalo, New York, with Team Canada taking home Gold. Team USA finished with a disappointing Bronze medal.
For Tobias Geisser, he had the tough assignment of being the #1 defensemen for a very weak team in Switzerland. How weak were they? Well Geisser is the only drafted player on their team. He played 114:44 minutes for Switzerland, the second closest Swiss player in time on ice was 102:59 minutes.
Geisser didn’t register any points but that isn’t surprising, as his team only scored 12 goals (only 8 different goal scorers) in five games. Tobias had to spend all of his time facing the other teams best players. He was able to register 10 shots though, 3rd most on his team.
Overall, Geisser looked good. He was able to move his large body to disrupt a lot of plays. He did have a tough time occasionally against the better teams best players like against Canada and Sweden, but again, it’s usually just him against 5 other top drafted players. That’s no easy task and he handled it well. He’ll head back to the NLA to continue playing against men.
As for Jonsson-Fjallby, he had a fantastic tournament helping his team win Silver. These were his stats: two goals (both shorthanded) and two assists in seven games, adding 20 shots. I know, that doesn’t sound very impressive but it is when you learn he did all of that while on the 4th line with zero power play time. What could he do if he got top 6 time and on the power play with great players?
Jonsson-Fjallby was all over the ice catching the eyes of many. He has high-end speed matched only by his physicality. I describe him as a bull in a china shop. Nothing stops him from getting to the puck. It doesn’t hurt that he has some skill to add to the mix. You can see the skill in both his goals and one of his assists. He’ll go back to the SHL and continue to grow his game.
Hopefully, this upcoming draft the Capitals are able to keep their picks, so when the next World Juniors rolls around this December, we can witness more prospects play. But for the two that were present in this year’s tournament, they certainly stood out. We should see one or both jump over to North America in the next year or two.