The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, held in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, concluded on Saturday, January 5. The annual tournament showcases high-end hockey talent from around the world, all under the age of 20.The rosters include many players already drafted by NHL teams. This year’s tournament included three Washington Capitals prospects: Alexander Alexeyev (Team Russia), Martin Fehervary (Team Slovakia) and Tobias Geisser (Team Switzerland). Here’s a quick recap of how they did:
Alexeyev started slowly in the tournament, registering no points and two minor penalties in his first game against Denmark on December 27. However, things picked up for the 6’-4” defenseman as the tournament progressed. His defense was solid and physical throughout the tournament. His play along the boards and fight for the puck was excellent for most of the tournament as well. He was assigned to the second and third defensive pair for most of the tournament, but was seemingly always on the ice. His passing and defensive zone breakouts were also very solid.
The Capitals first round draft pick in 2018 scored his first goal of the tournament against Team Switzerland on December 28. (More Here).
His second goal of the tournament came in a first-round elimination game against Team Slovakia on January 2. The goal featured a bit of Alexeyev’s stick-handling skills, and his ability to find open space on the ice, as he moved to the top of the slot and found an ally for the shot.
Team Russia lost to Team USA in the semi-finals but win the Bronze-medal game against Team Switzerland.
For the tournament, Alexeyev had two goals and four assists in seven games played. He totalled 12 shots for a shooting percentage of 16.7%. He totaled 10 PIMs , registered one power play goal and one game winning goal and was a +9.
Martin Fehervary –
Fehervary, playing in his third World Juniors, was selected as captain for Team Slovakia. He played on the top defensive pair for the entire tournament, played on the first power play unit and the first penalty kill unit, and was arguably Slovakia ‘s best defenseman.
The Scouting report for Fehervary from scouts at the World Junior Championship: Plays the middle in 1-3-1 on the power play and is skilled with the puck. He has put on some size, is an offensively skilled guy, can quarter back the power play, can play up top and sneak in to play the middle spot on power play. The knock is he is just strong enough for the NHL, meaning size/strength will be his limiting factors. His lone goal from the tournament:
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) January 3, 2019
For the tournament, Fehervary registered one goal and four assists (five points) in five games played, which was third-most in the preliminary round. He registered a total of seven shots on goal for a shooting percentage of 14.3%. He also talked two penalty minutes and was a +1 for the tournament. Here a nice feed by Fehervary for a Slovakia score:
— Anton Johansson (@antonj85) December 31, 2018
Fehervary and Team Slovakia would eventually exit the tournament after a quarter-final loss to Alex Alexeyev and Team Russia on January 2. A good showing for Fehervary.
Tobias Geisser –
Geisser was a late injury scratch for Team Switzerland’s first game against the Czech Republic on December 26, and would never play a game in the tournament. It was widely reported that it was due to an “upper body injury”, with some reports stating it was an elbow injury. Others stated it was a shoulder injury.
Geisser returned to Bears practice on Friday, December 4 (below), but did not play in either of the Bears weekend games. It’s interesting that Geisser left before the Swiss were eliminated from the tournament. The fact that he skated on Friday also may indicate his injury is not too severe.
By Jon Sorensen