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Coyotes World Juniors recap: Hayton’s heroics, prospect performances

Canada's captain Barrett Hayton celebrates after defeating Russia n the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Ostrava, Czech Republic. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Barrett Hayton let out a shout after going shoulder-first into the end boards on Saturday. He left the ice in obvious pain and seemed unlikely to play in Team Canada’s gold medal game at the World Junior Championship on Sunday.

But despite suffering what TSN’s Frank Seravalli has reported as a Grade 1 shoulder separation, the Coyotes rookie played on Sunday and scored a game-tying goal in the third period for Canada, which eventually won the game and the gold medal.

The win was significant enough to earn the team a shoutout from Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter and make Hayton an instant hero in Canada’s world junior history.

“He can barely raise his arms, but he can score a tying goal in the gold medal game!” the television commentator said on TSN’s broadcast after Hayton made the Czech Republic arena erupt.

Hayton’s display of leadership and determination while injured was impressive on its own, but in the tournament as a whole, Hayton was tied for the second-most goals (6) with Germany’s Dominik Bokk (Carolina Hurricanes), trailing Sweden’s Samuel Fagemo (L.A. Kings), who had eight goals.

Hayton also had the second-most points in the whole tournament (12) behind Fagemo.

Here’s what the rest of the Coyotes prospects did at the 2020 World Junior Championship:

Victor Soderstrom

Coyotes’ 11th overall pick in 2019, plays for Brynäs in Sweden

Interestingly, The Athletic’s Corey Pronman — who covers prospects and the NHL Draft — gave his tournament media All-Star ballot on Twitter and it included two Coyotes prospects: Hayton and defenseman Victor Soderstrom (only Hayton made the actual All-Star selections).

Soderstrom had a goal and five assists and was plus-5 for Sweden. He had the secondary assist on both the game-tying goal and the overtime game-winner against Finland on Dec. 26.

Valentin Nussbaumer

Coyotes’ seventh-round (207th overall) pick in 2019, plays for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL

Nussbaumer had two goals and five assists for seven total points for Switzerland in these World Juniors, but four of those points came in a single game. He had three assists to go along with a first-period goal against Slovakia on Dec. 30.

Matias Maccelli

Coyotes’ fourth-round (98th overall) pick in 2019, plays for Ilves of Finland’s Liiga

Maccelli is already having a strong year, scoring 25 points in 26 games so far for Ilves in the Finnish Liiga. But in World Juniors, he had two goals and three assists, including a goal in the bronze medal game, a 3-2 Finland loss to Sweden.

Aku Raty

Coyotes’ fifth-round (151st overall) pick in 2019, plays for Kärpät of Finland’s Liiga

Raty had two goals and an assist in the tournament, but both of those goals came in the same game, an 8-1 win over Slovakia on Dec. 28.

Jan Jenik

Coyotes’ third-round (65th overall) pick in 2018, plays for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL

Unfortunately, the headline for Jenik’s 2020 World Juniors is that he sustained an injury and missed the rest of the tournament. The bright side is that he was a standout player for the Czech Republic — the tournament’s host country.

Jenik’s stock has been going up since this year’s Coyotes training camp and he impressed again with two goals and an assist in what amounted to less than three full games at World Juniors. He scored the go-ahead goal over Russia on Dec. 26 and then had a goal in the third period of a comeback attempt during a loss against Germany on Dec. 26.

He’s been seen multiple times on crutches since his injury, which stemmed from this hit:

Ty Emberson

Coyotes’ third-round pick (73rd overall) in 2018, plays for Wisconsin (NCAA)

The defenseman Emberson didn’t register any points for Team USA during the tournament, but was plus-2 in the Americans’ four games. You can also do a quick search of his name on social media to find various observers giving him praise for his play, which was at least somewhat backed by analytics.


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