On Sunday, they were treated to a full buffet where you can watch Minnesota Wild prospects play in 2022 World juniors for their respective countries. A total of six players within the Minnesota system were on the ice throughout the day. We won’t waste your time with an introduction with some flowery language about the future of this team, but let’s just get to the action and some impressions.
Servac Petrovsky, Finland vs. Slovakia
After putting in a very good performance in the opening match of the tournament, Petrovsky and Slovakia have been rather quiet. Cut a few points here and there, but nothing really noteworthy to get our attention.
During Sunday afternoon’s game against Finland — in what ended up being a 9-3 blowout of a win for the Finn — Petrovsky was able to outplay his team’s talent level and make us all feel like we have a budding draft day steal on our hands. . He came in 185th overall, folks.
He scored the second Slovakian goal and gave hope to his team, as he cleared the opposition field for just enough space to get another scoring chance and scored his second goal of the tournament and his third point.
Petrovsky would finish with just this one goal, but despite the overwhelming Finland victory, he kept a net-zero plus-minus in 20:31 TOI. That’s plenty of time for him to get away with just one of the nine Finnish goals to go in. It just shows the terrible depth of this team.
With this loss in the last game of Slovakia’s group stage and having secured just two points in the stands after their lone win came in extra time, their tournament is over. Usually there are additional games for the worst teams in the groups, to decide which nation will be relegated to the second international division, but there will be no relegation this year. Petrovsky finished with two goals and an assist, and a lot more fans, especially in Minnesota.
David Spacek, Czech Republic vs. Latvia
Spacek has had a decent tournament as the Czech Republic’s fourth back. Stapled next to Stanislav Svozil for the tournament, Spacek has just been where and not really remarkable. There’s room to grow, but already at 19 and only producing in the QMJHL, he might just be a utility guy that scouts like to love. He’s shown flashes of his passing ability and some defensive awareness, but just overall a big blog of meh coming from him.
During the match against Latvia on Sunday, he managed to get four shots on goal, two penalty minutes, at 18:16 TOI. Things are happening for him at least. Some events!
Brock Faber, USA vs Sweden
Now we get into the meat of the weekend. As soon as we went through the entire bracket schedule, analyzed the games that featured Wild prospects and had enough oomph for us to tune in; the Sunday night matchup jumped off the calendar. Arguably, the top four Wild prospects of the eight that are in Edmonton face each other in a heated battle to complete the standings. It was a good game overall that saw the Americans wipe out Sweden’s historic winning streak with a 3-2 win.
Anyway, let’s get more specific. Brock Faber, our captain, paired with Luke Hughes, basically took the entire burden of keeping this competitive. Both players played over 22 minutes, had to face the top of Sweden’s offense and came away with an offense of their own. Faber finished the match with four shots on goal and was a plus-one. Not the most dominant performance on the stat sheet, but just Faber watched in control for most of the game. No obvious mistakes, just extremely calm and cool and collected and all those kind words you want for your top four back.
Jack Peart, USA vs Sweden
Peart is a joy to watch, but hasn’t really been able to let loose with so many high-end prospects above him on this roster. He had just 10:33 TOI and a whole string of zeros for the rest of his stat sheet. Peart has had hints of overall success in this tournament, but again, there are only others to play over him. This is just like a little season warm-up for him.
Liam Ohgren, USA vs Sweden
Now to the other side of Sunday’s headliner. For 2022 first-rounder Ohgren, this appeared to be one of the first major tests for the winger who originally wasn’t even on this roster a month ago. He has come on as a substitute and may have had his best performance of the tournament against the Americans.
There weren’t that many points to go around anyway, so Ohgren not getting any doesn’t really tell the whole story of his game. In previous matchups, it was sometimes hard to notice him and the Swedish top lines could outplay their depth, but Ohgren was just wonderful against the Americans. He played just over 11 minutes, but all those minutes he seemed to be doing something productive. Whether it was forechecking harder than anyone else, taking the puck deep into the opposing zone and starting the cycle, he just already feel as a Minnesota offensive winger. He’s not afraid to get down and dirty in all three zones, and it’s just perfect.
The 18-year-old finished with a shot on goal and two penalty minutes.
Jesper Wallstedt, USA vs Sweden
Ah, Jesper. He couldn’t win because of Sweden’s not-so-great defensive coverage in the zone, and ended up blaming himself for not saving all 41 shots he faced.
“I’m disappointed in myself. I think I let the whole team down.” – Jesper Wallstedt (MIN) after making 38 saves on 41 shots
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) August 15, 2022
This 38-for-41 performance still boosted his tournament save percentage to a perfect above-average .922 through the two games he has started. Honestly, holding this USA team to just three goals — they had a total of 19 goals in the three games before Sunday — is enough of an accomplishment in itself. They might have the most talented group up front in Edmonton and he could play well enough.
On the opening goal, he got enough touches that it almost wasn’t even a goal.
That, and having the other just sneak past his pad after not a lot of help getting rid of American forwards from their defenders, only speaks to the problem with this performance from Sweden and why Wallstedt should walk away still happy with his game.
Sweden face Germany in their final group game on Monday, so I can only imagine they’ll go back to Calle Clang for this second half of a back-to-back – they started Clang against Austria earlier. But it should be Wallstedt between the pipes throughout the medal round and we will certainly see him work his magic.
As mentioned, Ohgren and Wallstedt are back in action on Monday, while Ryan O’Rourke and Carson Lambo’s Team Canada will face Finland in their final pre-medal round match. It will be an exciting finish to this tournament, no doubt.