It’s that time of year again, folks! The 2023 World Juniors are upon us! The first games are getting underway up in Halifax and Moncton today, and we’ve got a quick guide to the tournament here for you, Flyers fans. They don’t have a huge wealth of drafted prospects in it this year, but there’s still going to be a whole bunch worth keeping an eye on. Let’s get into it.
Who to watch (in the system)
As we said, it’s going to be a quieter year for the purely Flyers prospect watchers, but the organization does still have a pair of prospects representing them at this tournament. Returning from last year is Switzerland’s Brian Zanetti. He’s set to get a decent workload on Switzerland’s second defense pair (if the pre-tournament looks hold) as well as some special teams time. A relative veteran of this tournament, we’re excited to see how he’s able to settle into that role.
And over on the American team, the Flyers’ 2022 fifth overall pick Cutter Gauthier is also poised to have a big role with his team. He’s playing on the USA top line with Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud, and they’ve looked close to lethal in their pair of pre-tournament games. Gauthier has already been on a bit of a tear at the college level this year, and he’s looking to hit the ground running in his first World Junior appearance.
Who to watch (Tank Watch 2k23)
And if watching the prospects already in the Flyers’ system isn’t enough for you, we’ve got a couple more players for you to keep an eye on, with the hope (or expectation) that the Flyers will finish so badly that they’ll wind up with one of the top picks in this draft.
We all know about the race to the bottom, for the first overall pick, for Connor Bedard, and he’s back and looking to dazzle for Canada again this year. But he’s not the only top prospect on this Canadian team: if we’re expecting that the cursed powers that be will prevent the Flyers from getting that first overall pick, look perhaps to Adam Fantilli, who’s looking like he’ll go in the top-3 this year, and should scratch a similar “fun, flashy, super creative forward” itch for you.
Also, over on the Swedish team, we’ve got Leo Carlsson, a powerful skater with a pretty flashy offensive toolkit, who should really be popping in this tournament as well, as, away from his national team, he’s already adjusting well to playing in the SHL against men. This draft is going to be a good one, and we should get a very nice look at some of the top players in this tournament here. How fun!
How to watch
As usual, in the States, NHL Network will be carrying all of the games throughout the tournament, so if that’s part of your cable package, you’re in luck! But, for the non-NHL Network havers, it looks like ESPN+ will be carrying a handful of games as well.
And finally, the schedule. You can find the complete breakdown of the schedule here, but the key dates, the USA and Switzerland round robin games, are below. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.
Finland vs. Switzerland: 11:00 AM
Latvia vs. USA: 4:00 PM
Switzerland vs. Latvia: 4:00 PM
Slovakia vs. USA: 4:00 PM
USA vs. Switzerland: 4:00 PM
Switzerland vs. Slovakia: 11:00 AM
USA vs. Finland