Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WJC team by team preview: Denmark

Starting Today and running through till Boxing Day we'll give you a quick look at each team suiting up in the World Junior Hockey Championship. We started with Latvia, and now it's Denmark's turn.

Pool B-Edmonton
First game Vs. U.S.A December 26th, 6 pm mst

3 Keys to Success

1. Nicklas Jensen- The Oshawa Generals forward and Vancouver draft pick has nice size and can fly up the ice, but that's in the OHL when he has Boone Jenner and Christian Thomas to take away some of the attention. In Edmonton he'll be the target every opposition focuses on. How he and his teammates handle that will determine in the Danes are great or they get dogged by the rest of the world. (below)

2. Mads Eller-The younger brother of Lars Eller will hope to bust onto the WJC scene like his brother did in 2008 when he had 6 points in 6 games along with 37 penalty minutes for Denmark. Like big brother Lars, Mads should be a big boy, already at 16 he's 6.0 and 165. Lars went 13th, at the time it was the highest draft spot for a Danish player. Mikael Boedker bested that in 2008 going 8th overall. and young Mads will try and set a new mark in 2013. He'll give scouts an early look this holiday season.

3. 1-3-1 - Watching Denmark practice one day they repeatedly ran through the 1-3-1 system. It might be their best chance at winning. Yes it's boring, but you plan your style around the players you have not the other way around. They will need exceptional goaltending to succeed.

Wild card

There are at least 3 teams with brother combinations in the tournament. The Hamiltons on Canada. The Granlunds on Finland and the Bjorkstrands on Denmark. Patrick, a 19 year old winger and Oliver a 16 year old centre are the sons of Minnesota native Todd Bjorkstrand who moved to Denmark 21 years ago to play and never left. Todd took over the junior team last year and the family act will hope to take Denmark where they've never gone before. A win at this tournament. Their only other appearance came in 2008 when they went 0-6.

Expectation: Don't get relegated, win a game.

Prediction: An outside shot at 8th, but most likely relegation.

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