The Lightning had five prospects at the 2013 Under-20 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia, and four came away with medals.
Here’s a look how each prospect fared, and what their future might look like.
Nikita Kucherov, RW, Russia
7 Games Played, 5-3-8, +4, 4 PIM, 21 SOG
While Kucherov may only remember his missed shootout attempt against Sweden in the semifinals right now, years from now will look at his Bronze medal and be satisfied with his play throughout the competition. Kucherov was arguably Russia’s best forward in the tournament, though Mikhail Grigorenko (Sabres) was the only forward named among the team’s three best by the coaches at tournament’s end. In the opinion of TSN commentator Ray Ferraro, Kucherov was the team’s best forward. He and Grigorenko were by far the most consistent and dangerous forwards for the Russians at the event, and the two were responsible for 14 points together.
Czech Republic 4 vs. Switzerland 3
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, +1, 6 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-4-4, +2, 8 PIM
Tomas Hertl's power play goal early in the Third Period stood up as the game winning goal in Czech Republic's 4-3 victory over Switzerland in the tournamen't 5th Place Game. The loss was Switzerland's first and only regulation loss of the U20's. Tanner Richard took two minors for roughing and a minor for tripping in the game. It was also the first contest of the tournament when he was sub-.500 on draws (31.3%). Richard will return to the OHL now to continue his North American Junior season.
Switzerland 3 vs. Czech Republic 4 (OT)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-4-4, +1, 2 PIM
Tomas Hertl's overtime goal lifted Czech Republic to a 4-3 win over Switzerland in their final game of the Round Robin. Switzerland overcame a 2 goal Third Period deficit to force extra time, but took their third after-regulation loss of the tournament. The Swiss finished in third place in Pool A after the Finns lost to Sweden today. They draw Russia on Wednesday in the opener of the Playoff Round.
Russia 1 vs. Canada 4
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 2 PIM
Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO, 0.96 GAA, .973 sv%
Nikita Kucherov scored Russia's only goal in their 4-1 loss to Canada. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov was named Russia's best player in the defeat. Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup to Andrei Makarov, who made 44 saved for the Russians. Russia finished in second in Pool B. They face the Swiss Wednesday in the Playoff Round.
Finland 5 vs. Switzerland 4 (SO)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-4-4, +2, 2 PIM
Switzerland blew a two goal third period lead to the Finns to fall 5-4 in the shootout, dropping the Swiss to 4th on the Group A table. Tanner Richard assisted on a goal in the match and was 75% on his draws, but he was stopped by Joonas Korpisalo in his attempt in the shootout session. Switzerland faces a critical match against the Czech Republic tomorrow with a top three spot in their group on the line.
Sweden 3 vs. Switzerland 2 (SO)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-3-3, +1, 2 PIM
Victor Rask's shootout tally lifted Sweden to a 3-2 shootout victory over Switzerland. Switzerland took Sweden to the brink, and held a lead into the Third Period on Mike Kunzle's third goal of the tournament, but they could not hold off the defending Gold Medalists. Tanner Richard was scoreless in the match and took a minor for high sticking that turned into Sweden's opening goal of the game. He was also 50% on draws. The Swiss now sit in 2nd place on the Group A table with games against Finland and Czech Republic yet to go. They face the Finns next on Sunday.
Russia 2 vs. USA 1
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM
Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 1.85 GAA. .941 sv%
Artem Sergeev (pictured) assisted on Viktor Tkachyov's goal early in the Third Period that gave Russia a critical 2-1 win over Team USA. Sergeev's helper means that all Lightning prospects have now found the scoresheet in Ufa, through the first two games of the Round Robin. Fellow Lightning prospect defenseman Nikita Nesterov also had a helper in the match, assisting an Albert Yarullin goal on the power play. Forward Nikita Kucherov took a holding minor in the match, and was in the box for Jacob Trouba's lone goal for the Americans. Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup to undrafted Saskatoon netminder Andrei Makarov who turned away 41 shots for the win. Russia faces Germany next on Saturday and sits 2nd behind Canada on the Group B table.