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2008 World Junior Championship Update

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The Jackets have three prospects taking part in this tournament: right winger Stefan Legein and goaltender Steve Mason for Canada, and Jakub Voracek for the host Czech Republic team.

Legein and Mason were both part of Team Canada at the Canada-Russia Super Series this past summer, giving them valuable international experience and acting as a sort of try-out for the World Junior squad. Canada went 7-0-1 in that tournament.

Voracek is representing the Czechs for the second time at the World Juniors, he was on the team last year but saw limited action. Mostly fourth line and penalty killing. This year however, he is arguably their best player and he is an assistant captain.

Legein is part of Canada's top checking unit along with Carolina first rounder Brandon Sutter and 2008 elegible Zac Boychuk. Legein's ability to draw penalties, act as a pest, and contribute above-average offense has endeared him to his team mates and the Canada coaching staff. Steve Mason forms half of the Canadian goaltending tandem along with Kings first rounder Jonathan Bernier. They have split games thus far, with game four coming tomorrow against Denmark.

Jacket prospect Maxim Mayorov was on the Russian squad for the Super Series, but wasn't included on the Russian roster for the World Juniors. A surprise in my opinion.

The Canadian team suffered its first round robin loss in four years yesterday, against the Swedes. If Voracek and his fellow Czechs can beat the Swedes tomorrow, there will be a 3-way tie for first place. Slovakia and Denmark round out the group, with each team sitting at 0-3. They face eachother tomorrow, with the loser heading to the regulation round.

In Group B, the United States has gone 3-0 and has clinch a bye to the semis by winning the group. The Russians currently sit second in the group at 2-1, with Finland plodding along at 1-1-1. Switzerland and Kazakhstan are the other teams in Group B.