Commentary

WJC Grades: Caps, Ducks rule

Prospects for Washington, Anaheim shine brightest in World Junior Championship

Updated: January 6, 2012, 5:39 PM ET
By Corey Pronman | Hockey Prospectus
Rickard Rakell Richard Wolowicz/Getty ImagesAnaheim Ducks prospect Rickard Rakell was a standout player in the World Junior Championship.

The IIHF Under-20 World Championship came to a conclusion Thursday night with a thrilling 1-0 overtime win for Sweden over Russia, delivering Sweden's first gold medal since 1981.

While it's important not to draw too many conclusions from a small-sample tournament, the World Juniors provide a unique measuring stick to see how players already drafted by NHL franchises are developing.

With that in mind, here are my thoughts and grades for each NHL team's prospect pool represented at the tournament. The grades are based on all the prospects for a team's respective prospect pool, including ones not mentioned. It's worth noting that these are scouting-based grades, with statistics having minimal importance, again largely due to the small sample size.

Anaheim Ducks: A
• Emerson Etem didn't light up the lamp like I hoped, but he did show nice improvement to his possession game to combine with his high-end skating ability.
• Max Friberg was one of Sweden's best players, scoring a lot with his plus shot while also showing possession skills he didn't display at the event last year. His skating ability was improved as well.
• William Karlsson was brilliant at both ends for an 18-year-old despite not having great stats.
• Rickard Rakell dazzled observers every game with great puck skills but often tried to do too much.

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.