International Ice Hockey Federation

Making a few points

Making a few points

Fascinating facts about top U18 scorers

Published 15.04.2016 16:30 GMT-4 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Making a few points
Canada's Matt Dumba is the only defenceman ever to lead this tournament in scoring. Photo: Jana Chytilova / HHOF-IIHF Images
It’s always interesting to track the whereabouts of former IIHF World U18 Championship stars. Some go on to superstardom, while others take a quieter path.

Let’s look at what’s become of a few of the most prolific point-getters in recent history.

1. Two players who have led the World U18 tournament in scoring have gone on to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer: Alexander Ovechkin (a then-record-setting 18 points at the 2002 U18, 108 NHL points in 2007-08) and Patrick Kane (12 points at the 2005 U18, 106 NHL points in 2015-2016).

2. The player who broke Ovechkin’s U18 points record was Finnish forward Toni Rajala with 19 points in 2009. This season, the 25-year-old Rajala played for Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League, earning 32 points in 52 regular season games and adding two assists in 11 playoff games.

3. The current U18 points record holder is Russia’s Nikita Kucherov (21 points in 2011), who now stars for the Tampa Bay Lightning. On that bronze medal Russian team, one of Kucherov’s linemates was Mikhail Grigorenko, who has 12 goals and 29 assists in 142 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche. The other one was Roman Konkov, who has one goal and five assists in 35 career KHL games with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.

4. It will come as a surprise to few that Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers led the 2013 U18 in goals (8), assists (6), and points (14). However, McDavid did have a bit of company atop the assist leaders board, as in four Russians (Pavel Buchnevich, Vladimir Tkachyov, Nikolai Glukhov, Ivan Barbashev), two Finns (Artturi Lehkonen, Otto Rauhala), a German (Leon Draisaitl), and an American (Hudson Fasching).

5. Only one defenceman has ever led this tournament in scoring. Matt Dumba, now with the Minnesota Wild, had 12 points in 2012 as Canada took the bronze.


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