Top questions for top prospects to answer at the U18 World Hockey Championships
The Under-18 World Hockey Championships, set to start in Frisco and Plano, Texas on Monday, carry an even more outsized importance for this July's NHL Draft than the landmark tournament typically would in an ordinary season.
It's easy to see why, too. The event offers scouts their first opportunity of the season to see a few of these prospects playing in a setting reflective of their age and ability in some cases, and for the first time, period, in others.
The event can sometimes reveal previously unseen skills in players, abilities that were part of their kit but hidden by the demands of the professional game or by a lesser supporting cast. Then in other instances, the opposite occurs. Sometimes, a particular skill is just the product of a team environment; it disappears in the context of the tournament.
In short, the U18s represent an opportunity for evaluators to answer some pressing questions or cast aside lingering doubts about a certain prospect.
Below is a list of top prospects whose stock hangs in the balance with their U18 performance. We will dive into the questions that the EP Rinkside team has about their game, and how the tournament could answer them.
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