Wild, Blues players recall past highlights watching World Juniors

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2014 - 12:28 AM
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Wild right winger Nino Niederreiter (22) credits his play for Switzerland in the 2010 World Junior Championships for making him the fifth overall draft choice the following June by the New York Islanders.

Photo: Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

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In both the home and visiting locker rooms Tuesday morning at Xcel Energy Center, grown NHLers couldn’t keep their eyes off the Canada-United States game of the World Under-20 Championships.

In St. Louis’ room, Jaroslav Halak and Jay Bouwmeester were glued to the TV as Canada ended up edging the Americans 3-2 to win Group A heading into Thursday’s relegation round of what is dubbed the world junior championships.

“Well, most of us have played in it,” said Bouwmeester, who actually played for Canada in three world juniors. “It’s such a great tournament.”

Two years ago, the Wild’s Jonas Brodin won gold with Sweden by beating Russia in Calgary, Alberta. Charlie Coyle represented the United States that same year and Mikael Granlund played for Finland.

“I still pay attention and keep up with it on Twitter and we watched the U.S.-Germany win in the lounge Sunday,” Coyle said. “In Canada, it’s unbelievable. Playing in Edmonton and Calgary two years ago, I couldn’t believe how everyone’s a fan.”

The Wild’s Nino Niederreiter credits the exposure he got playing with Switzerland in the 2010 world juniors for the reason he went fifth overall the following June to the Islanders.

Niederreiter scored six goals and 10 points in the tournament to finish seventh in scoring and make the all-tournament team.

In an upset over Russia in the quarterfinals, Nieder- reiter scored the tying goal with 33 seconds left and the winner with 14 seconds left in overtime.

“It changed my direction,” Niederreiter said. “It definitely was a chance to showcase myself. That game against Russia, those goals, it was probably the best moment of my life.

“We got to play in Saskatoon. Every game was packed. It was so exciting. Even in Europe, they don’t look at world juniors the way Canadians do. People love to see who’s really good in the tournament and then follow them for years in the NHL.

“I just think it’s a cool tournament for fans, and a really cool tournament for players.”

The Wild has two players partaking in this world juniors.

Matt Dumba, a defenseman for Canada and a first-round pick in 2012, had a strong game against the United States on Tuesday after fighting off flu-like symptoms all tournament. In four games, he has one assist, is plus-1 and has six penalty minutes.

Gustav Olofsson, a defenseman for Sweden and a second-round pick in 2013, assisted on Sweden’s winner with 2:22 left against Russia on Tuesday. The Colorado College blue-liner has one goal and four points in four games and is plus-6.

Center Christoph Bertschy, a Wild sixth-round pick in 2012, made Switzerland’s team but is missing the tournament because of an injury.

Other Wild players who have participated in the world juniors include Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Josh Harding, Dany Heatley, Keith Ballard, Matt Cooke, Marco Scandella, Jason Zucker, Erik Haula and Johan Gustafsson.

Olympic roster coming

After the Winter Classic live on NBC on Wednesday, the U.S. will unveil its 25-man roster for the Winter Olympics.

“I’m just as interested as anybody,” said Parise, who is a shoo-in. “It was really fun last time how they had all the kids wearing our jerseys. That was really cool. I don’t know what they’re doing this time, but I really want to see who’s on our team. There are a handful of spots where there will be surprises, so everyone’s anxious.”

Etc.

• Defenseman Jon Blum, called up Monday from Iowa, didn’t make his Wild debut because banged-up defenseman Jared Spurgeon played Tuesday against St. Louis.

• The Blues lost power forward Chris Stewart in the first period after being struck in the face by a puck.

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Cincinnati 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco 12 Top 9th Inning
Colorado 7
Seattle 6 Bottom 8th Inning
Oakland 0
Washington 0 Top 7th Inning
Los Angeles 4
Arizona 1 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
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Miami
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Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
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Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
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Nevada
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Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
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Penn State
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Iowa State
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Tulsa
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Illinois
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(23) Clemson
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Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
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Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
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Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
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NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
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Louisiana
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Troy
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ULM
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(12) LSU
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(16) Notre Dame
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(9) Texas A&M
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(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
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(1) Florida State
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(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
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(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
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Ottawa
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Edmonton
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Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
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