The GIFies: St. Louis Blues Day at the World Juniors
After a wildly entertaining second day at the World Juniors, the third day was the day of the rout. Two games, two routs. It will be hard to top yesterday, but today brought more hat-tricks and allowed top players to show their skills. Let’s dive in!
After a sluggish start to the tounrmant, the Americans came out firing on all cylinders Thursday, soaring the first goal a mere 80 seconds in. The Americans rolled from there with St. Louis prospect, Jimmy Snuggerud scoring a first period hat-trick.
Make that a natural hat trick for Jimmy Snuggerud barely 12 minutes into this hockey game.
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) December 28, 2023
Yes, the Swissa rent particularly strong, but the shots Snuggerud scored off today were legitimate NHL releases. There are professional goalies that will struggle to stop this kid from scoring. Two of the goals were off set face-off plays that were clearly crafted to take advantage of his shot.
How good does Jimmy Snuggerud have to be/how bad do the #stlblues need him before he gets Doug Armstrong to pick up the phone?
— Thomas Welch (@twelcher15) December 28, 2023
It won’t be long before Snuggy is on the top power play in St. Louis. Scouts had concerns about his skating in his draft year, but when you can score at will, there’s a decent chance you’ll get things sorted out and become a contributing NHL player.
If you were a St. Louis Blues prospect playing forward today, you had a good day. Otto Stenberg, another Blues pick scored a hat-trick for Sweden. Doug Armstrong has to be smiling knowing he’s got a few blue chip prospects in the cupboard.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 28, 2023
Stenberg may not produce elite offensive numbers in the NHL, but he’s got all the tools to be a second line player, not unlike Joel Eriksson Ek. The difference with Stenberg is that he’s versatile and plays the middle as well as the wing. His shot and ability to create time and space to get it off make him a blue-chip prospect for the Blues.
Otto Stenberg turning into Wayne Gretzky with Swedish jersey on is almost a guarantee each game.
— Sam Tirpák (@SammyT_51) December 28, 2023
Okay, this is maybe a little over the top, but the point is well made. Some players, for whatever reason, turn into monsters the moment they put the national team uniform on. Otto Stenberg is one of those players.
Best Jersey Matchup
It is rare that we get a game without white jerseys. For the hockey purists, sweaters. They aren’t made with sweater material anymore, I digress. Sweden and Germany gave us an all-time jersey game.
The Swedish ensemble is one of the best in hockey. I prefer the royal blue to the navy blue, but the yellow jersey with the Tre Kroner is 10/10, every time. On the flip side, I really like the black German ensemble. The eagle on the front, the yellow and red shoulders with a simple sock. We rarely get a contrasting colour matchup, and it is unlikely we will have one better than this.
Best Sad NHL Fan
When you support a lottery team and likely will be for another few years – the World Juniors are a great reprieve.
— SnipeCity420 (@SnipeCity420) December 28, 2023
The Sharks Are Coming
*insert Jaws theme*
The Sharks have so many exciting prospects in their pipeline, and a few are in the tournament. Will Smith looks great for the Americans, as was expected. Then there are the Swedes, Mattis Havelid and Filip Bystedt. Both of them have been excellent for Sweden through two games.
Can anyone tell me if Filip Bystedt got an assist today?
Working to confirm if Bystedt had an assist. pic.twitter.com/jR77Jasgfj
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) December 28, 2023
Havelid and Bystedt are both high-end prospects for the Sharks. In the 2022 draft, teams in the top-10 were eyeing Bystedt because of his size and upside as a centre in the NHL. Havelid is an offensive dynamo who deserved a first-round selection. Quite a few teams discussed him in the 20s, but luckily for the Sharks, he fell to them I the second round. All three of Smith, Bystedt and Havelid are likely to be impactful players for San Jose in the near future. Add Quentin Musty, Daniil Gushchin and Thomas Bordeleau to the equation and Sharks fans have a lot to be excited about!
Best Made You Laugh
I thought the national anthem of Sweden was Dancing Queen. #WorldJuniors
— Torben Rolfsen (@vanguy) December 28, 2023
Given that ABBA, the group behind Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and many other hits are Swedish, I wish the Swedes had gone with a song of theirs as their goal song. It would be a little funny if Dancing Queen was the anthem, though. Nothing like a PA malfunction to make that happen?
Rachel Doerrie is a sports media personality, businesswoman, and former NHL front office member. Doerrie began her career as a consultant for several teams before joining the New Jersey Devils and, later, joining the Vancouver Canucks as an analyst and video coach. In media, Doerrie has written for some of the top outlets in the industry such as The Athletic, EP Rinkside, and The Hockey News. She created the hit Staff & Graph podcast that has grown into the streaming and video spaces and continues to consult with professional sports teams on data analysis and communications.