RED DEER, Alberta — The Hlinka-Gretzky Cup may not mark the return of hockey for all or even most of the sport’s fans, but its status as the unofficial start of the scouting season isn’t up for debate. You pick up that first lineup sheet, and it’s like you’re turning the first page on a brand new draft.
It’s not like most of these players are new to the scouts and executives in attendance. They trace their work on these players back two, sometimes three years. But it is the first opportunity to see where they stand going into the most critical year of hockey to that point in their careers. Now the games really start to matter.
What I’m saying is that this tournament is kind of a big deal. And given the weight of this tournament, my colleague J.D. Burke and I have set up shop at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, ready to take in all of the week’s action. We’ll be filing scouting reports for the Elite Prospects 2023 NHL Draft Guide and even offering coverage on EP Rinkside.
A big part of our day-to-day coverage will be a three stars article for each day of the tournament, looking at the three best performances from the day’s action at the 2022 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. To make things interesting, we’re going to find one player from each game to include in this exercise, and we’ll even add in some write-ins for stuff that we find interesting or want to riff on or whatever. Let’s have some fun with this.
After a pair of blowouts on Day 1, we were thankful for a pair of competitive games – and a relatively competitive first period in the Germany-Czechia game.
Finland bounced back from yesterday’s shootout loss to Czechia with an impressive 4-1 victory over the Americans. They didn’t just capitalize on their chances; they largely shut down the USA’s offence while outworking them in the offensive end.
With that, here’s the best of Day 2 of the 2022 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.