Sunday, September 02, 2007

Canada Leads 4-0 In Super Series

So far, there has been little notice of the Junior Summit Series played between the junior aged players from Canada and Russia. The first four games have already been played in Russia and Canada won all four by a combined score of 17-6. This week, they return to Canada for the final four games in what looks like a blowout. This series is helping to overplay and possibly burnout junior aged players before they have even entered the NHL and very little interest is paid on it. It appears to be a foregone conclusion who will win before the first game in Canada is played.

The Russian hockey system is currently in disrepair. The somewhat unstable political system has let it fall apart. The Russian system still produces some incredibly talented kids in Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, but most of the rest of the talent is getting lost in a leaky pipeline. They have not been much of a match for the Canadian kids. It has been made worse due to Russian injuries to top prospects Alexei Cherepanov and Artem Anisomov (both NY Rangers prospects), who are some of the more talented scorers on the Russian roster.

Likely, Canada could have a better challenge from the other major hockey powers (Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland and USA) than Russia is capable of giving in this series.

So far, Canada has been led offensively by Brad Marchand (Boston prospect), Sam Gagner (Edmonton prospect) and Stefen Legein (Columbus prospect). They have rolled all four lines and played all three goalies. The Russian lineup is led offensively by Alexander Ryabev (undrafted). It has not been a competitive series so far. As a result, this may be the last Junior Summit Series in this format.

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