Montreal Canadiens: Reviewing Habs Prospects Performance at World Juniors

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 29: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 29: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 26: Jan Mysak (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 26: Jan Mysak (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Jan Mysak – Czech Republic

Mysak was named captain of Czech Republic just days before the tournament was set to begin. The 18 year old was a second round pick of the Habs in 2020, and being picked to not only play at the World Juniors as an 18 year old, but lead as a team’s captain, shows Mysak has skills on the ice but is a leader at a young age as well.

The Czech team drew a tough schedule this year, ending up in the same Group as Sweden, Russia and the United States. No one would be surprised if any of those three won a gold medal this year. Mysak would have to lead his team through a difficult schedule that also included a game against 10th seeded Austria.

Their first game was against Sweden, who only won 52 consecutive Preliminary Round games heading into this year’s event. Mysak would open the scoring midway through the first and give the Czech’s a 1-0 lead with a power play snipe.

The lead was short-lived as Sweden would score to tie the game less than a minute later. Mysak was tasked with going head-to-head with Sweden’s top line that includes Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond, two top-ten picks from last year’s draft. They did well in shutting them down for a while as Czech Republic played a stifling defensive game that was working for about half the night.

With 11 minutes to go in the second period, the game remained tied at 1, but Sweden struck for three quick ones to take a 4-1 lead after two and scored another trio of goals in the third period as the Czech’s opened up but couldn’t keep up.

Mysak finished with 19:22, the most ice time of any forward and was named the team’s best player of the game in a 7-1 loss.

Mysak’s would play the second most minutes of any Czech forward in their second game, and his team would pull off a huge upset against Russia. They played their tight checking defensive style all night, limiting the powerful Russian’s chances, and won 2-0.

Czech Republic’s third game was against USA and it looked an awful lot like their contest with Sweden. It remained scoreless after one and was just 1-0 with seven minutes to play in the second period. The United States depth proved to be too much for the Czech’s and they would run away in the third period and win the game 7-0. Mysak was once again the second most used forward on his team, playing against difficult competition, but was held scoreless for the second consecutive game.

Mysak finally got back on the board when he closed out his tournament against Austria. He had a goal and an assist in a dominant 7-0 win to close out the round robin portion. Mysak has two goals and one assist in four games and helped his team qualify for a quarterfinal game against Canada, another powerhouse like they saw in Sweden, Russia and USA.