New York Islanders draft picks were all over Monday's highlights at the World Junior Hockey championship in Finland.
The big standout was Sweden goalie Linus Soderstrom, who made 46 saves in a 1-0 shutout of USA. He was, obviously, the "man of the match." (If you don't know Söderström's story, here is a translation of him talking about making his way through hockey with Asperger's and ADHD.)
TSN has video of some of his best saves here (direct link here):
Fellow Islanders 2015 draft picks Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier each scored goals in Canada's 6-1 rout of Denmark. The Danes scored the first goal of the game, but Barzal had a beautiful setup on Beauvillier's goal to tie it at 1-1, and his second period power play tally opened up a two-goal lead for the Canadians and they never looked back.
See a clip of Barzal's absolute postage-stamp shot from the left wing circle at TSN here. He gains the zone, looks off defenders and fakes passes with his eyes, before shifting and changing his angle on the goalie just enough before ripping the shot as high and far as you can get it while remaining on target.
What a goal from Matthew Barzal pic.twitter.com/k9E8lamf8v— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 28, 2015
On the broadcast, analyst and former Islander Ray Ferraro said, "perhaps the final forward to make the roster, Barzal has really impressed Dave Lowry with his poise, his versatility and his explosiveness." Like Söderström, Barzal was named player of the game..
Both results were huge for their teams in Group A: Sweden's win stole first place from the Americans, while Canada's win saw them recover from a tournament-opening loss to the U.S. to pull into a tie on points for second place in the group. (The tiebreaker in group play, however, is the head-to-head match which the U.S. won.)