We’re halfway through the preliminary round of the 2013 World Junior Championships, and things haven’t gone too well so far for Nashville Predators prospects. The Preds have two prospects playing in the 2013 WJC: Jimmy Vesey of Team USA and Miikka Salomaki of Team Finland. Neither has mustered a single point in two games as their teams have both gone 1-1 up to this point.
Miikka Salomaki was held pointless as Finland squad won its first game against Latvia, 5-1. Missing key contributor Miro Aaltonen, the team fared worse today as it lost 3-1 to the Czech Republic. Salomaki once again played on the top line with Joel Armia, Markus Granlund, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Olli Maatta. Despite taking 4 shots Salomaki once again was held pointless, and he went 0-for-2 on faceoffs. He has now been held without a goal on 7 shots and is 1-for-3 on faceoffs in the tournament.
Despite his team winning its first game against Germany, 8-0, Vesey was held pointless playing on USA’s fourth line. He was +1 for the game, having been on the ice for Seth Jones’ goal at 10:32 of the third period, and won his only faceoff attempt of the game. In today’s 2-1 loss to Russia, Vesey went pointless with 1 shot on goal. He was on the ice when Vladimir Tkachyov scored the game-winner at 4:10 of the third period, giving him a −1 rating for the game.
The 2013 WJC is Vesey’s first chance to play for his country. For Salomaki, this is his third and final WJC. He put up 3 points in 6 games at the 2010 tournament and another 6 points in 2011 being knocked out by a ruptured spleen.
Finland is currently tied with the Czechs for third place in Group A. Its next game is against Switzerland on Sunday. USA, meanwhile, is in sole possession of third place in Group B. Its next game is going to get a lot of attention: the Americans face off against Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Team Canada this Sunday. That game will be aired live on NHL network at 9:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. CT, as well as streamed live at NHL.com.