Anyone paying attention to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge would have quickly realized it was the Jack Hughes and Cole Caufield show.
The talented Americans were as dangerous of a tandem as you could find, combining for 28 points as the Americans went undefeated and dominated the playoff stage, capping off their run with a 6-4 win over Team Canada Red in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Hockey fans in Ontario may have come to learn about Hughes last year when he was leading the Toronto Marlies minor midgets and earning HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year honours before deciding to return to his country of birth and hone his craft in the US National Team Development Program.
Many consider him the early favourite to go first overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, and Caufield may not be that far behind.
They’re two different kind of players, as their stats from the U17 tournament may show.
While Hughes is crafty playmaker who plays as if he’s in a video game at times, Caufield is the finisher with an explosive shot.
Hughes’ tournament-leading 15 points (five goals and 10 assists) were the second highest total in a single U17 tournament.
Only Ottawa Senators prospect Colin White recorded more, putting up 18 points in 2013-14.
Caufield finished the tournament with eight goals and 13 points, including a hat-trick in the championship game as the Americans stormed out to a 5-0 lead early in the second period.
Both U.S. stars were named to the tournament all-star team along with Canada Red’s Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic), fellow former HockeyNow Player of the Year Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants) and Luke Cavallin (Flint Firebirds), and Canada Black defenceman Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings).
Matthew Boldy from the States was near the top of the tournament leaderboard, finishing third with three goals and six assists.
Three players (Xavier Parent, Ryan Suzuki and Dylan Cozens) led Canada Red with seven points.
Before the championship game, Canada White was hoping to add to Canada’s medal total, but was defeated 2-1 by the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game.
A Canadian team has won gold twice since 2010. Team Ontario won in 2010 and Canada White won in 2015.Back to Top
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