In 2020, Germany was a newcomer on the World Junior Championship, becoming a member of the top-10 for the primary time since 2014-15. The percentages had been towards them after they had been positioned in one of many hardest swimming pools in latest reminiscence. Within the round-robin alone, Germany needed to face Group Canada, Group USA, Group Russia, and Group Czech Republic. But they held their very own, upsetting the Czechs and sneaking three objectives previous the Individuals earlier than dropping 6-3. They ended up within the relegation sequence, however they handily defeated the Kazakhs to stay within the high group for an additional 12 months.
In 2021, nevertheless, the Germans are now not the underdogs, because of the emergence of a number of top-flight prospects. Though they’ve misplaced some key gamers from final 12 months’s stunning squad, they nonetheless have expertise to spare, and it might land them in a playoff spot for the primary time in World Junior historical past.
Nonetheless, earlier than then, they’ll need to get via a troublesome Pool A and a really motivated Martin Chromiak who will lead Group Slovakia and a decided Group Switzerland that gained’t go down with out a struggle.
Head coach Tobias Abstreiter returns for his second World Juniors and can probably rely closely on his small group of returning gamers. Germany has a a lot youthful crew in 2021, with 14 gamers on their roster born in 2002. The shortage of expertise might be a problem, however the Germans have overcome greater odds earlier than, and their growth program is slowly turning into the most effective in Europe.
Having each intention of sticking round for an additional 12 months, right here is the rundown of Group Germany’s 2021 World Junior roster.
Tobias Ancicka, Florian Bugl, Arno Tiefensee
Tobias Ancicka is the one returning goalie for the Germans, and he’ll assume the beginning job after backing up Hendrik Hane final 12 months. He steps into an unenviable position, having to face the barrage from Canada and Finland within the round-robin, however he has the expertise to deal with it. On high of constructing 23 saves towards the Individuals in 2020, he additionally began in 27 video games final season with Lukko U20 of Finland’s Jr. A SM-Liiga, ending with a .918 save proportion (SV%). Whereas not the most important body at 6-foot-1, Ancicka is a workhorse and able to robbing shooters.
Newcomers Florian Bugl and Arno Tiefensee will struggle for the backup job, a well-known state of affairs for each of them. Final season, they break up duties with the U18 crew on the worldwide circuit, with Tiefensee beginning 4 matches and Bugl beginning three. Nonetheless, Bugl put up higher numbers, ending with a 1.62 goals-against-average and a .944 SV%.
He’s been simply as dominant in Austria this season, posting a .923 SV% in 11 begins. Teifensee has the scale benefit, although, protecting rather more of the online along with his 6-foot-4, 190-pound body, and will probably be a detailed contest between the 2.
Lukas Flade, Maximillian Glötzl, Simon Gnyp, Niklas Länger, Luca Münzenberger, Tommy Pasanen, Maksymilian Szuber, Mario Zimmermann, Steven Raabe
Followers had been stunned when Moritz Seider introduced that he wouldn’t attend the 2021 World Juniors. In accordance with Detroit Pink Wings assistant basic supervisor Ryan Martin, “He has made the choice that he wish to proceed enjoying with Rögle (within the Swedish Hockey League) versus the World Juniors. We’d have been supportive of no matter he needed to do,” (from ‘Pink Wings’ high prospect Moritz Seider to skip World Juniors’, MLive Michigan – 18/11/20).
With out him, the Germans might be in for a troublesome time on the again finish. Seider, final 12 months’s captain, led the protection in factors with six and was chosen as one of many Prime Three Gamers on the crew. Changing his impression might be close to inconceivable, however Maximillian Glötzl is probably the most succesful. He’s been known as the most important German expertise on protection behind Seider, and he’s been the crew’s finest defender in pre-tournament video games. He additionally wore an ‘A’ with the U18 crew final 12 months and performed in six video games on the U20 stage regardless of being simply 17 years previous.
Nonetheless, Glötzl will want some assist, and shouldering among the weight is Tommy Pasanen, who additionally stood out in pre-tournament competitors. He’s performed in North America for the previous two seasons with america Hockey League’s Sioux Metropolis Musketeers and led the crew with 69 penalty minutes final season. Along with Glötzl, the pair will give the Germans some grit and supply the blue line with some high-end talent they’d be lacking with Seider’s absence.
One other identify to keep watch over is Maksymilian Szuber, who has been very efficient on the U18 stage, typically main the crew’s protection in scoring. He’s enjoying on the highest stage in Austria this season, and recorded 4 assists in 13 video games. The 6-foot-3 defender is wise defensively and isn’t afraid to sacrifice his physique for the play. Luca Münzenberger is one other intriguing teenager. He performed in each U18 event final season and is at present the captain of the Kölner Junghaie U20, the place he has three factors in six video games.
Manuel Alberg, Jakub Borzecki, Julian Chrobot, Samuel Dube, Florian Elias, Nino Kinder, Elias Lindner, Justin Volek, Jan Nijenhuis, John-Jason Peterka, Lukas Reichel, Filip Reisnecker, Joshua Samanski, Tim Stützle, Markus Schweiger
The most important loss among the many forwards is Dominik Bokk, who led the crew in scoring final 12 months with six objectives and eight factors. However it gained’t harm the Germans an excessive amount of, as they’ll get again the trio of John-Jason Peterka, Lukas Reichel, and Tim Stützle who mixed for seven objectives and 16 factors finally 12 months’s competitors – Stützle led the crew with 5 assists. Since then, Stützle and Reichel had been chosen within the first spherical of the 2020 NHL Draft, and Peterka was picked early within the second. Their abilities mesh properly with one another and they’re going to make Germany’s high unit one to be reckoned with.
The one concern is that Stützle has missed a number of weeks therapeutic from a hand damage, and early hypothesis thought of whether or not he could be prepared for the event, or if the Ottawa Senators, who picked him fifth general in October, would enable him to compete, as they’re hopeful he’ll be a part of them for coaching camp in January. Nonetheless, with many NHL groups nonetheless determining their season and the German phenom nonetheless beneath contract with the DEL’s Adler Mannheim, Group Germany is banking on him to be their captain on the 2021 World Juniors.
Nino Kinder and Jan Nijenhuis are additionally coming back from the 2020 event and might be anticipated to tackle greater management roles. Kinder had two factors finally 12 months’s event, then completed the season with 11 objectives and 21 factors with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice. Nijenhuis has been enjoying within the Germany 3 league, the place he has one help in three video games this season. He performs a strong defensive recreation that can be utilized on the penalty kill.
The Germans could have simply 4 different 19-year-olds amongst their forwards: Manuel Alberg, Julian Chrobot, Filip Reisnecker, and Elias Lindner. Alberg could also be acquainted to some, as he performed with the OHL’s Owen Sound Assault in 2018-19 and break up 2019-20 with the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats and USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. Reisnecker additionally performed briefly within the OHL in 2018-19, showing in 32 video games for the Mississauga Steelheads, though he’s been significantly better since returning dwelling to Germany.
The remainder of the forwards are very younger, which might show to be a problem for the crew, however some potential stars are simply ready for his or her probability to point out the world what they’ll do. Final season, Florian Elias completed third within the Germany 3 with 49 factors and first in objectives with 26, regardless of being one of many youngest within the league. He even gained some NHL draft consideration regardless of being a relatively unknown prospect, though he went unselected most definitely attributable to his diminutive 5-foot-8 body.
Markus Schweiger has been probably the most prolific scorer of any German on the crew this 12 months, placing away 5 objectives and 12 factors in 9 video games within the German U20 league. Nonetheless, at simply 5-foot-6, he’ll be one of many smallest gamers on the event. Samuel Dube isn’t a lot greater at 5-foot-8 however has some North American expertise from his two-plus seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads earlier than out of the blue returning to Germany early this season. His pace and energetic stick can create highlight-worthy moments just like the one beneath:
The Backside Line
Lead by Peterka, Reichel, and Stützle, the Germans could have a high line that would rival another nation and can probably present the majority of the crew’s offense. Glötzl and Pasanen are succesful defenders who will anchor the blue line, and Ancicka has expertise on the World Juniors to assist him deal with the beginning job. The remainder of the roster is stuffed with intriguing gamers who’ve discovered success all throughout Europe and now will get an opportunity to point out the world their abilities.
Though the crew lacks measurement and is on the youthful facet, the German growth program has continued to pump out NHL-calibre prospects. Discovering chemistry gained’t be an issue, both, as lots of the gamers already play for a similar groups in Europe. That mixture might assist them sneak into the playoffs by stealing a win or two from an even bigger nation nonetheless attempting to determine its traces and get right into a groove.
Nonetheless, the trio of Ancicka, Bugl, and Tiefensee is arguably the weakest amongst Pool A goalies, and although they’ve proven to be succesful starters at dwelling, the World Juniors will check them like by no means earlier than. The absence of Seider gained’t assist both, because the protection will take a major step again with out him within the lineup. Glötzl and Pasanen needs to be effective, however the remainder might discover themselves in over their head reasonably rapidly as they battle to include Aatu Raty, Anton Lundell, Payton Krebs, Bowen Byram, and Kirby Dach.
But, because the 2018 Olympics and the 2020 World Juniors proved, you’ll be able to’t rely Group Germany out. They could not have many stars of their lineup, however their work ethic and tenacity are among the many finest on the planet they usually gained’t take a loss sitting down. Groups must struggle for a full 60 minutes to beat Germany, irrespective of the rating, which might exhaust even the very best of them. So, a phrase of recommendation for the highest groups on the event: don’t take their rating without any consideration – Germany needs to win, irrespective of who they face.
All of the 2020 World Junior Championship Group Info:
*Hyperlinks to return all through December
Austria — Team Preview — Roster
Canada — Team Preview — Roster
Czech Republic — Group Preview — Roster
Finland — Group Preview — Roster
Germany — Group Preview — Roster
Russia — Group Preview — Roster
Slovakia — Group Preview — Roster
Sweden — Group Preview — Roster
Switzerland — Team Preview — Roster
USA — Team Preview — Roster