A quick World Junior Summer Showcase update: Aidan Dudas (4th/2018) didn’t play in Canada’s 8-3 loss to Finland, while Akil Thomas (2nd/2018) logged an assist, took a penalty and finished with an even rating as an extra forward one afternoon after lining up as a first line center in a win over the United States. Kim Nousiainen (4th/2019), one of an NHL-high seven Kings prospects at the summer exhibition, took two shots on goal and finished with a plus-one rating while skating to the left of Ottawa’s Lassi Thompson, who was acknowledged by ESPN.com’s Chris Peters as a standout.
Dudas is more of a longer shot to make Canada’s ultimate roster but has put himself in a position where he’s getting some real consideration to make a team that doesn’t always have to take fourth rounders – though 2017 LA Kings fourth rounder Markus Phillips was a member of last year’s squad. Scouts have praised Dudas’ work ethic, his drive, his attention to detail and a number of other intangibles that paint a picture of a player who doesn’t cut corners but could get another “half-a-step” quicker. From Mark Yannetti on March 26:
He took a pretty good onus on himself this year. His competitive level and his nature shone through, right from day one. I think he’s done very well. He’s done everything he’s needed to do, everything that’s been asked of him, developmentally-wise. His skating looks a full step better. I think he needs to find another half a step, but if he can do what he did this summer, he puts himself into a position to be a bona fide upper-level prospect. He’s got to take the exact same step one more time. His skating’s got to get better. But his skill is there and his competitiveness is there. He’s got the right kind of chip on his shoulder. It’s just a matter of him finding it. Probably a half-a-step is my guess.
Follow the link above for an in-depth scouting report on Dudas, including Mike Donnelly’s praise of a player who made a strong account of himself after Owen Sound traded a number of productive players.
Speaking of the two Swedes, they’ll be in the lineup for today’s 1:00 p.m. PT match-up against Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev and the United States. That game, and all remaining tournament games, will be broadcast by the NHL Network.
The NHL Network broadcast schedule:
Wednesday, July 31: Finland 8, Canada 3 (Nousiainen: 2 SOG; Thomas 0-1=1, E, 2 PIM)
Wednesday, July 31: USA vs Sweden, 1:00 p.m. PT
Friday, August 2: Sweden vs Canada, 10:00 a.m. PT
Friday, August 2: Finland vs USA, 1:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, August 3: Sweden vs Finland, 10:00 a.m. PT
Saturday, August 3: USA vs Canada, 1:00 p.m. PT
Lines for both teams: USA vs. Sweden at 4 p.m. ET on NHL Network in U.S., TSN in Canada. USA sitting all of its returnees except for Spencer Knight (FLA) who appears to be getting the start tonight. pic.twitter.com/7687mfjiKd
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) July 31, 2019
–Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI