Blaine's Nick Bjugstad. Credit: Courtesy Gopher Athletics.
The preliminary rounds have been completed in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships, and several State of Hockey natives have already made their mark on the international stage.
Anders Lee of Edina is one of Team USA’s leading scorers, racking up five goals and eight points as the Americans have cruised to six victories in seven games of preliminary play.
Just behind Lee is Warroad’s Brock Nelson with four goals and seven points, and former Blaine High School star Nick Bjugstad with one goal and four points.
Lakeville’s Brady Skjei joined Team USA (6-0-0-1) after his New York Rangers were eliminated from the NHL playoffs earlier this month, and has made an immediate impact with an assist and a plus-four rating after just two games.
Though not a Minnesota native, Minnesota State defenseman Daniel Brickley has been a mainstay on the blue line for the U.S., seeing action in five games.
The Minnesota products have helped pace an American squad that ranks second to Group A rival Russia in overall scoring efficiency. For the full list of team and individual statistics, visit iihfworlds2017.com.
Minnesota Wild prospect Jordan Greenway (left). Credit: Courtesy Wild.com.
The Minnesota Wild have also provided the World Championships with several key players, including defenseman Jonas Brodin and forward Joel Eriksson Ek, both members of Team Sweden (5-0-1-1).
Both Brodin and Eriksson Ek have recorded three points for the Swedes, with Eriksson Ek also posting a plus/minus rating of plus-four.
Wild prospect and former Shattuck-St. Mary’s star Jordan Greenway is also a member of Team USA, skating at the top level of the World Championships after totaling three goals and eight points for the Under-20 team, en route to the gold medal.
Team USA will play Team Finland in its quarterfinal match on May 18 at 6:15 p.m. in Cologne, Germany, while Brodin and Eriksson Ek’s Swedish squad will face Switzerland the same day in Paris at 8:15 p.m.
In the other quarterfinals, Canada will take on Germany while Russia squares off with the Czech Republic.