Toews exceeds expectations
26.12.2006. Petrie, Michael. The Gazette

 Shows off skill, smarts for Canada. 'He's going to be a No. 1 centreman for us some day,' scout says of Blackhawks pick

Sitting among National Hockey League cohorts in a dark corner of FM Matsson Arena, Michel Dumas was easy to spot.

He was the cheerful fellow with his chest puffed out as Canada downed the U.S. 6-3 yesterday at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Dumas has been bird-dogging with the Chicago Blackhawks for 29 years and is their chief amateur scout. It's a position he held in 2005 when the team selected Jonathan Toews with the third overall pick.

As Dumas filed mental notes, Toews, 18, was the best player

on the ice, scoring twice for Canada and flashing his typical all- around prowess.

"We drafted him third overall, so, we thought he had lots of ability," Dumas said. "He's going to be a No. 1 centreman in the NHL for us some day.

"He's a good solid two-way player that has some good offensive ability. He looks like he's got a little stronger than he was last year. In this tournament, you can see the difference between 18- and 19-year-olds - they get a little better, a little quicker, a little stronger."

Some might be a tad quicker or stronger than Toews in this tournament, but a case could be made that no one is better.

When the Winnipegger is on the ice, the puck seems trapped inside an invisible bubble around him. He fights through checks without losing the puck, stickhandles well and creates space. He has such an innate ability to locate open players it looks as if he's been working with his new teammates for years.

"He's just got big eyes, bright eyes. He's learning everything, he wants information, he wants to be coached, he loves his teammates, he talks to them on the bench," Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg said.

"The way he plays is something we like in all players. He competes, he'll pay a big price, he's got skill and he's smart."

Toews broke open yesterday's game in the third period when he stole the puck from defenceman Erik Johnson and raced alone on 'keeper Jeff Zatkoff. As he prepared to shoot, Johnson threw his stick and caused a penalty shot.

After wobbling over the blue line, Toews confidently swooped in on Zatkoff and ripped a wrist shot past his glove for a goal that gave Canada a 4-2 lead and set them on the way to victory.

He also scored an earlier power-play goal, capping a scramble around the net with a nifty deke to his backhand around Zatkoff in tight quarters.

"That goal took the monkey off my back. I didn't score all tournament last year. I was hoping that I wouldn't be cursed again this year. Hopefully, I can keep it going," Toews said.

Подгруппа А
Канада, США, Швеция, Словакия, Германия
Подгруппа В
Россия, Финляндия, Чехия, Швейцария, Белоруссия
За 7-10 места
Швейцария, Словакия, Германия, Белоруссия

1/4 финала
Швеция - Чехия
Финляндия - США
1/2 финала
Россия - Швеция
США - Канада
За 5 место. Чехия - Финляндия
За 3 место. США - Швеция
За 1 место. Канада - Россия
Первая страничка турнира
Статистика турнира

Молодежные чемпионаты мира (до 20 лет) 2007 года.