HELSINKI/MUNICH – Finland and Germany named their junior national teams for the upcoming World U20 Championship in Ottawa.
Head coach Jukka Rautakorpi selected three goalkeepers, eight defencemen and 14 forwards for the Finnish U20 squad. Most players are from Finnish-based teams, while three players are based in the Canadian Junior League.
The 'young lions' will practise in Helsinki on Thursday before leaving for Canada.
Germany, one of the two promoted teams, named two goalies, eight defenders and 12 forwards. The decisions were made after a few test games against division I teams; a 3-2 defeat against Belarus and a 6-2 victory over Japan.
“We have named the best possible team for the World U20 Championship. Many players took the opportunity in the test games to show that they belong,” said head coach Ernst Höfner. “We will have a third test game against Latvia in Ottawa to adjust to the smaller ice rink.”
Seven of the German players play for Canadian junior teams.
Goalies: Juha Metsola (Lethbridge Hurricanes, CAN), Rasmus Rinne (HPK Hämeenlinna), Harri Säteri (Tappara Tampere).
Defencemen: Ari Gröndahl (Espoo Blues), Jesse Jyrkkiö (Ässät Pori), Joonas Järvinen (TPS Turku), Tommi Kivistö (Red Deer Rebels, CAN), Ilari Melart (HIFK Helsinki), Jyri Niemi (Saskatoon Blades, CAN), Kristian Näkyvä (Espoo Blues), Veli-Matti Vittasmäki (TPS Turku).
Forwards: Mikael Granlund (Kärpät Oulu), Teemu Hartikainen (KalPa Kuopio), Jani Helenius (Jokerit Helsinki), Jani Lajunen (Espoo Blues), Niclas Lucenius (Tappara Tampere), Nestori Lähde (Tappara Tampere), Sami Lähteenmäki (LeKi), Joonas Nättinen (Espoo Blues), Ilmari Pitkänen (Jokerit Helsinki), Eetu Pöysti (HIFK Helsinki), Toni Rajala (Ilves Tampere), Joonas Rask (Ilves Tampere), Antti Roppo (LeKi), Tomi Sallinen (Espoo Blues).
Head coach: Jukka Rautakorpi, Assistant coaches: Harri Laurila, Mika Saarinen.
Goalies: Timo Pielmeier (Shawinigan Cataractes, CAN), Philipp Grubauer (Belleville Bulls, CAN).
Defencemen: Tim Schüle (DEG Metro Stars Düsseldorf), Sinan Akdag (Krefelder Pinguine), Denis Reul (Lewiston MAINEiacs, USA), Armin Wurm (EV Füssen), Marco Nowak (DEG Metro Stars Düsseldorf), Benedikt Brückner (Heilbronner Falken), Florian Müller (EV Landshut), Dominik Bielke (Eisbären Juniors Berlin).
Forwards: Simon Fischhaber (Sault Ste. Marie, CAN), André Huebscher (Krefelder Pinguine), Jerome Flaake (Kölner Haie), David Wolf (ETC Crimmitschau), Alexander Oblinger (Eisbären Juniors Berlin), Patrick Pohl (Eisbären Juniors Berlin), Toni Ritter (Montreal Juniors, CAN), Gerrit Fauser (Gatineau Olympiques, CAN), Daniel Weiss (Eisbären Juniors Berlin), Steven Rupprich (Iserlohn Roosters), Maximilian Forster (EV Landshut), Conor Morrison (Salmon Arm Silverbacks, CAN).
Head coach: Ernst Höfner, Assistant coach: Uwe Krupp.