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IIHF World Championship: Jensen Impressing; Four Blueshirts Progress

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Nicklas Jensen leads the way as Derick Brassard, Brady Skjei, and prospect goalie Igor Shestyorkin join him in quarter-finals.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nicklas Jensen has been the big surprise thus far as his Denmark side progress through to the knockout rounds after a strong fourth-place finish in Group A.

Derick Brassard (Canada), Brady Skjei (USA), and Igor Shestyorkin (Russia) have also moved on to the second stage of competition.

Jensen, a potential candidate for one of the depth forward roles in New York next season, has five goals and seven points at a PPG pace during group-stage play. He's scored two shootout deciders, two game-winning goals, and sits fourth among all players in shots on net with 29 (4.14 per-game).

Most pleasing about Jensen so far - beyond the numbers - is the confidence that he has played with. He's anchored the second powerplay unit for Denmark (by far their strongest) and has challenged opposing goaltenders with high-quality shots consistently. It's foolish to think a small sample size like this has earned him anything when it comes to the Rangers in 2016/17 but he should get a long look in camp and could be a good fit alongside the likes of Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast as a big, strong-skating, bottom-six scorer.

Derick Brassard and Canada have piled up the goals en-route to a quarter-final match-up against Sweden. Brassard, who has nine points to lead his team, trails only Vadim Shipachyov, Artemi Panarin, and Patrik Laine in tournament scoring. Much of his damage has been done around the net on a red-hot line with Corey Perry and Taylor Hall.

Brady Skjei joined Jensen and Brassard in the knockout phase after his USA side did just enough to edge out Slovakia for fourth place in Group B. Skjei notched his only point of the group stage against France after beating goalie Florian Hardy with a smart wrist shot through traffic. He's been good defensively and looked to push the puck up-ice when possible.

Mats Zuccarello and Norway finished a largely disappointing championship for them with a 3-1 win over Latvia as head coach Roy Johansen stepped down after 15 years at the helm. Zuccarello, who looked tired and seemed to be forcing shots, had just a lone empty-net goal against Kazakhstan to show for his 28 attempts on net during the tournament. Albeit a very nice one.

Raphael Diaz (six assists in five games) and Switzerland also exit at the group stage, while prospect goalie Igor Shestyorkin goes through with host nation Russia as their third option in net.