New York Rangers prospects Brett Berard and Hunter Skinner earned World Junior Championship gold medals following the United States’ 2-0 win over Canada on Tuesday night.
Berard had his typical impact in the gold medal game, not necessarily featuring as one of the team’s key players but nonetheless making an impact with high-octane shifts that put the opposition on their heels. In the second period, Berard made a great read to jump a lateral pass in the defensive zone and rush the other way, carrying across the slot and putting a pretty good attempt towards the net.
Blueshirt Banter ranked Berard 10th in our prospect rankings. Following his World Juniors showing in which he produced five points in seven games, it’s a safe bet that his stock has risen among the general public as well. He’ll be a surefire top-six winger on the 2022 US team.
Braden Schneider had an uneventful night. He made no egregious mistakes and wasn’t stuck in his end for long lengths of time. He did have one scoring chance but he otherwise did not make any plays to drive play for Canada. It’s hard to really assign any blame to the shutdown defenseman when Canada gave up just 21 shots and couldn’t score. The ways in which Canada fell short tonight were not reasonably his responsibility.
Overall, it was an up-and-down tournament for Schneider. Even with the most liberal allowances for analysis of a seven-game tournament in which he was playing competitive hockey for the first time since March, I don’t think Schneider’s stock changed, for better or worse.
Dylan Garand and Hunter Skinner did not play in the gold medal game and finished the tournament with cameo appearances; Garand played the third period of an early landslide victory over Germany, while Skinner played one shift agains Slovakia.