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Standouts, surprises and disappointments at the World Junior Championship

Team USA won the 2017 World Junior Championship in a thrilling showdown with Canada. Which players from all the teams stood out (for better or worse) during the event? Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

MONTREAL -- After a 2016 IHHF World Junior Championship that was a showcase for 2016 NHL draft prospects, we were back to the standard team makeup for the most part at the 2017 event, where the vast majority of players have already been secured by NHL teams. The final between the United States and Canada was an epic battle that came down to a shootout, but there were notable performances throughout the event from players on every team. Fans of every NHL team got an early glimpse at players who could be lacing 'em up at the highest level in the very near future.

In particular, the Minnesota Wild were very well represented at this year's tournament. From the perspective of projecting ahead to the NHL, the Wild's prospect group was the clear No. 1 story in my book, especially when you consider that none of their four players was a top-10 pick (and two of them weren't even first-round picks), yet they were all top players.

So without any further preamble, here are my thoughts on the standouts, surprises and disappointments from this year's WJC, including one of last year's standouts who wound up in the disappointments category one year later.