December 26, 2013

Top Ten All Time Leading Scorers at the World Juniors

Here’s THN.com’s Top 10 WJC all-time scorers:

10. Eric Lindros, Canada, 31 points. ‘The Big E’ was a man amongst boys as a junior, and it showed on the scoresheet. During three tournaments from 1990-92, Lindros tallied 12 goals and 19 assists in 21 games, helping Canada to two gold medals. Perhaps surprisingly, he is the only Canadian in the Top Ten all time leading scorers in tournament history.

9. Esa Keskinen, Finland, 32 points. Mr. Keskinen never left Europe to play pro, so seeing his name on this list will surprise many. He played 14 games during two WJC tournaments – 1984 and ’85 – piling up 10 goals and 22 assists, winning silver in '84. He went on to be a top player in both the Finnish and Swedish leagues.

8. Niklas Sundstrom, Sweden, 33 points Better known in the NHL as a defensive forward, Sweden's Niklas Sundstrom played in the 1993, ’94 and ’95 tournaments. He scored an impressed 18 goals in just 21 games while assisting on 15 others. Sundstrom won two silvers and a bronze.

7. Markus Naslund, Sweden, 34 points The Canucks great Naslund was a great junior, racking up 21 goals and 13 assists in just 14 WJC games in 1992 and ’93, winning silver twice. In ’93, he scored 13 times to set the record for goals scored during a single tournament.

6. Vladimir Ruzicka, Czechoslovakia, 34 points. From 1981 to ’83 "Rosie" was one of the greatest junior players hockey had ever seen. 25 goals in 19 career WJC games!

5. Esa Tikkanen, Finland, 35 points. A great two-way pest in the NHL, Esa Tikkanen was a great junior player. He played three tournaments from 1983 to ’85, he teamed with the other Esa, Esa Keskinen, to form one of the more dynamic duos in WJC history. Tikkanen scored 17 goals and 18 assists in 21 games and helped the Finns to a silver in ’84.

4. Alex Mogilny, USSR, 35 points. Alexander Mogilny was a dazzling and dominant junior player from 1987 to ’89. Mogilny scored 19 goals and added 16 helpers in 20 games. He was part of silver and gold medal-winning teams. He was also part of the infamous "Punch Up In Piestany" brawl in 1987 whic saw both Canada and the USSR expelled from the tournament.

3. Pavel Bure, USSR, 39 points. The Russian Rocket scored a WJC record 27 goals in 21 games from 1989 to ’91 and added 12 assists to boot. In ’89, Bure was the youngster on what many consider the best line in WJC history with Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Fedorov. Bure won a gold and two silvers.

2. Robert Reichel, Czechoslovakia, 40 points. A solid NHL pro, many fans forget how dominant he was as a junior player. In 21 games from 1988 to ’90, Reichel tallied 18 goals and 22 helpers, leading Czechoslovakia to two bronze medals.

1. Peter Forsberg, Sweden, 42 points. The most prolific scorer in WJC history is Peter Forsberg with 42 career points. And he did it all in just 14 games played from 1992 to ’93. Playing on a line with snipers Naslund and Sundstrom, ‘Foppa’ set records for most points in a single tournament with 31 and assists in one WJC with 24. Forsberg’s 32 career WJC assists are also a record. 10 of his points were scored in one game against Japan in 1993! That's another tournament record!

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