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Eberle, Ovechkin headline TSN's All-Time, All-World WJC team

TSN.ca Staff

12/23/2013 11:31:08 PM

Who are the greatest players in the 41-year history of the IIHF World Junior Championship?

With the 2014 tournament ready to begin, TSN and TSN.ca have named the All-Time, All-World WJC team - 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders who played in the Under-20 event with distinction.

Making up the No. 1 line is the Canadian trio of Jeff Carter, Eric Lindros and Jordan Eberle.

Carter led Canada in goals at the 2005 tournament and is tied for third-most career goals by a Canadian (12) He's one of four forwards in tournament history to make back-to-back all-star teams (Vladimir Krutov, Vladimir Ruzicka and Michal Pivonka are the others) and one of only two Canadians with double-digit career games to average a goal per game.

The other one to do so is Eberle. He's one of six Canadians to be named tournament MVP since the honour was introduced in 2005 and averaged 2.2 points per game - the highest such mark for players with more than 10 games played.

Lindros, a man amongst boys in junior, was a dominant force in the tournament from 1990 to 1992. He's the only player to lead Canada in points in two tournaments and earned points in 11 of 14 games played in 1991 and 1992.

The second scoring unit is the Russian combo of Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Mogilny and Pavel Bure.

Ovechkin played in three World Junior tournaments from 2003 to 2005, scoring 14 goals and 25 points in 18 games.

Mogilny represented the Soviet Union in 1988 and 1989, winning the Best Forward award in 1988 after leading the tournament in scoring. Joining Mogilny on those impressive runs was Bure, who – with centre Sergei Fedorov – helped power the Soviets to gold in Anchorage in 1989.

The third line is made up of standouts Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund, centred by Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One played just one year at the World Juniors – and what a year it was. The skinny kid from Brantford, Ontario led the tournament in goals, assists and points in 1978, all at the age of 16. He averaged and all-time single tournament high of 2.8 points per game and is tied for the second-most points in single tournament for Canada.

Forsberg and Naslund provided an impressive 1-2 punch for a powerful Swedish side that scored an astounding 53 goals in 1993. Forsberg set records with 24 assists and an unbelievable 31 points, while Naslund had 24 and also set a tournament record with 13 goals.

Rounding out the forward ranks are Canada's Kris Draper, Mike Richards and Martin Lapointe – tough grinders who helped lead Canada to a combined five gold medals – along with 13th forward Jonathan Toews who was part of gold medal-winning teams in 2006 and 2007.

The first pairing on defence is Canada's Dion Phaneuf and Marc Staal. Phaneuf, who made highlight reels with his thunderous hits and aggressive pplay (ask Rostislav Olesz), is the only two-time all-star defenceman to represent Canada and one of only four in history of tournament. Staal was the ultimate shutdown player on the blue line, helping guide Canada to back-to-back gold in 2006 and 2007.

While Mikhail Tatarinov didn't have a long and distinguished NHL career, he was a dominant force at the World Juniors and shares the second pairing on TSN's team with fellow countryman Ilya Byakin.

Tatarinov won a gold medal with the USSR in 1984 and 1986 and a bronze in 1985. In 1985 and 1986, he was placed on the tournament all-star team and he was named the top defenceman in 1986. Byakin was named the tournament's top defenceman in 1983, helping lead the USSR to a perfect 7-0 record en route to gold.

Filling out the blue line are Canada's Gord Kluzak, Brent Tully and Ryan Ellis.

Manny Legace had a standout performance in the 1993 World Juniors – his only campaign in red and white. He's tied for most wins at one tournament (six) for Canada and put in a memorable outing by stopping 58 of 60 shots against Finland in a 3-2 Canada win.

Legace's single season performance is rivaled only by Russia's Evgeny Belosheiken – the second goaltender chosen for TSN's All-Time All-World Team. He was named the outstanding goaltender of the 1986 World Junior Championship in Hamilton as the USSR went undefeated, winning seven games and surrendering only 14 goals.   

TSN All-Time All-World WJC Team

Forwards

Jeff Carter - Eric Lindros - Jordan Eberle
Alex Ovechkin - Alexander Mogilny - Pavel Bure
Peter Forsberg - Wayne Gretzky - Markus Naslund
Kris Draper - Mike Richards - Martin Lapointe
Jonathan Toews

Defence

Dion Phaneuf - Marc Staal
Mikhail Tatarinov - Ilya Byakin
Gord Kluzak - Brent Tully
Ryan Ellis

Goaltenders

Manny Legace
Evgeny Belosheikin