Part 2 (of 3) of our observations from the 2012 World Championship. For the second group I'll look at some of the guys that either disappointed or I think are overrated.
Mikael Granlund, LW, FIN - I was expecting a little more out of the flashy Finn at the WC but despite playing in a pretty major role with some talented players he managed just 1+4=5 in 10 games and looked a little off the pace the times I saw him. I'm very high on this kid but he'll really need to step it up if he's going to become the NHL star that we all think he can be.
Viktor Fasth, G, SWE - The reigning two-time SEL Goalie of the Year signed a deal shortly after the WC with Anaheim, so the 29-year-old will make his NHL debut next season. He was 4-2-0, 2.34 & .902 at the WC in six games but his two losses came when he was pumped versus the Russians for seven goals and then being upset in the QFs against the Czechs. He has looked great in the SEL the past two years but those are his only two seasons of top tier experience so I have some reservations about how prepared he is for NHL shooters.
Patrick Thoresen, LW, NOR - Finished 2nd in WC scoring with a hefty 7+11=18 for the surprising Norwegians and has been able to score in every league he's played in... except the NHL where he has just 6+20=26 in 120 career NHL games split over two seasons. He is not over the hill yet (28) so he could take another shot at the show but he seems content to be a big shot in the KHL.
Ryan Murray, D, CAN - His inclusion on the Canadian team by GM Kevin Lowe smelled fishy from the start and while people are saying that he's NHL ready right now he certainly didn't show it at the WC as he played just 7:54/gm in six games and the likes of Luke Schenn, Kris Russell & Marc Methot were preferred by the coaching staff in key games. I think the Scott Niedermayer comps are a
little lot ridiculous.
Frederik Andersen, G, DEN - The Carolina draft pick made a pretty remarkable jump from the Danish League to the SEL this season as he put up 1.62 & .943 (led the league in both cats) in 39 games but was overmatched at the WC playing against some of the world's best, finishing with a .888 sv% in six games.
Leo Komarov, LW, FIN - He was a Leafs draft pick and has said that he is interested in joining them next season. While he has proven to be an effective pest in the KHL & WC over the past few years, he looks as though he'll be lucky to put up many points in the NHL, if he does make it. He did have 107 PIMs in 66 (regular & playoff) games for the KHL champs Dynamo Moscow... so there is that.
Damien Brunner, RW, SWI - The Swiss entry disappointed but Brunner stood out as he led the team in scoring (3+4=7 & 31 shots in seven games) after doing the same in his domestic league this season (24+36=60 in 45 games) and he was rumoured to have drawn the interest of a few NHL clubs. But don't get your hopes up here as we've seen over the years that Swiss League stats don't tend to translate well to the NHL (see: Patrick Fischer, Andreas Ambuhl & Roman Wick).
Jan Laco, G, SVK - He led the Slovaks to the silver medal and was named the tourney's top goalie but I doubt there is much NHL interest as he is small, getting old (30) and has just one year of KHL experience under his belt after floating through the Slovakian league for most of his career.
Jonas Holos, D, NOR - Was 2nd in tourney scoring by a dman with 4+5=9 in eight games while logging 26:34/gm but has never shown a lot of offensive flare while playing in the SEL and his NHL chance may have passed after spending the 2010/11 season with the Avs organization.
Nino Niederreiter, LW, SWI - It certainly couldn't get worse for el Nino after just a single goal in 55 games with the NYI this season... oh wait, in six games at the WC he had no points, just five shots and was a team worst minus-5. Are the Islanders ruining another one here?
Jonas Brodin, D, SWE - It's an encouraging sign that the 18-year-old Minnesota 1st rounder was selected to play for the Swedes and he ended up seeing decent minutes (17:11/gm) but don't get wrapped up in the hype about this guy as I don't think he has a lot of offensive potential after just 2+8=10 in 60 SEL (regular & playoff) games this year.