After tying for the tournament lead in scoring and bringing home a bronze medal in 2019, Florida Panthers prospect Grigori Denisenko stood out for Russia once again at the 2020 World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.
Denisenko scored a goal and added an assist in Russia’s heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Canada, adding a silver medal to his trophy case in defeat.
The 19-year-old matched his 2019 tournament output with nine points to finish sixth in scoring. Last year, Denisenko lit the lamp four times, this time around he potted three goals and added six helpers while serving as team captain for his country,
Spencer Knight, Florida’s first-rounder in 2019, acquitted himself well for Team USA. The Americans finished sixth in the tournament after a tough 1-0 loss to Finland in the quarterfinals that was in no way the 18-year-old phenom’s fault.
Knight finished the tournament with a 2-2 record, 2.49 GAA and .913 save percentage. After struggling and allowing five goals in the tournament opener against Canada, a 6-4 loss, he posted a 3-1 win over Russia (25 saves) and a 4-3 overtime win over the host Czechs (26 saves). He stopped 28 of 29 shots against the Finns in a game that could have gone either way.
Look for Knight to backstop the Americans again in next year’s tournament that will be held on Canadian soil in Edmonton and Red Deer.
Justin Schutz was the third Panthers prospect that played in the tourney. Schutz suited up in all seven games for the Germans, who avoided regulation back down to Division 1A by a winning a three-game set against Kazakhstan. Schutz had two assists in Germany’s 6-0 Game 3 rout that pushed the Kazaks down a rung. The 19-year-old, who sported an “A”, on his sweater, didn’t manage to light the lamp and finished the tournament with a total of four assists.