B's Prospects at 2014 WJC: Grzelcyk, Cehlarik Out; Arnesson Moves On

Bruce Bennett

When the puck exited the attacking zone, Grzelcyk hustled to retrieve it.

Down a goal and 30 seconds from elimination, Team USA was frantically trying to tie the game. As he scooped up the puck, he looked for a teammate to resume the offensive.

Then the worst happened. Grzelcyk blew a tire and Russia's Pavel Buchnevich picked up the scraps for an empty net goal - the dagger - that made it 5-3 Russia.

As the Russian team celebrated, the camera panned to Grzelcyk. Hunched over, his face told the whole story. The excitement and jubilation he had when he arrived in Malmo was replaced with disappointment.

It was an unjust ending for Grzelcyk, who'd played sensationally in the tournament. In fact, he was named USA's best player following elimination.

That Grzelcyk was on the ice in that moment was evidence of his role on Team USA. He was the guy. If USA was going to tie things up, Grzelcyk was going to have something to do with it. Instead, the lasting image of USA's 2014 World Junior Championship will be Grzelcyk's mistake.

At BU, things haven't gone well for Grzelcyk this season. His points are down and his team is under performing. Despite the ending Grzelcyk's tournament was a good one. Through the quarterfinal round, he led all defensemen in scoring and was pretty capable in his own end.

As one of the top performers for Team USA, Grzelcyk's play will certainly elicit commendation from the Bruins. Things are looking bright for the kid from Charlestown.

Final Numbers

GP G A Pts PIM +/- GWG PPG SHG SOG SH%
5 2 4 6 2 +1 1 1 0 19 10.53%

Peter Cehlarik's tournament did not include the same kind of dramatic finish.

As the fourth place team in Group A, Slovakia was matched up with tournament's top team, Sweden. After finishing the preliminary stage with the best goal differential, the Swedes unloaded with a 6-0 shellacking. They were simply no match.

Cehlarik started out the tournament with promise, registering three assists in games against Germany and the United States. In the final three games, however, he failed to register a point and so, too went the fortunes of Slovakia.

Having never seen Cehlarik, I enjoyed my first viewing of this potential Bruin. He's certainly a raw talent, but there are aspects to his game - namely his hands - that have me eager for the future.

Cehlarik is currently playing in the Swedish Hockey League (formerly the Swedish Elite League) as an 18 year old. While this is certainly impressive, he hasn't made a significant impact offensively since being promoted from the lower leagues. This tournament was a very good showcase for his talent against his peers. Hopefully he carries this through the rest of the season.

As a '95 birth year, Cehlarik will be eligible for next year's tournament. It would be wise to anticipate his return to Slovakia's U20 team in 2015.

Final Numbers

GP G A Pts PIM +/- GWG PPG SHG SOG SH%
5 0 3 3 2 +3 0 0 0 11 0%

Linus Arnesson remains as the lone Bruins prospect still in the tournament. Sweden, which looks like an absolute juggernaut of a team, will take on Russia in the semifinal. The winner will play the winner of Canada and Finland for the Gold. Sweden defeated Russia in the preliminary round 3-2.

It should also be noted that after five games and 28 goals scored by the Swedes, Arnesson has registered a point - an assist on the opener. Way to go, Linus.

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