In this edition of NHL News & Notes, I’m going to switch up the format a bit to report some of the news emerging from the IIHF World Championship in Finland. Yesterday, Team Finland beat Team Canada in overtime by a score of 4-3 to take home (they were home actually) the victory and the Championship.
After the final game, several awards were given. In this post, I’ll take a look at these awards.
Seth Jones (Chicago Blackhawks) was named to the Media All-Star team at the 2022 IIHF World Championship. In 10 games he played for Team USA, Jones scored a goal and added four assists in helping his Team USA come in fourth in the tournament. He averaged over 27 minutes per game because his team was short-handed on defense.
Blackhawks Seth Jones with teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane
Team Canada’s Pierre-Luc Dubois (Winnipeg Jets) was also named to the Media All-Star team at the 2022 IIHF World Championship. During the 10 games Dubois played in Finland, he scored seven goals and added six assists (for 13 points). He helped Team Canada have some miraculous comebacks and, eventually, take home the silver medal.
Roman Cervenka (who played with the Calgary Flames in 2012-13) was also named to the Media All-Star team; however, his awards went further. He was named the best forward in the entire tournament by the directorate at the 2022 IIHF World Championship.
During the tournament, Cervenka led all skaters with five goals and 12 assists (for 17 points) in 10 games. His solid play helped Team Czechia capture the bronze medal. The 36-year-old has been playing in Switzerland for the past few seasons, and he’ll continue to play in Switzerland’s National League next season as well.
Mikko Lehtonen (who split last season between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets, but returned to the KHL this past season) was named to be the tournament’s best defender by the directorate at the 2022 IIHF World Championship. Lehkonen will not be returning to the KHL next season. Instead, he’ll play for the ZSC Lions of Switzerland’s National League in the 2022-23 season.
Lehtonen also was named to the Media All-Star Team. During the tournament, with Team Finland he scored two goals and added 10 assists (for 12 points) in 10 games. He was instrumental in helping lead his home country to the gold medal.
The highest honor in the World Championship tournament went to Team Finland’s goalie Jussi Olkinuora, who was named to be the MVP of the 2022 IIHF World Championship.
Olkinuora started eight of Team Finland’s 10 games. Most impressive was that he had an extended shutout streak that lasted for 206:44 minutes (which is almost three and a half games without being scored on). In total, Olkinuora threw four shutouts at his opponents and ended with a goals-against-average of 1.11 and a save percentage of 94.83.
He helped lead Team Finland to the gold medal by beating Team Canada yesterday. Olkinuora was also named the tournament’s best goaltender by the directorate.
The 38-year-old Valtteri Filppula became a member of what’s called the “triple gold club” after yesterday’s Team Finland’s gold-medal win at the IIHF World Championship. The second Gold was Filppula’s gold medal with Team Finland at the Beijing Olympics three months ago. However, early in his 17-season NHL career, he was part of the 2008 Detroit Red Wings’ Stanley Cup.
Filppula is the 30th player to win a gold medal at the World Championships, a gold medal at the Olympics, and a Stanley Cup ring. He’s also the first player from Finland to ever win that award.