The Nashville Predators were well represented at the 2023 World Junior Championship (WJC), which wrapped up last night in Halifax, Canada.
2022 first-round pick Joakim Kemell represented Team Finland; they were bounced by Sweden in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Meanwhile, defender Ryan Ufko helped lead the United States to a bronze medal with a victory over Sweden yesterday, and defender Jack Matier earned a gold medal as Canada defeated Czechia in overtime.
In five games and just over 80 minutes of total ice time, Kemell recorded two goals and four points, including notching a primary point on all three even-strength goals he was on the ice for. Matier, skating as Canada’s extra defender, recorded one assist in a little more than 50 minutes of ice time over seven games.
Ryan Ufko was the breakout star of the WJC for the Nashville organization. The UMass defender skated mostly on the United States’ third pair but contributed one goal and ten points, including five primary ones scored at even strength, over seven games—good enough to lead all defenders at the WJC in scoring. Ufko was also named the United States’ player of the game in their quarterfinal match against Germany after scoring five primary assists.