The World Junior Hockey Championship has become a major date on the calendar because of its amount of high-level talent. Based on his play at the 2012 WJHC in Calgary last week, Russia's Nail Yakupov should be the first player picked in next summer's entry draft. The only question about the 18-year-old winger will be the knee injury that he suffered in Russia's 1--0 overtime loss to Sweden in the gold medal game. Yakupov may miss the rest of this season, and that might scare some teams away.... The Red Wings appear to have found a gem in Teemu Pulkkinen, of Finland, whom they took with the 111th pick in the 2010 draft. The 20-year-old left wing is a scoring machine—he had six goals and 10 points in seven games at the WJHC. A born shooter, Pulkkinen is close to being ready for the NHL.
RICHARD WOLOWICZ/GETTY IMAGES (YAKUPOV)