The latest World Hockey Rankings are out, with plenty of news, notes and more to monitor
As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, it’s easy to tell that youth hockey season around the world is in full action. From the biggest upsets to major movement in top-10 rankings, there’s plenty to catch up on from the last few weeks.
Here’s everything you need to know before exploring the updated youth hockey rankings:
Big wins among ‘06s and ‘08s
The 2006-born New Jersey Rockets were propelled into the No. 4 spot thanks largely in part to three key victories against fellow U.S. teams.
Sitting on the outside looking in heading into their next stretch of games, the Rockets saw an opportunity to make some noise and prove that their 25-6-2 record is no fluke.
After edging then No. 3 Mount St. Charles in overtime, 3-2, they then bested the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite with another overtime victory, 5-4. Next up was a tilt with No. 10 Bishop-Kearney Selects. The Rockets would once again find themselves in another high-scoring affair, emerging as the victors 5-4.
With the three wins, New Jersey found themselves rocketing up the top-10 into their current position. Now that they are there, time will tell if they can hold onto it and prove they belong with the best.
No. 9 Sollentuna HC took advantage of a matchup with No. 10 SDE Hockey to maneuver their way into the top-10 among ‘08 clubs in Sweden.
Sitting second in their group with a 3-0-1 record, Sollentuna leaned on the heroics of leading scorer Victor Kumpulainen.
In what was a back and forth offensive display for the first 30 minutes, SDE went up 3-2 with about seven minutes remaining in the game.
It was then that Kumpulainen put his team on his shoulders. After tying the game just over a minute after SDE netted the lead, he scored his second goal of the game with just under three minutes left in the game for a 4-3 lead.
Kumpulainen not only leads Sollentuna in scoring, but is also tied for the group lead in points with seven (6G, 1A) with No. 8 AIK Hockey’s Filip Nyberg (4G, 3A). Even more exciting is that both of these squads will face each other on Nov. 13 in a game that could have major implications for things moving forward.
2007-born programs solidify spots
No. 2 Tappara cruised by No. 3 Kärpät 7-1, moving up two spots to leapfrog them at the top of the ‘07 Finnish rankings. It was a game that Tappara had circled on their calendars, as they were defeated by Kärpät 4-3 back in September, and were almost certainly itching for some payback.
In what was a close 2-1 contest going into the third period, Tappara buried five unanswered goals in the third period for the victory. Looking ahead, they have five upcoming games against teams that are all in the top-10.
While the road may not be easy, will we see Tappara strengthen their position at the top?
SKA Strelna also enjoyed a nice little boost in the Russian top-10 among 2007 birth-year teams resulting from wins over Dynamo St. Petersburg and SKA St. Petersburg.
Once handling Dynamo 4-3 in overtime, SKA Strelna’s defense and goaltending stole the show in a 3-0 win against SKA St. Petersburg. These two victories against teams ahead of them in the rankings strengthened their resume for the time being.
CSKA proving their worth across multiple birth years
Russia has been known to produce its fair share of hockey talent over the years, and one of the premier programs at doing so has been CSKA Moscow. With the 2022-23 season in full gear, it’s safe to say this year is no different.
CSKA currently sits alone at the top of the rankings both in Russia and the world for the following birth years: 2008, 2009 and 2010. They are also ranked No. 1 among ‘06 teams in Russia.
While this is an impressive feat by itself, perhaps more astounding is the current winning streak of one of their programs. The 2010-born program is in the midst of a 20-game winning streak, dispatching all they have faced thus far.
It will be very interesting to see how long they can keep this streak alive, as they will surely be getting the very best of their opponents each night from here on out.