Three more London Knights are set to leave for World Junior camps. Tyler Parsons, Olli Juolevi and Janne Kuokkanen all found themselves on rosters that came out on Tuesday.
Parsons is one of three goalies invited to Team USA’s final selection camp. They are the same trip that played in the Summer Showcase that saw Parsons put on a big performance in beating a Team Canada squad that featured Mitch Marner.
There was some thought that Max Jones might receive an invitation, but he remains out of the Knights’ lineup with an arm injury.
Juolevi is as much of a lock to make it as you can find. He set a record last year, recording seven assists, the most ever by a 17-year old defenceman in helping Finland win gold on home soil. Juolevi was also named to the tournament all-star team.
Finland won the championship game in overtime on a goal by Maple Leaf prospect, Kasperi Kapanen that Juolevi missed seeing. He was on the bench working away with a trainer on his helmet, which had broken the shift before. When the puck went into the net and the helmet wasn’t a concern anymore, Juolevi dropped it and joined in the celebration.
The Helsinki native went on to win the Memorial Cup with the Knights in May and was selected 5th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL Entry Draft in June.
So far this season, Juolevi has five goals and 18 points in 23 games for London and ranks 14th in the league in plus-minus.
Kuokkanen spent last year with Karpat’s U20 club in Oulu, not far from his home in Oulunsalo. He was selected in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Kuokkanen played on Finland’s Under-18 World Hockey Championship team, picking up seven points in seven games and winning gold. He was a linemate of Jesse Puljujarvi, who now plays for the Oilers and recorded assists on both of Puljujarvi’s goals in Finland’s 6-1 victory over Sweden in the gold medal game.
His OHL career has started off incredibly well. Kuokkanen is 11th in league scoring with 14 goals and 36 points in 25 games.
Finland will be missing Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine, but are still expected to be one of the top teams in the tournament. It opens in Toronto and Montreal, starting on December 26th.