We are all aware of the impact Regina Pats forward Jordan Eberle has with the Canadian junior team and expect he will be a star in the NHL some day with the Edmonton Oilers.
Team Canada is loaded with other quality WHLers, all playing key roles in Canada's quest for a sixth straight title. Even Canada's head coach, Willie Desjardins, is a WHL coach in Medicine Hat, so you can see the clout the WHL carries with Team Canada.
Let's look at the NHL fantasy upside of the other WHL players in the world junior hockey championship.
Radko Gudas-D (Czech Republic) This is Gudas first season in the WHL and he is playing with the Everett Silvertips where he has made an immediate impact scoring 20 points in 33 games to lead the Silvertips defence. Gudas is a smaller defenceman is also undrafted but did have a try-out with the Los Angeles Kings. His fantasy upside is top 4 defenceman who plays on the 2nd powerplay unit and chip in 10-15 goals a season; he is a dark horse prospect.
Stepan Novotny-F (Czech Republic) Novotny is in his 2nd season in the WHL and plays for the Swift Current Broncos. Novotny was traded earlier this season from the Kelowna Rockets and has been a point a game player this season. Novotny is undrafted but is gifted offensively that an NHL team might give him a shot. His fantasy upside is 2nd line player who will average 25-30 goals and 25-30 assists a season.
Tomas Vincour-F (Czech Republic) Vincour is in his 3rd season with the Edmonton Oil Kings and is a 5th round 2009 draft pick of the Dallas Stars. Each season Vincour has seen his point per game average increase and is on course for a career year. Most power forwards take a little longer to reach their potential and Vincour will need a few seasons in the AHL before making it to the show. His fantasy upside is 2nd line, maybe 1st line power forward and will top out around 70 points.
Jyri Niemi-D (Finland) Niemi is playing in his 3rd season with the Saskatoon Blades and is a 3rd round 2008 draft pick by the New York Islanders. Niemi is a solid defenseman who is capable of running a power play and is averaging 1 point every 2 WHL games. His fantasy upside is #3-4 defenceman who will run the 2nd power play unit, averaging 25-30 points a season.
Toni Rajala-F (Finland) This is Rajalas first WHL season and he is playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Rajala is a very gifted offensive player, which he has shown already with 33 points in 31 WHL games. Rajala is a 4th round 2009 draft selection of the Edmonton Oilers and could turn out to be a great steal for them. His fantasy upside is a 1st line player scoring a point a game.
Marek Viedensky-F (Slovakia) Viedensky is playing in his 2nd season for the Prince George Cougars and is a 7th round 2009 draft pick of the San Jose Sharks. Viedensky has been a bright spot on a terrible Cougars team this season, scoring 24 points in 28 games. Viedensky is the Cougars leading scorer and would have several more points if future 1st rounder draft pick Brett Connolly had been healthy this season. His fantasy upside is 2nd line player who will score 65-70 points a season.