In an article for the Lightning's website, GM Brian Lawton praised late round picks Dustin Tokarski and Johan Harju. In particular, the article states there is a "strong opportunity" Harju will be signed for the 2010-2011 season. The money quote from Lawton regarding Harju:
â€œI wasnâ€™t here or part of it, but he fits the late-round mold,â€ Lawton said. â€œMaybe he is a little older, for whatever reason hasnâ€™t been drafted, but you can see he is coming. I commend the staff for a pick like that. We need to have more of them.â€
BoltProspects respectfully poses the following question to Brian Lawton: while you're at it, why not acquire the rights to Harju's talented lifelong teammate Linus Omark from Edmonton? Just a thought.
Johan Harju had three shots on goal in 13:27 as Sweden defeated Team USA 4-2 to capture World Championships bronze. Harju finishes the tournament with 2 goals and 4 points in 9 games with 4 penalty minutes and a +4 rating. Harju averaged 14:26 of ice time per game.
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were scoreless as Canada fell to Russia 2-1 in the World Championships gold medal match. Stamkos and St. Louis will take home silver medals for their efforts in Switzerland. Canada outshot the Russians 38-17 but could not solve Ilya Bryzlagov to get the tying marker. Stamkos had 5 shots on goal in 14:56 for the Canadians. St. Louis had 2 shots in 21:05.
Both St. Louis and Stamkos were named by the media to the Tournament All-Star team. Martin St. Louis also was selected as one of Canada's three best players in the tournament by the tournament's coaches.
In the final ranking, Russia finished 1st (Koshechkin), Canada finished 2nd (St. Louis and Stamkos), Sweden 3rd (Harju), Finland 5th (Niskala and Ramo), and Latvia 7th (Karsums).
Vasily Koshechkin did not dress as a late third period power play goal by Konstantin Gorovikov propelled Russia over Team USA 3-2.
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis each had helpers on Canada's opening goal as the Canadians defeated Sweden 3-1. Stamkos was +1, but did not register a shot on goal in 13:28. St. Louis also failed to register a shot on goal in 15:39. Johan Harju had 1 shot on goal in 15:00 of ice time for the Swedes.
Sunday, Sweden will face USA in the bronze medal match before Canada and Russia square off in the championship game.
Steven Stamkos had 1 goal and 1 assist with 2 shots on goal in 8:33 as Canada defeated Latvia 4-2. Martin St. Louis was scoreless and -1 for the Canadians with 4 shots on goal. Martins Karsums did not suit up for Latvia.
Johan Harju had 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot on goal in 13:12 as Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 3-1.
Tomorrow's semifinal matchups set up as follows: Vasily Koshechkin's Russian squad will take on Team USA and Canada will face Sweden. Martin St. Louis leads the tournament in scoring with 4 goals and 14 points in 7 games. Steven Stamkos is tied for the tournament lead in goals with Finland's Niko Kapanen with 7 in 7 games.
Johan Harju had 2 shots on goal in 16:05 in Sweden's 6-3 victory over France.
Martin St. Louis had 2 assists and scored on 2 out of 3 shootout attempts, but it was not enough as Finland upset the Canadians 4-3 in the shootout. Steven Stamkos was scoreless in regulation and overtime, but scored on 1 out of 2 shootout attempts for Canada. Karri Ramo again suited up as Finland's backup goaltender. Janne Niskala had 1 assist and 3 shots on goal in 20:23 for the Finns.
The quarterfinal round is now set: Vasily Koshechkin's Russian squad will face Belarus. Karri Ramo, Janne Niskala, and Finland will square off with Team USA. Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Canada will face Martins Karsums and Latvia. And, Johan Harju and Sweden will face the Czech Republic.