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IIHF World Championships Update: How The Devils Are Doing

One of the most overlooked hockey tournaments during the spring is the IIHF Worlds, taking place for the next few weeks in Slovakia. It’s understandable – mostly every hockey fan tunes into the Stanley Cup playoffs. For teams out of the race though, it provides a chance to watch some of their players still compete.

The New Jersey Devils have seven players participating in the tournament. Below are their names and how each of them are doing so far:

1. Travis Zajac, Canada (3 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 pts)

Zajac ended group play with three points, a strong showing for the Devils top-line center. Canada coach Ken Hitchcock named Zajac an alternate captain before the tournament started. In today’s 4-3 win over Switzerland, Zajac recorded two assists – including the primary assist on Alex Pietrangelo’s game-winning goal. Canada finished group play with eight points and won Group B.

2. Patrik Elias, Czech Republic (2 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 pts)

The Devils alternate captain still has unfinished business in international play. Despite his two Stanley Cup championships, he has yet to win a gold medal in international competition. He’s helped lead the Czechs to two wins, and they’ll finish group play against Finland tomorrow. He’s been featured in stories both on the IIHF website and NHL.com.

3. Anssi Salmela, Finland (2 GP)

Salmela has yet to record any points for Finland during this year’s world championships. If you remember, Salmela injured his ACL playing in last year’s tournament. Hopefully that won’t be his only highlight from his recent international play.

4. Ilya Kovalchuk, Russia (2 GP, 2 assists, 2 PIMS)

Kovalchuk has yet to light the lamp for Russia, but did record two assists. The Russians, who lost last year in the playoff round, 7-3, to Canada, will look to once again win the championships. They’re without Alexander Ovechkin, so Kovalchuk will be looked at to produce offensively.

5. Mattias Tedenby, Sweden (2 GP, 2 PIMS)

The Devils rookie right-winger has yet to find the lamp in this year’s world championship. In two games he’s put only three shots on net. The Swedes, 1-1 in the tournament so far, take on the US squad tomorrow. Tedenby will get to face some familiar faces in the final game of group play.

6. Nick Palmieri, United States (2 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 pts)

Palmieri is tied with both Zajac and Elias for the points lead between Devils players. He’s been a solid producer, helping the Devils climb back from a 2-0 deficit yesterday against Norway. He tallied two goals in the third period – including the game winner – to keep the US undefeated during group play.

7. Mark Fayne, United States (2 GP, 1 assist, 1 pt)

Fayne’s hasn’t been as good as Palmieri, but he’s produced for the United States. He’s averaged just over 10 minutes of ice time a game for the undefeated US squad.

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