Canada had a star filled squad in 2015 with players like Max Domi, Darnell Nurse, and Brayden Point. But no one was under the spotlight more than “The Next One”, Connor McDavid.
McDavid played in the 2014 World Juniors, where he would score one goal and two assists. He was the sixth youngest player to ever play for Canada and his youth showed as the Canadians finished fourth in the tournament.
McDavid would return to the World Junior roster in 2015, this time as one of the captains. He was given the alternate captaincy as a 17-year-old, which was nothing new to him as he was the captain of his junior team, the Erie Otters.
This time McDavid was a key player for Canada in the tournament. He scored three goals, eight assists, and 11 points in seven games, which tied him for the lead in the tournament with fellow Canadians Nic Petan and Sam Reinhart.
McDavid had three, three point games. One was against Germany in a 4-0 win for the Canadians. He put up the same number in an 8-0 win over Denmark in the quarterfinals. His third three point game came two days later in the semifinal where he would get three assists in a 5-1 victory over Slovakia.
The gold medal game was at the Air Canada Centre (now Scotia Bank Arena) in Toronto, ON. Canada would face Russia and their star goaltender Igor Shestyorkin, who had a .938 save percentage in the tournament.
Shestyorkin however, would only play 2:32 seconds of the game, after he got pulled from the net after two quick goals by Domi and Point. Ilya Sorokin was brought into the game. Dmitri Yudin brought the Russians back within one and was greeted with boos from the Air Canada Centre after he taunted the Canadians bench.
The six goal second period had the Canadian crowd in a flurry of emotions. McDavid would get a goal on a breakaway about seven minutes into the frame. Followed up by Domi’s second goal and a goal from Reinhart, giving Canada a four goal lead. In the final six minutes of the period, goals from Ivan Barbashyov, Sergei Tolchinski and Nikolai Goldobin turned it back into a game. The teams headed into the second intermission with a one goal lead for Canada.
Not much to be said about the scoreless third period other than Canadians goaltender Zach Fucale making 11 saves to clinch the 5-4 win and Canada's 16th gold medal at the World Juniors. Canada finished the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record, being the seventh time they’ve won all their games in the tournament.