DU Freshman Matt Donovan is drawing national attention for his play on the U.S. National Junior Team.
The Sporting News in conjuction with The Hockey News released a list of 10 of the top players in the world they are excited to see in the upcoming World Junior Tournament. The only American player mentioned was Donovan at #7.
7. Matt Donovan, D, University of Denver Pioneers (WCHA)Of interest to DU fans; #2 was goaltender Jacob Markstrom of Sweden. He is the first player taken in the 2nd Round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers. The Panthers also hold the rights to DU goaltender Marc Cheverie, so Markstrom may hold the key to Cheverie's future address next season. Factor in that one of the top goaltenders in the AHL this season is Alexander Salak of the Rochester Americans, who is also property of the Florida Panthers.
After a tremendous United States Hockey League career, Donovan has stepped right into an important role with the Denver Pioneers, tallying nine points in 17 games on a veteran-laden team. The U.S. will need similar contributions at the world juniors. Drafted 96th overall by the Islanders in 2008.
2. Jacob Markstrom, G, Brynas IK (Sweden) Canadians may not have liked his antics last year, but Markstrom is back and he's tougher to beat than ever. The Swedish teen is second in the entire Elite League with a .924 save percentage and carries a very stingy 2.10 goals-against average. Oh, and three of his team's eight regulation wins this year came on Markstrom shutouts. Drafted 31st overall by Florida in 2008.