This article is part of our Prospects Analysis series.
The 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship begins Dec. 26 in Toronto and Montreal. Several years ago, I gave up predicting which team would win this thing on an annual basis. It's generally not the most talented team that wins the gold medal, but rather the team who develops the best chemistry over such a short period of time. Guessing which group of kids will mesh together the best over a two-week period is simply that: a guess. Instead, I will break down each of the medal favorites by position in hopes of shedding some light as to what will happen in what many consider to be the greatest hockey tournament in the world. We will start with the Canadian hosts.
Goalies: Over the past five years, the goaltending for Canada has been abysmal. I'm not terribly confident it will improve this year. Zach Fucale (Montreal, second round, 2013) was on the team last season but struggled mightily, and he hasn't been any good thus far during the QMJHL season (in fact, he was traded from Halifax to Quebec last week). Eric Comrie (Winnipeg, second round, 2013) has had a decent season in the WHL, but he seems to be viewed as the clear backup considering that Fucale played in the tournament last year. Fucale is the better long-term NHL prospect, but I actually have more confidence in Comrie right now. Either way, the goalie position could once again be Team Canada's undoing.
Defense: The way I see