Top 10 World Junior Performances by Current Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews, USA Hockey (Photo credit should read RONI REKOMAA/AFP via Getty Images)
Auston Matthews, USA Hockey (Photo credit should read RONI REKOMAA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Jason Spezza, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jason Spezza, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jason Spezza (F) – Canada

Jason Spezza played in three World Junior Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 when he was 16, 17 and 18 years-old.  This puts Spezza in an elite group of only seven players to play three times for Canada at the U20 WJC tournament.

Spezza is also one of only seven Canadians to play in the U20 WJC as a 16 year-old with legends like Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Eric Lindros, and Connor McDavid.  He earned his spot on the Canadian team after putting up 22 goals and 71 points in 67 games as a 15 year-old OHL rookie with the Brampton Battalion.

His World Juniors debut wasn’t too remarkable though as Jason Spezza would only deliver two assists in seven games on the way to Team Canada taking home a bronze medal.

Spezza’s second World Junior tournament was his most productive.  He scored three goals and six points in seven games and was awarded with a spot on the U20 WJC All-Star Team as Canada would take home another bronze medal.

Before his third World Juniors stint, Jason Spezza was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round (2nd overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.  His play in the World Juniors may have elevated his NHL draft selection, but his draft status was most likely due to his stellar play in the OHL as he just came off a season where he scored 43 goals and 116 points in 56 games.

The 2002 World Juniors was a slightly better outing for Team Canada as they finished with a silver medal after taking bronze at the two previous tournaments, but Jason Spezza’s stats dipped from the previously year as he managed four assists in seven games.

Jason Spezza was eligible to return to the World Juniors in 2003, but the Ottawa Senators elected to keep him close to the team instead as he split the season with 33 games in Ottawa and  43 games with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators.

2002 World Juniors
Silver Medal
7 Games, 4 Assists

2001 World Juniors
Bronze Medal
All-Star Team
7 Games, 3 Goals, 6 Points

2000 World Juniors
Bronze Medal
7 Games, 2 Assists