Video Analysis of Fraser Minten at the World Juniors for Team Canada

A Two-Part Look Into The Leafs Prospects Performances At The 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship
Fraser Minten stepping on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Minnesota Wild
Fraser Minten stepping on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Minnesota Wild / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Unfortunately, sharing hours of footage is impossible, and summarizing the good and bad is not an easy task, obviously there's a lot more the video could and should say, but also, it doesn't tell you what went on in the locker room behind the scenes.

It's a cliche to say that, but it does hold some truth that Minten was the Captain for a reason. There was clearly a sense of trust in him not just as a player on the ice, but as a person to lead.

His interview after the World Juniors showed someone passionate to compete and win, and heartbroken he couldn't come through. Even at 18 or 19, these players have spent the entirety of their lives understanding the difficulties of losing, the pain of worrying of not being good enough, the concern that a bad game lowers your potential, that the dream of being a professional can be questioned by only a few poor losses.

In the scouting world, it's rare to watch every game. But what you do get is somewhat of an idea of what a player can do, but unless you're in that locker room or connected to the team, it's difficult to determine hustle. You may be able to catch attitude from a few games, but heart isn't always measured by metrics, another cliché.

It's only fair to end this off not on words of encouragement but on a honest assessment of Minten's game. It was clearly not perfect. Did Minten do good or bad? I would have to say the results are mixed.

What I do know is that the Minten seen at the World Juniors isn't the Minten i've seen in the Western Hockey League or temporarily in the NHL. Negatively, turnover concerns were an obvious question mark. Minten needs to be able to accurately place the puck at his teammate's stick. He didn't look chaotic taking those attempts, so I would have to assume it was an issue over accuracy.

His transition game was also clearly a question mark. Even in his draft year scouts seemed mixed over the consistency of his ability to create zone entries. I don't think we saw much creativity in general more that Minten played it more safe than flashy, although with a lack of offense, could he have afforded to, especially being on the first line?

Positively, what I liked about Minten at the World Juniors, on top of his maturity, was his playmaking ability and shot taking. Besides the turnovers, I did see some decent pass attempts by Minten, and I felt he began to open himself up more as the tournament went on, although he generated more offense early on.

I think it's tough to argue for Minten on the first line in retrospect. Even a "glue guy" like Minten would've serviced well in the middle-six. If Canada wanted to generate offense on that first line, Cowan or Rehkopf would have made a lot of sense in that position as the first line winger.

There will be a lot of questions more over the players Canada didn't bring to the World Juniors, namely WHL stars Riley Heidt and Andrew Cristall, both dominant offensive talents that would've serviced the team well, despite being smaller, less physical picks.

Every other team brought an All-Star team, while Canada brought a cup contender. They built a team that is structured to win championships, but could bringing their best have done much better vs building teams that hoist trophies in the pros?

Next. The Leafs New Years Resolutions . The Leafs New Years Resolutions . dark

Fraser Minten was thrown into a loveless position having the eyes on him as a Leafs prospect and the team Captain following up on a generational victory. It shouldn't diminish what he's capable of, but there's many things you can point to that make clear what Minten needs to fix in his game, especially for a player that seems almost ready to be an everyday pro.