Finland 6, Belarus 0
New York (The Draft Analyst) — Jesse Puljujarvi scored two goals and added an assist to lead Finland to a 6-0 rout over Belarus on Saturday in the opening round of the 2016 World Junior Championship from Helsinki, Finland.
Puljujarvi, who came into the tournament touted as one of Europe’s top prospects in this year’s draft, did nothing to change that opinion, as he broke a scoreless tie in the second period with a nifty move to slide the puck under Belorussian goalie Ivan Kulbakov. He helped Finland increase its lead to 2-0 with a gorgeous cross-ice feed to Patrik Laine, who one-timed a shot into the back of the net. Laine is also believed to be high first-round draft pick in 2016.
Puljujarvi completed his three-point night with a power play goal during Finland’s five-goal third period. Defenseman Olli Juolevi’s slap shot from the point hit the post and redirected to Puljujarvi, who tipped in the rebound to the left of the Belarus goal.
Defenseman Sami Niku and center Sebastian Repo also scored in the third, and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen added an empty netter. Goalie Veini Vehvilainen stopped all 10 shots he faced for the shutout.