2. Cam York Vs. Bowen Byram
We’ve gone with obvious choices here but, let’s face it, you need your biggest stars to turn up in the biggest situations and Team Canada and Team USA will need their two biggest studs on the backend to deliver in the championship game.
The good news is that both Cam York and Bowen Byram has delivered for Team USA and Team Canada respectively, at the 2021 WJC so far, with York second among all defensemen in points with six (1 G, 5 A) in six games.
York has been a juggernaut for Team USA both at 5-on-5 and on the power play, performing a key role in the United States’ absolute dominance on the man advantage where they are 9-for-21 (42.86%), which is good for best in the tournament.
Gold Medal games are normally incredibly competitive and comes down to the fine margins, so Team USA will need York to be on top of his game again, especially on the power play, with Special Teams likely to play a huge role in tonight’s Gold Medal game.
Team USA will also need York to be responsible in his own zone given the plethora of lethal weapons at Canada’s disposal, including the red-hot Dylan Cozens, Quinton Byfield and Peyton Krebs to mention just a few.
Meanwhile, Bowen Byram has just been a beast for Team Canada all tournament long with five points (1 G, 4 A) in six games, while he leads all players in plus / minus with +14.
Byram just does everything well and the Colorado Avalanche prospect really is something special, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him unleashed on the NHL fully in 2020-21.
But, for now, Byram’s focus will be on helping Team Canada win Gold for the second consecutive year and he will be relied upon in all situations, from shutting down the likes of Trevor Zegras to joining the rush and making big plays at both ends of the ice.