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Avalanche Prospects at the 2020 World Juniors Day 5: A bigger role and stronger game for Bowen Byram

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He was the only one who played.

PHOTO: ANDREA CARDIN / HHOF-IIHF IMAGES

There was only one Colorado Avalanche prospect in action in Game 5 of the 2020 World Juniors, as Bowen Byram and Canada rebounded from a crushing defeat over the weekend with a resounding victory over Germany yesterday.

The round robin wraps with four games today (see the schedule at the end of the post), and the quarter-finals begin on January 2nd.

Bowen Byram

LD — Canada

When the lines came out early yesterday morning, there was one big change on the blueline from practice:

Byram hit the ice against Germany and made an impact almost immediately in his new role:

This was hands-down Byram’s best game of the tournament. He was excellent at even-strength, on the power play (he plays on the second unit), and on the penalty kill:

And he was deployed like a top-pairing defenseman, too:

After being stapled to the third pair and looking fairly mediocre and unnoticeable, Byram took his play to another level yesterday when he was promoted to the top pair. He and Bernard-Docker (OTT) looked very comfortable together and Byram was definitely Canada’s best defenseman in the game.

Canada will close out their round robin against the Czech Republic today, with a chance to capture first place in Group B. Byram didn’t do anything to get himself taken off of the first pair or have his minutes cut, so expect him to play a similar role for Canada today (and hopefully for the rest of the tournament.

Sampo Ranta — DAY OFF

LW — Finland

Justus Annunen — DAY OFF

G — Finland

Danila Zhuravlyov — DAY OFF

LD — Russia

Round Robin Schedule

(All times MT, teams with Avalanche prospects are bolded)

December 31

7:00am — Sweden vs. Slovakia
7:00am — Russia vs. Germany
11:00am — Finland vs. Switzerland
11:00am — Canada vs. Czech Republic