clark roberts feature

Wearing the maple leaf…and the Maple Leaf

Some of the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs of all time have also represented Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship

Wendy Graves
December 23, 2016

In October the Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled ‘The One Hundred,’ the top 100 players in franchise history to commemorate the team’s centennial season. Eleven of the top players to have ever worn the Maple Leafs jersey also once – or twice – also wore the maple leaf at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Before donning the blue and white, here’s what the players – listed in order of where they appear on the Leafs’ list – did in red and white.

1981 WJC – 5GP 0G 0A 0P (seventh place)

In his first full season with the Maple Leafs, 1992-93, Gilmour broke the single-season record for points, with 127. In 1981, however, Gilmour and his teammates – the Memorial Cup-champion Cornwall Royals – couldn’t find the offence they needed to finish better than seventh among eight teams. Side note: This was the last time that a club team represented Canada at the World Juniors.

1985 WJC – 7GP 4G 2A 6P (gold medal)

Then an offensive defenceman, Clark played only half of his games on the blue-line that year. Asked to adapt by the coaching staff, he also spent time as a forward. Playing up, Clark scored with six minutes remaining in regulation to tie Czechoslovakia 2-2 in the team’s final game and secure Canada’s second World Juniors gold medal.

1978 WJC – 6GP 3G 0A 3P (bronze medal)

The first 50-goal scorer in Maple Leafs history found the back of the net three times – against the United States, West Germany and Czechoslovakia – for Canada in 1978, the first time the IIHF World Junior Championship was held in Montreal.

1983 WJC – 7GP 6G 5A 11P (bronze medal)

Assisted by a seven-point game against Norway (he had a hat trick and added four assists), Andreychuk led the team in scoring in 1983. He held the Canadian record for most points in a game on his own for 18 years before Mike Cammelleri tied him in 2001. Gabriel Bourque also accomplished the feat in 2009.

1991 WJC – 2GP 1-0-0 3.75 GAA (gold medal)

Potvin won his first start, making 17 saves in a 10-1 win over Norway. The next day against Sweden he didn’t fare quite as well. He allowed four goals over 20 minutes and left after the first period trailing 4-2. Trevor Kidd replaced him to start the second and picked up an eventual 7-4 win.

1983 WJC – 7GP 1G 2A 3P (bronze medal)
1984 WJC – 7GP 3G 6A 9P (fourth place)

Leeman had three points – including a goal and an assist in a 7-7 tie with Czechoslovakia – in helping Canada win bronze in 1983. The following year he started the tournament on a five-game assist streak. Four of those games – all wins – were two-point efforts.

1986 WJC – 7GP 6G 3A 9P (silver medal)

Roberts recorded two goals and an assist in an opening win over Switzerland. He did the same the next day against West Germany. He also scored in Canada’s 6-5 win over Finland on New Year’s Eve, a game played at Maple Leaf Gardens – and the last World Juniors game played in Toronto until 2015.

1977 WJC – 7GP 10G 5A 15P (silver medal)

A Leafs first-round pick in 1977, Anderson scored unassisted six minutes into Canada’s opening game – a win over Poland – and kept on scoring the rest of the tournament. He and teammate Dale McCourt set the record for most goals by a Canadian in one World Juniors, with 10 each. Anderson had two-goal games against Poland and Sweden, and a hat trick against the United States.

1994 WJC – 7GP 0G 0A 0P (gold medal)
1995 WJC – 7GP 3G 9A 12P (gold medal/Best Defenceman/All-Star Team)

McCabe was an alternate captain for Canada’s National Junior Team in his second appearance. His 12 points are second-most all-time for a defenceman in one year, and the most ever for a Canadian blue-liner (a record now shared with Alex Pietrangelo). He recorded at least one assist in all seven of the team’s games.

2004 WJC – 6GP 2G 2A 4P (silver medal/All-Star Team)
2005 WJC – 6GP 1G 5A 6P (gold medal/Best Defenceman/All-Star Team)

Phaneuf is the only Canadian defenceman to have been named to the World Juniors all-star team twice. He scored his team’s first goal in his first appearance against Finland in 2004, and he scored his team’s last goal the following year, in the gold medal game against Russia. In between, Phaneuf – an alternate captain in 2005 – accumulated the most penalty minutes of any Canadian player in tournament history.

1984 WJC –7GP 7G 6A 13P (fourth place)

The captain led his team in scoring in Sweden – less than two months before he represented Canada at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. He recorded three-goal games on back-to-back days, against Switzerland and West Germany, the latter being a natural hat trick.

Five IIHF World Junior Championship alumni who played for other countries also cracked Toronto’s all-time list.

5. MATS SUNDIN (Sweden)
1990 WJC – 7 GP 5G 2A 7P (fifth place)

37. TOMAS KABERLE (Czech Republic)
1998 WJC – 7GP 1G 1A 2P (fourth place)

48. PHIL KESSEL (United States)
2005 WJC – 7GP 4G 2A 6P (fourth place)
2006 WJC – 7GP 1G 1A 2P (fourth place)

83. ALEXANDER MOGILNY (Soviet Union)
1987 WJC – 6GP 3G 2A 5P (eighth place)
1988 WJC – 7GP 8G 10A 18P (silver medal/Best Forward/All-Star Team)
1989 WJC – 7GP 7G 5A 12P (gold medal)

100. JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK (United States)
2007 WJC – 7GP 1G 0A 1P (bronze medal)
2008 WJC – 6GP 5G 6A 11P (fourth place/All-Star Team)
2009 WJC – 6GP 6G 4A 10P (fifth place)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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