AS it turns out, in addition to owning the best skill package of any defenceman available for the 2013 NHL draft, American Seth Jones is also a quality judge of hockey talent.
He raised eyebrows, particularly in Canada, when he said before the World Junior Championships that the Americans had the best team. But Jones was proven right Saturday when Florida Panthers draft pick Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of goals and John Gibson turned in another stingy goaltending performance to pace the USA to a 3-1 win against Sweden in the gold medal game in Ufa, Russia.
"My teammates luckily didn't make me look like an idiot," Jones told USA TODAY Sports by phone. "They all helped me out, starting with Gibson."
Gibson made 26 saves, raising his tournament save percentage to .955, a record for an American goalie at the WJC. He breaks Al Montoya's mark of .944, set in 2004 when he led the USA to a gold medal.
Winnipeg Jets draft pick Jacob Trouba, an American alternate captain, was chosen as the tournament's top defenceman.
Gibson gave credit for the gold to head coach Phil Housley. "He knew who to put out in every situation and who to put together," Gibson said.
-- USA Today