Here is a list of the top 20 NHL draft picks who had the biggest increase in expected future value following a World Junior U20 Championship at 19-years-old from 2006 to 2017. Expected future value is estimated using player rank from the Hockey News Future Watch magazine. The magazine is generally released about 2 months after the tournament. They rank the top 75 prospects in the whole league, and the 10 best on each team, so 300 kids get featured.
These are only players who were NHL draft picks and were eligible for Future Watch as 18-year-olds. That allows us to measure their change in Future Watch rank shortly after the tournament. Players born after September 15 are not included because they are only eligible for one more tournament after being drafted, and I wanted everyone measured by the same criteria.
Oh, and goalies are also not included.
1) Kirill Kaprizov, Russia 2017, Minnesota: This 5th round pick was ranked as Minnesota's 6th best prospect in the 2016 FW, then after 12 PTS in the WJC and a great season in the KHL, Kaprizov jumped up to the 13th best NHL prospect in 2017.
2) Kris Letang Canada 2007, Pittsburgh: Letang was ranked as the 10th best prospect on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2006 FW, then after scoring 6 PTS in the 2007 WJC rose to 10th best prospect in the whole NHL. He wasn't just on the gold medal winning team, he was also the captain.
3) Thomas Chabot Canada 2017, Ottawa: Being named MVP of the WJC can really boost your stock. Chabot ranked as the 38th best NHL prospect in 2016 FW, then after a sensational WJC in 2017 with 10 PTS as MVP, he shot up to the 3rd spot in 2017 FW.
4) John Carlson, USA 2010, Washington: Carlson was the 27th ranked prospect in 2009 FW, then he scored 7 PTS in the WJC and boosted his rank to 5th in 2010. He finished that season playing in the NHL, and never looked back.
5) Christain Dvorak, USA 2016, Phoenix: Dvorak ranked as the 48th best NHL prospect in the 2015 FW and jumped up to the 10th spot in 2016 after 8 PTS in the WJC.
6) Partick Berglund, Sweden 2008, St Louis: Berglund ranked as the 57th best NHL prospect in 2007 FW, then climbed up to 5th in 2008 after 7 PTS in the WJC.
7) Anthony Duclair, Canada 2015, Rangers: Duclair only ranked as the Rangers 6th best prospect in 2014 FW, then jumped all the way up to 17th in the whole NHL in 2015 FW after a great showing for Canada at the WJC.
8) PK Subban Canada 2009, Montreal: PK fell to the 2nd round of the draft, and it became evident quickly that he had fallen too far. Less than a year after falling in the draft, he ranked as the 69th best NHL prospect in 2008 FW, then after scoring 9 PTS in the 2009 WJC, he was promoted to the 15th.
9) Derek Stepan, USA 2010, Rangers: Stepan was the Rangers 5th best prospect in 2009, then after 15 PTS at the 2010 WJC, he shot up to the 16th best prospect in the whole NHL. He was captain of the American team that upset Canada.
10) Joel Eriksson Ek, Sweden 2017, Minnesota: He ranked 23rd in the 2016 FW and climbed all the way up to 5th in 2017 after a strong 9 PTS at the WJC.
11) Maxim Goncharov, Russia 2009, Phoenix: He was a 5th round pick in 2007 who did not get ranked in the 2008 FW. He scored 6 PTS for Russia at the 2009 WJC and was ranked as the 21st best NHL FW prospect shortly after. This did not translate into NHL stardom.
12) Jamie Benn, Canada 2009, Dallas: A 5th round pick in 2007, Benn was already FW relevant by 2008 ranking as the 3rd best prospect in Dallas. After scoring 6 PTS at the 2009 WJC, he climbed up to the 33rd best prospect in the NHL.
13) Mark Stone, Canada 2012, Ottawa: He was a 6th round pick who did not get ranked in the 2011 FW. Then after leading Team Canada in scoring with 10 PTS in the 2012 WJC, he became the 45th best prospect in the NHL.
14) Johnny Gaudreau, USA 2013, Calgary: Johnny H ranked as Calgary's 4th best prospect in 2012. In the 2013 WJC he led the tournament in Goals with 7 and helped USA win gold. He was the 50th best NHL prospect shortly after.
15) Filip Forsberg, Sweden 2014, Washington: He ranked as the 21st best NHL prospect in 2013 FW, then after scoring 12 PTS at the WJC jumped up to 5th. Shortly after being ranked as the 5th best prospect in Future Watch, he was traded to Nashville for Martin Erat, in one of the all-time terrible trades.
16) Mikael Granlund, Finland 2012, Minnesota: Scouts already knew Granlund was really good when he ranked as the 20th best NHL prospect in FW 2011. Then after scoring 11 PTS in the 2012 WJC, he became the 2nd best NHL prospect in FW.
17) Jordan Greenway, USA 2017, Minnesota: He burst onto the scene with a strong performance in the 2017 WJC, with 8 PTS and dominating physical play. He had been Minnesota's 5th best prospect in 2016, then jumped up to 36th best NHL prospect a year later.
18) Max Domi, Canada 2015, Phoenix: Domi was not selected to team Canada in 2014 but still managed to rank 18th in that year's FW. After a very strong 10 PTS in 2015, he was promoted to the 5th best NHL prospect.
19) Brad Marchand, Canada 2008, Boston: Marchand did not get ranked in the 2007 FW after being drafted in 2006. He wasn't even listed as one of Boston's 10 best prospects. Then after scoring 6 PTS at the 2008 WJC, he became the 64th best NHL prospect.
20) Anthony Cirelli, Canada 2017, Tampa: Cirelli went unranked in the 2016 FW, then after a successful WJC with 7 PTS, made it as the 72nd best NHL prospect in 2017.