Clayton Keller solidified his spot at the top of the Arizona Coyotes’ prospect pool by winning the gold medal with Team USA at the World Juniors.
No matter who were to win the game, the Arizona Coyotes came out a winner.
Clayton Keller outshone Dylan Strome, and Team USA edged Team Canada in a shootout.
The game was an absolute thriller.
USA overcame two two-goal deficits and won on a shootout goal by Troy Terry after 20 minutes of overtime couldn’t settle things.
Keller himself had an assist on the fourth USA goal.
The United States became the first team to beat Canada twice in the same tournament en route to their fourth World Junior Championship gold medal.
They did it on the backs of standout efforts from Tyler Parsons and Kieffer Bellows.
There was also another appearance from shootout hero Troy Terry.
The boys belted out some great notes as the anthem played for the boys in red, white, and blue.
For Keller, he and his BU teammates will now head back to school a little more decorated than they left.
It’ll be the perfect opportunity for the Arizona Coyotes’ top prospect to cap off his college career with a strong couple of months and show the organization that he’s ready to make the leap to the pros next fall.
What’s Next For Dylan Strome
Dylan Strome came up short, no doubt about it.
He didn’t have much of an impact on the gold medal game, and regardless of that fact, being the captain the blame was going to fall on him and the goaltending if they didn’t win gold.
Losing out to Team USA does put a bit of a cramp on Strome’s return to junior, but he’s still got more he can accomplish between now and next September.
For Strome, he’s going to be in Arizona one way or another next season.
He’ll be 20-years-old (finally), so John Chayka and Dave Tippett will be able to turn him loose in Tucson to build some confidence if they aren’t sure about his prospects in Glendale.
The World Juniors taught us that both kids have pretty bright futures.
Strome and Keller have likely had their last battle for a bit unless both reach their full potential and become Olympians.
In the meantime, we’ll be watching them in the desert for years to come.