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The top 10 players to watch at the world junior hockey championship, which begins Tuesday in Sweden:

1. Steve Downie, Canada: Master of mayhem can be the best player in the tournament if he stays on the right side of the law.

2. Tuuka Rask, Finland: Carried his team to bronze last time and his country's medal hopes rest largely on him.

3. Erik Johnson, U.S: The lynchpin of a powerful American blue-line and the first overall pick in this year's NHL entry draft by the St. Louis Blues.

4. Michael Frolik, Czech Republic: Capable of highlight-reel goals, which is why the Florida Panthers drafted him 10th overall this year.

5. Niklas Bergors, Sweden: New Jersey Devils prospect is among top scorers for his AHL team.

6. Kristopher Letang, Canada: Defenceman was a standout at Canada's selection camp and the Pittsburgh Penguins gave him a long look this season.

7. Jack Johnson, U.S.: Hard-driving defenceman was enemy No. 1 of the Canadian fans at the 2006 tournament in Vancouver.

8. Nicklas Backstrom, Sweden: Leading goalscorer for his country in Vancouver and the No. 4 pick in NHL entry draft by Washington.

9. Sam Gagner, Canada: The stock of the 17-year-old London Knights forward is rising heading into the 2007 NHL draft.

10. Martin Hanzal, Czech Republic: Leading scorer in the Western Hockey League for the Red Deer Rebels.
 
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