I was looking at TSN's 'Before They Were Stars' site where they profile some of the former World Junior players and their experiences in the tournament and it's impact on their career. Then there is Phil Kessel:
Unlike most of his modern counterparts, who said the World Juniors acted as a great springboard into an NHL career, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel downplays the impact of the tournament on the careers of NHL prospects.
"No, it's a short tournament, you just go out there and play for your country, try and do the best you can," Kessel says.
Then again, that lack of enthusiasm could be attributed to the fact that Kessel's two years playing for the U.S. weren't particularly successful ventures for his team.