It is the most wonderful time of the year. The IIHF World Junior Championship has arrived.
Once again, the best under-20 hockey players from around the world will come together to determine which nation has the best harvest of juniors. This time, the setting is Canada, where the home team is aiming for the back-to-back gold medal. The odds favorite entering the 12 day event has a squad filled with NHL first-round picks – 20 of 25 – and NHL-caliber talent, including team captain and Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach.
Don’t expect this to be a walk, however; Team Canada will face stiff competition from Russia, which they defeated in the gold medal game last year; a highly skilled American squad; and a Swedish team that sports an Oilers prospect, Philip Broberg, as captain.
WORLD JUNIORS: Distribution of prospects for each NHL team playing
As always, the World Junior Championships should be filled with big goals, big saves and bigger wins. With national pride at stake, the battle for gold will be fierce. Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament.
Where is the 2021 World Junior Championship?
The 2021 World Junior Championship will be held in Edmonton, Alberta.
This year’s tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., But the need for a secure bubble led Hockey Canada to move the entire event to where the NHL played summer hockey. WJC is set to hit the ice in both cities, with fans – fingers crossed – in 2022.
This year marks the third time Edmonton will host World Junior games. In 1995, Canada dominated the podium; in 2012, Sweden won and the Canadians finished third in the capital of Alberta.
When will the 2021 Junior World Championship take place?
Since teams only play on one rink at Rogers Place, this year’s tournament includes an additional day of competition. The tournament will start on Christmas Day with a triple header.
The group stage, with two groups of five teams each, will span the first seven days of competition and end on New Years Eve. The eight surviving teams will have New Years leave before returning to battle for the quarterfinals. final on January 2. The winners of these matches will advance to the semi-finals two days later. The bronze medal and gold medal matches will take place on Sunday January 5th.
What was the impact of COVID-19 on the tournament?
From the jump, the tournament felt the pandemic. The location has been changed to a bubble in Edmonton. Then came the positive cases. Canada spent 14 days in quarantine during its selection camp before sending a handful of players home. The American team lost two key players, John Beecher and Thomas Bordeleau. Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden have also been affected.
What channel is the World Junior Championship broadcast on?
- TV Channel (US): NHL Network
- TV Channel (Canada): TSN
- Live Streaming (Canada): TSN Direct
In an unprecedented move, every Junior World game will be broadcast live on NHL Network and TSN.
Which teams are participating in the 2021 World Junior Championship?
Ten teams, divided into two groups of five, participate.
|group A||Group B|
When is Canada versus the United States?
As of yet, this year’s tournament will not see a North American battle. With the two countries in different groups, fingers and toes will have to be crossed for them to face off in a do-or-die match.
Full schedule for the 2021 World Junior Championship
The participating teams are each guaranteed four group stage matches. The teams that qualify for the last day of competition (bronze medal match or gold medal match) will play a total of seven competitions.
(All Eastern hours)
|FRIDAY, DEC. 25|
|Switzerland vs Slovakia||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Germany vs Finland||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Russia vs USA||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|SATURDAY, DEC. 26|
|Sweden vs Czech Republic||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Germany vs Canada||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|USA vs. Austria||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|SUNDAY, DEC. 27|
|Finland vs Switzerland||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Slovakia vs. Canada||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Czech Republic vs. Russia||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|MONDAY, DEC. 28|
|Austria vs Sweden||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Slovakia vs Germany||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|TUESDAY, DEC. 29|
|United States vs. Czech Republic||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Canada vs Switzerland||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Austria vs Russia||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30|
|Finland vs Slovakia||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Switzerland vs Germany||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Russia vs Sweden||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|THURSDAY, DEC. 31|
|Czech Republic vs. Austria||2:00 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Canada vs Finland||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Sweden vs United States||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|SATURDAY JAN. 2|
|Quarterfinal||3:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Quarterfinal||7 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Quarterfinal||10:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|MONDAY JAN. 4|
|Semi final||18 hours||TSN, NHLN|
|Semi final||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|TUESDAY JAN. 5|
|Bronze medal match||5:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Gold medal set||9:30 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
Who won the 2020 World Junior Championship?
Canada won the gold medal last year, beating Russia in the final. It was the 18th national title.
Who has won the World Junior Championships in the past 10 years?
Which countries have won the most medals at the World Junior Championships?
|Czech Republic +||2||5||seven||14|
* Includes medals won in the Soviet Union and the CIS
+ Includes medals won in Czechoslovakia