The 2018-2019 World Junior Championships begin today and run through January 5th! According to a Canadian broadcaster that I can’t remember right now (if you know who said this, please let me know so I can give them proper credit) the annual U20 tournament is Canada’s equivalent of NCAA March Madness, except the entire country roots for Duke.
Here’s all the info you need to know about this year’s tournament. If you’ve never experienced a WJC before, strap in. It’s one of the most exciting slates of hockey you’ll watch all year.
Four Ducks will be participating in the tournament this year. Max Comtois is the only returning player on the Canadian roster, and will be captaining the team in a bid to improve upon his great 6 point performance in 7 games from last year.
In an effort to maintain the kingdom of Swedenheim, Isac Lundestrom and Olle Eriksson Ek will be representing Team Sweden. Lundestrom had 2 goals in last year’s tournament, and will likely be looked upon to be one of the team’s primary playmakers on the top line. As for Eriksson Ek, he’ll likely split time in net with the other goalies on the Swedish roster after being the 3rd string goaltender in last year’s tournament.
Finally, Lukas Dostal, Anaheim’s 3rd round pick in the most recent 2018 draft, will take his place as the backup goaltender to starter Jakub Škarek for the Czech Republic. We should see Dostal get some action in the tournament, especially if Škarek falters; many see Dostal as a high-ceiling prospect who could steal the occasional game.
Location, Schedule, and How to Watch
This year’s tournament is being hosted by Vancouver and surrounding venues in British Columbia.
The first game of the preliminary pool play to determine seeding kicks off today at 1:00 PST with Czech Republic (Dostal) vs. Switzerland. The complete schedule can be viewed here.
In the United States, available games will be broadcast live on NHL Network. So upgrade those TV subscriptions if you haven’t already!