A Canadian hockey personality who I’m blanking on at the moment once described the World Junior Championship as Canada’s version of March Madness, except the entire country roots for Duke.
It’s that time of year again. A competition that is arguably the most exciting stretch of hockey of the entire year. Yes, even more exciting than the Stanley Cup Finals. The best 20 and under players in the world have gathered in Ostrava and Trinec in the Czech Republic to crown a new world champion.
While four Ducks prospects made their respective country’s training camps, Trevor Janicke (USA) and Benoit-Olivier Grouxl (CAN) were both cut, leaving Lukas Dostàl (CZE) and Trevor Zegras (USA) as Anaheim’s representatives in the tournament.
Here are all the details you will need to watch this year’s World Junior Championship.
Dates: December 26th-January 5th.
Location: Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.
Format: Round robin preliminary, then three rounds of single elimination. The round-robin preliminary uses a 3-2-1-0 point structure for seeding (3 points for a win, 2 points for OT win, 1 point for OT loss, 0 points for regulation loss).
|Group A||Group B|
|Group A||Group B|
Broadcast Schedule (all times Pacific Standard):
Czech Republic vs. Russia, 6:00 AM
Switzerland vs. Kazakhstan, 6:00 AM
Finland vs. Sweden, 10:00 AM
Canada vs. United States, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Slovak vs. Kazakhstan, 6:00 AM (NHL Network)
Germany vs. USA, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Finland vs. Slovakia, 6:00 AM (NHL Network)
Czech Republic vs. Germany, 6:00 AM
Switzerland vs. Sweden, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Russia vs. Canada, 10:00 AM
Kazakhstan vs. Finland, 6:00 AM (NHL Network)
USA vs. Russia, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Kazakhstan vs. Sweden, 6:00 AM
Germany vs. Canada, 6:00 AM (NHL Network)
Slovakia vs. Switzerland, 10:00 AM
USA vs. Czech Republic, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Sweden vs. Slovakia, 6:00 AM (NHL Network)
Russia vs. Germany, 6:00 AM
Finland vs. Switzerland, 10:00 AM
Canada vs. Czech Republic, 10:00 AM (NHL Network)
Quarterfinals - January 2nd
Semifinals - January 4th
Medal Games - January 5th
Most non-USA games will be available on ESPN+ during the preliminary round-robin tournament.
Players To Watch
Ducks fans will obviously want to keep an eye on Lukas Dostàl, who will be the number one goaltender for the hometown team. Dostàl is one of the top goalie prospects in the tournament. Trevor Zegras, Anaheim’s 2019 9th overall pick will also be skating for USA head coach Scott Sandelin.
USA: Along with Zegras, noted small boi/prolific goal scorer Cole Caufield (MON) will look to continue his hot run while the defense boasts the likes of USA captain Mattias Samuelsson (BUF). Spencer Knight (FLA) will be the number one goaltender for the Americans.
Canada: The two players to watch are the two who are vying to be the consensus first overall pick for the 2020 Entry Draft in Montreal; winger Alexis Lafreniere and center Quinton Byfield, both considered some of the most complete forwards the draft has seen in years.
Sweden: Hyped Toronto Maple Leafs defense prospect Rasmus Sandin will be their star on the blue line wile Lucas Raymond (2020 eligible) will be their most relied-upon forward.
Finland: Ville Heinola (18) will be Finland’s star on defense. Anton Lundell (2020 eligible) will likely provide much of the defending WJC champs scoring touch.
Russia: 17-year-old Yaroslav Askarov is expected to be the top goaltender in the 2020 draft this year and will probably be Russia’s biggest hope in making a run to the gold medal game.