World Juniors 2020: Top Five Stories to Watch

Celebrations that celebrate on the ice only a few meters away from the frustrated and frustrated. The thrill of success and the agony of promise. Cinderella stories, over-the-top heroic moments, last-minute agony, and silly teenagers going from hero to hero and back to hero – all with a background in national pride.

These have become the common experiences for the millions of spectators worldwide who take in the IIHF World Youth Championships which begin every December 26th. This year’s tournament in the Czech Republic should be no different, as support for casual and shy youth hockey transitions to persistence and fervor. Not only will the NHL cream team participate, but the field is more spacious than in the past.

With the 2020 release right around the corner, Sporting News gives you five good reasons to pay attention to this year’s games.

Top stories for the IIHF World Youth Championship 2020

1. Group B.

On the surface, it resembles the IIHF deliberately piled up in Group B like nothing else than powerhouses. but remember that the groupings come from last year’s ranking and last year the Canadians and the Czechs came in sixth and seventh, respectively, after Sweden’s defection from Switzerland to the quarter-finals. As a result, the Swiss team, which is usually lower, has been transferred to Group A, which adds an extra superpower to Group B. In addition, the Germans – the lowest-rated team in the current tournaments, by coincidence – The 2020 draft also qualifies for two former first rounders: Moritz Seider and Dominik Bokk.

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To put it bluntly, every matchup in Group B will be a bitter struggle for supremacy and there is a high chance that eventually a traditional WJC force will be forced into the relegation round. It will also be interesting to see how the anticipated high draft for 2020 qualifies, and hunting and weapon attacks match the three champions of the league – Russian Yaroslav Askarov, US team Spencer Knight and host Lukas Dostal. Czech.

Group A.
Group B.
Finland
United States
Switzerland
Russia
Sweden
Canada
Slovakia
Cazech Republic
Kazakhstan
Germany

2. The outlook for 2020 is plentiful

One good way to judge the strength of a course is to see how many prospects in their first year of eligibility are invited by their respective nations to participate in a tournament where they could be up to two years younger than the majority of participants. This year, you should expect 15 to 25 first-year selections for action on world juniors.

Team USA chose to exclude any players born later in 2001 or 2002, while Canada brings in four players: Alexei Lafrenier, Quinton Windfield, Dawson Mercer and Jamie Searsdale. This represents the biggest prospect since 2008 to give the Maple Leaf to world juniors since 2008, when Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Luke Schenn and Zach Boychuk helped bring home a gold medal before being drafted in the first round in June.

Sporting News has two top prospects in June and Drysdale should be the top defender to be named, but there are plenty of other plans with optimistic prospects that are expected to play key roles for their respective nations. Sweden have two great prospects in the wings of Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond and the explosive German coach Tim Stutzle is so strong, some feel they could surpass both of them in the first three winners.

Russia is banking on its middle hopes on 17-year-old netminder Askarov, who led them to gold in the Ivan Hlinka tournament and could be the first goalkeeper to be drafted in the top five by Carey Price in 2005. Other potential contenders Round 1 caliber includes versatile Czech coach Jan Mysak and Finnish center Anton Lundell, who was injured recently but was not ruled out of preliminary action.

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3. Is this the year of Russia?

Russia has always been regarded as a hockey power, but the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 ended its domination over world gamblers. Since winning eight gold and three silver medals between 1977 and 1991, the Russians have won only five gold, with their last appearance in 2011. The Russians usually leave with a major consolation prize, capturing silver or bronze in the last seven. tournament.

The team of the year, born between 2000 and 2002, has been successful in international competition. something that was evident in their suffocating style against all three of Canada’s lower leagues – without Askarov – in each of the last two U20 Super Series. Winning gold in world juniors is never easy, but Russia’s power on the grid, along with a physical and mobile defense and two lethal scoring lines, should make them small favorites to win Group B and eventually the tournament. .

4. The Germans are coming

The Germans won the right to compete in this year’s tournament by winning the Division 1A World Championships a year ago. However, the reward lies in one of the most difficult teams in recent history.

Germany will arrive in the Czech Republic with one of the best events it has ever collected for a junior tournament. They will lean on Stutzle to bring the offense, along with Bokk and J.J. Peterka and Lukas Reichel. Bokk, selected 25th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes, is the top scorer, while Peterka and Reichel are productive as teenage double threats in the German championship elite. The German will also be a solid defender led by Seider, the 2019 Detroit Red Wings sixth-overall pick.

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5. Power Play of Canada

It always looks like a national day of mourning in Canada when the country fails in the medal, which happened in four of the last seven tournaments. While some of the best players under 20 locked in as regular NHL players look like a popular excuse, the truth is that the failure of power – especially last year – has had a profound effect on Canada’s inability to medal consistently. But the CHL is loaded with skilled players capable of delivering, so the NHL excuse can go so far.

A quick look at the chart for this year’s tournaments, however, makes it clear that Hockey Canada has identified play-power inefficiency as a serious concern. Five of the seven defenders – Ty Smith, Calen Addison, Bowen Byram, Drysdale and Jacob Bernard-Docker – are dangerous playmakers, with all youngsters, such as Lafreniere and Byfield, capable of managing a fatality. advantage.

The up-tempo and aggressive style employed by Canadians has always led to a great number of playing opportunities to their advantage, especially with IIHF referees happy with the whistle. However, if they want to survive in Group B, let alone come home with a medal, the power play must succeed.

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