Sweden’s quest for gold at Hockey’s 2024 World Junior Championship unfolds as the host nation gears up for an electrifying display of talent and determination on the ice.
For the first time since 2020, Hockey’s World Junior Championship has gone to Europe.
Gothenburg, Sweden plays host to the 2024 competition, which runs from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5. The host nation would like just to cover off the facilitating experience with its most memorable gold award at the occasion starting around 2012. Yet, the US, Canada and Czechia could have something to say about that.
A lasting hockey powerhouse that has provided more than 10% of the ability that is in the NHL this season — behind just Canada (41.8 percent) and the US (28.6 percent), Sweden has battled to end up as the winner at the Global Ice Hockey Organization’s yearly fight between the top U-20 players in the world.
As a coming-out party for future NHL stars, World Youngsters is a well known event that has turned into a vacation foundation in Canada and has acquired prominence in different nations lately.
The Canadians lead the way with 20 objectives in the tournament’s 47-year history — including at the latest 2022 and 2023 occasions, which were both hung on their home soil.
Russia, including the Soviet Union and the CIS, ranks second with 13 golds but is not participating in 2024 for the third-straight event . It is right now banned from all IIHF event, alongside Belarus, because of the continuous conflict in Ukraine.
US and Finland
The US and Finland are tied for third spot, with five golds each. Team USA last won in the sans fan-free bubble in Edmonton in 2021, with Trevor Zegras acquiring MVP honors. Finland’s last gold also came on Canadian soil, in Vancouver in 2019, with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named the competition’s top goaltender.
The Swedes have won gold only two times in competition history — as far as possible back in 1981, then in Calgary in 2012, when current New York Officer Mika Zibanejad broke a scoreless tie against Russia in additional time.
The current year’s competition design continues as before as it has been for the last 10 years. Ten groups will contend in two cooperative gatherings through New Year’s Eve. The best four crews from each gathering will then progress to the one-game hybrid knockout round, which happens on Jan. 2. Then, the elimination rounds happen on Jan. 4 and the medal games on Jan. 5.
With Sweden six hours in front of North America’s Eastern Time Zone , games will air during the day on this side of the pond . NHL Network will air all games in the U.S., while TSN has inclusion in Canada, and begin times are staggered to avoid overlap as much as possible.
Everything starts off with Czechia taking on Slovakia at 6 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 26, with three different games to follow sometime thereafter.
Group A will play its round -robin games at Gothenburg’s 12,000-seat Scandinavium.
As the two-time defending champion , Canada comes into the tournament as the favorite, yet will ice a list that is lacking in experience.
However still age-qualified, 2023 MVP Connor Bedard and individual gold-medalists Kevin Korchinski, Adam Fantilli and Shane Wright are avoiding the competition to stay with their star groups. For Bedard, his partner Korchinski and Fantilli, that is in the NHL; for Wright, it’s in the AHL, with the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
Zach Benson, a 18-year-old who was drafted thirteenth generally speaking by the Bison Sabers last June, has likewise stayed with his NHL crew. A couple of defensemen, Anaheim Ducks prospect Tristan Luneau and Nashville Hunters prospect Leather expert Molendyk, were knocked off Canada’s program because of disease and injury, separately. They’ve been supplanted by Jorian Donovan and Ty Nelson.
Canada’s just returnee from its 2023 gathering is 19-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck. Everyone’s eyes will be on draft-qualified forward Macklin Celebrini, a capable scorer who’s a potential first-generally pick next June.