Today is Boxing Day. It is also the first day of the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships. The best under-20 year old players in the world compete for their nations for both pride and medals. It is a short tournament - no team will play more than 7 games - but this means just about every game counts for something. And for you, one of the People Who Matter, there are four Devils prospects in this year’s tourney. Three of which play for nations which has a legitimate chance at leaving Edmonton & Red Deer with metal around their necks. They are even in the same group too.
This is your open post for any and all WJC-related discussion. Not discussion about the New Jersey Devils. But about the players and nations involved in this year’s tournament. There are even several prospects for the 2022 NHL Draft, which should be of interest to some of you. (And a handful of seriously exciting 2023 draft eligibles).
The Dates: December 26, 2021 to January 5, 2022
The Broadcasts: TSN and RDS will be your go-to stations in Canada and the NHL Network will be your go-to station in America. Links go to the broadcast schedule and the game schedule. Times for the start of games range from 2 PM ET to 9:30 PM ET.
The Locations: Edmonton is hosting this year’s WJC again. Unlike last year, this is not in a bubble. Red Deer is the secondary host. The Albertan government has capped attendance to 50% capacity, which is a lot more than the 0% capacity of last year’s tourney.
The Teams & Groups: Ten teams, two groups. Top four in each group move on to a knockout tournament that will decide the medals. Last place in each group will play each other in a relegation playoff. The winner will be at the 2023 WJC in Siberia. The loser will go down to Division IA and be replaced by Belarus. Again, just about every game has some stakes involved. In alphabetical order:
Group A: Austria, Canada, Czechia, Finland, Germany
Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United States
The Devils Involved: There are four Devils prospects involved in this year’s tournament:
- Luke Hughes - Defenseman, United States
- Shakir Mukhamadullin - Defenseman, Russia
- Alexander Holtz - Winger, Sweden
- Jakub Málek - Goaltender, Czechia
The Preview: I wrote an extensive preview for the WJC here with this information and much more about each team, draft eligible prospects to look for, and a prediction for this tournament. Check it out here.
The Musical Performance for this Open Post: Cory Wong just keeps on working. His own band of musicians - the Wongnotes - recently did a performance at a Cretin-Durham Hall’s rink in the St. Paul area of Minnesota. It features announcers, Sonny T on a Zamboni, Cory’s brother Andy denying a bunch of musicians in a shootout, a fight with an inflatable tube man, a drummer making saves, and a lot of sweet, sweet sounds from the Wongnotes.
The Rules: The rules remain the rules even though this is an IIHF tournament and not a New Jersey Devils gamethread. Please keep your comments clean, legal (read: no streams, no links to streams, no asking for streams, no streams), and all about the games itself. Just as importantly, let’s respect each other. There’s no need for drama or being unwelcoming of your fellow hockey fan. Thank you for reading. Go Devils prospects and/or nation of your choosing!