Today is Boxing Day and the annual tradition of international youth hockey continues once more. After a Summer experience, the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships will begin on this day in its regular spot right after Christmas. This is the return to the annual cycle of the most prestigious under-20 hockey tournament in the world. A time where the recently drafted participate, some draft eligible players appear, and drama and hockey action is in full effect. The 2023 WJCs are in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Specifically, in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick. Five New Jersey Devils prospects are among the ten teams in this tournament, including two of the most tantalizing in the team’s prospect pool.
This is your open post for any and all WJC-related discussion. Anything about the players - Devils prospects included - and the nations and the games in this year’s tournament goes here.
The Dates: December 26, 2022 to January 5, 2022.
The Broadcasts: As with past WJCs tournaments, 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. Start times for games will range from 11 AM ET, to 6:30 PM ET.
The Locations: The Avenir Center in Moncton, New Brunswick and the Scotiabank Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both host QMJHL teams so the local fanbase is used to junior hockey and will certainly be up for this one.
The Devils Involved: There are five Devils prospects involved in this year’s tournament. Four other NHL teams have five prospects and only Montreal has more with six. And two of those five Devils prospects are expected to play important roles for their expected countries.
- Luke Hughes - Defenseman and Captain, United States
- Seamus Casey - Defenseman, United States (on roster, extra player)
- Simon Nemec - Defenseman, Slovakia
- Petr Hauser - Forward, Czechia
- Topias Vilen - Defenseman, Finland
The Teams & Groups: Ten teams, two groups. Everyone in their group plays each other once. The top four teams in each group will move on to a knockout tournament that will decide the medals and ultimately the World Junior Champion. Seeding matters as first in Group A will play fourth in Group B, and so on. Last place in each group will play each other in a relegation playoff. The winner of that playoff will be at the 2024 WJC in Gothenburg, Sweden. The loser will be replaced in the 2024 tourney by Norway, who won the Division I-A tourney of the World Under-20 Championships earlier this month. Every game has stakes.
Group A: Canada, Sweden, Czechia (Hauser), Germany, Austria
Group B: United States (Hughes, Casey), Finland (Vilen), Switzerland, Slovakia (Nemec), Latvia
The group stage will run from today through December 31. Everyone except for Slovakia and Germany starts today; those two will play tomorrow. The medal playoffs will begin on January 2 and end on January 5.
The Rules: The rules remain the rules even though this is an IIHF tournament and not a New Jersey Devils game. 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!