Major Ice Hockey Teams To Participate
The two groups for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship have been announced by Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The tournament is scheduled to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, from the 26th of December 2022 until the 5th of January 2023.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) created the groups by giving each federation a ranking based on its performance in the most recent five tournaments. According to them, this provides time for fans, teams, and other stakeholders to prepare for the event, which was given to the two major cities in the Maritime region in May.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decided to revoke the country’s rights to host the 2023 event, which had been planned to take place in Russia.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) formed the groups by ranking each federation on performance at the previous five tournaments. This was done to give fans, competing teams, and stakeholders time to prepare for the 2023 World Juniors, which was only awarded to the host communities in May. Additionally, this was done to give all stakeholders the opportunity to jointly work on the game schedule during the current World Juniors, which is being held in Edmonton, Alberta.
Group A will feature competition from Canada, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria. The preliminary-round games will be held at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Group B will be comprised of the United States of America, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Latvia, and games will be held at the Avenir Centre in Moncton.
Fans from all across the Maritimes will get to see some of the top under-20 hockey players in the world compete in at least ten pre-tournament games, which will be played in villages spread out across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The whole itinerary for the event will be made available in the following weeks. TSN and RDS in Canada, as well as other broadcasters in the other countries that are taking part in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, will carry live coverage of all of the tournament’s games.
Late in the month of August, over 50,000 fans who joined the 2023 World Juniors Priority Draw will have the option to purchase tickets, and if any inventory is still available, tickets will go on sale to the general public in September.
Between the dates of December 26th, 2022 and January 5th, 2023, the international competition will be held at both the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Best Junior Hockey Players To Watch
As a result of a poorly executed COVID plan last winter, the 2022 World Junior Championship has been moved to this summer, creating competition for NHL roster spots among players who did not participate in the tournament. The result was a flood of promising youth into prominent roles in their countries. Let’s take a look at those players who are expected to return next season for the 2023 World Juniors.
Canada West, Connor Bedard
Bedard is widely regarded as the best player in the NHL and the clear favorite to be selected first in the 2023 draft. Before the tournament was postponed in December, he scored four goals, and then in the summer, he tied for ninth in tournament scoring. There was no doubt that he was unmoved by any physical or verbal attempts to intimidate him, as he pushed back whenever he was shoved and got in the mix after the whistle when necessary. Bedard, who will be 17 this winter, has a good chance of being the best forward in the competition. In this tournament, he played on the wing, but in December, he’ll probably be a center.
Finn RW JOAKIM KEMELL
You can count on Kemell to be back for the Finns in December after finishing second in scoring to MVP Mason McTavish. On offense, Joakim Kemell was a game-changer for the Finnish U-20 team thanks to his lethal shooting and unheralded passing skills. The future star for the Nashville Predators is a strong forechecker who uses pressure to force opponents to make mistakes in their own zone. Finland’s best forward in 2023, Kemell should be among the leading scorers during the tournament.
LUKE HUGHES, USA
Luke Hughes was a monster and a major contributor to the U.S.A.’s success during the round robin, but his tournament ended with a turnover that led to an empty netter that ultimately resulted in the team’s elimination in the quarterfinals. We can all breathe a sigh of relief because the New Jersey Devils’ prospect will get another shot in December. Hughes’s flashes of dominance last season were but a teaser for what he can accomplish this upcoming season.
AUSTRIAN C IAN SCHERZER
Ian Scherzer, one of the youngest players in the competition, was a standout for Austria at the center. He is a quick and shrewd player who can contribute on both sides of the game. He is a dedicated teammate who never skips a shift and always gives 100%. Scherzer, who is available for the 2023 draft, proved his worth to an undermanned Austrian squad by scoring three points in four games. By returning in December, he will have a great opportunity to improve his draft stock before the end of the season.
C JIRI KULICH, CZECH REPUBLIC
Kulich, one of the Czech Republic’s top players, will be able to compete in the 2023 World Junior Championship because he will be eligible to return in the winter. The first overall pick for the Buffalo Sabres has a nasty one-time shot that makes him a dangerous powerplay threat. He showed off his passing skills more than his shooting at the World Juniors this summer, finishing in sixth place in the tournament with six assists in seven games. Due to Mysak’s retirement, Kulich will be counted on to provide the bulk of the offense come December.
SLOVAKIA, DALIBOR DVORSKY C/W
Dalibor Dvorsky, who participated in Slovakia’s poor performance in this summer’s World Junior Championship, will want to make amends by leading Slovakia to the quarterfinals and, ideally, a victory there. Dvorsky is a highly active player with a powerful shot. A few more months in the J20 National and maybe an Allsvenskan stint before the next world juniors in December might make him one of the most exciting players to watch as he tries to improve his status for the 2023 NHL draft.