Canada’s quest for gold at the World Juniors begins on Boxing Day.
The kickoff to the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship happens on December 26, with Canada hosting Czechia at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Canada lost to the United States in the gold medal final at the 2021 World Juniors.
Three players — captain Kaiden Guhle, alternate Cole Perfetti, and goaltender Dylan Garand — will return as Canada seeks its second gold in three years, and ninth since 2005.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s World Juniors.
World Juniors groups
As always, the tournament will consist of 10 countries split into two groups of five for the round robin.
#WorldJunior Group Winner Odds
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) December 23, 2021
Canada will participate in Group A, with preliminary-round games at Rogers Place in Edmonton, alongside Finland, Germany, Czechia, and Austria.
Team USA will compete in Group B, with preliminary-round games at WP Centrium in Red Deer against Russia, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland.
All 31 games of the 2022 World Juniors will be broadcast live on TSN in Canada, with French-language coverage on RDS.
TSN is home of every game of the 2022 #WorldJuniors!
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 18, 2021
Players to watch
There’s no shortage of talent in this year’s tournament. Over 90 prospects participating have been drafted into the NHL, including 25 first-round picks, with another 11 members of the 2022 NHL Draft class likely being selected in the first round this summer. An additional two — Connor Bedard of Canada and Matvei Michkov of Russia — will be top picks in the 2023 draft class, too.
Here’s a rundown of one player to keep an eye on for each participating team.
Canada – Cole Perfetti, F (Winnipeg Jets)
Finland – Topi Niemela, D (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Germany – Luca Munzenberger, D (Edmonton Oilers)
Czechia – Jan Mysak, F (Montreal Canadiens)
Austria – Marco Kasper, F (2022 NHL Draft)
Russia – Matvei Michkov, F (2023 NHL Draft)
Sweden – Jesper Wallstedt, G (Detroit Red Wings)
Slovakia – Simon Nemec, D (2022 NHL Draft)
Switzerland – Simon Knak, F (Nashville Predators)
United States – Matthew Coronato, F (Calgary Flames)
The Vancouver Canucks have one prospect participating in the tournament, Russian forward Dmitry Zlodeyev.
The Calgary Flames have one prospect participating, United States forward Matthew Coronato.
The Edmonton Oilers have two prospects participating: Canadian forward Xavier Bourgault and German defenceman Luca Munzenberger.
The Winnipeg Jets have four prospects participating: Canadian forward Cole Perfetti, Swedish forward Daniel Torgersson, American forward Chaz Lucius, and Russian forward Nikita Chibrikov.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have three prospects participating: Finnish defenceman Topi Niemela and forward Roni Hirvonen, and American forward Matt Knies.
The Ottawa Senators have five prospects participating: Canadian forward Ridly Greig, Finnish goaltender Leevi Merilainen and forward Roby Jarventie, and American defencemen Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven.
The Montreal Canadiens have three prospects participating: Canadian defenceman Kaiden Guhle, forward Jan Mysak of Czechia, and Finnish forward Oliver Kapanen.
Each team will play four round robin games, one against each team in their group. Regulation wins at the World Juniors are worth three points (as opposed to two in the NHL) and two for an overtime or shootout victory. Teams still get one point for an overtime or shootout loss.
Round robin games that are tied after 60 minutes will then play a five-minute, three-on-three overtime period. If the game is still undecided, it will advance to a five-round shootout.
In the medal round, there will instead be a 10-minute, four-on-four overtime period before heading to a shootout. In the gold medal game, there will be a 20-minute overtime period followed by a shootout to decide the champion.
The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. The third and fourth seeds in each group will cross over to play the second and first seeds, respectively, in the other group in the quarters.
The advancing teams will play in the tournament’s semifinal, with the winners advancing to the gold medal game. The losers play in the bronze medal game.
World Juniors schedule
Canada opens the tournament against Czechia on December 26 before suiting up against Austria on December 28 and Germany on December 29. Canada will face Finland in the marquee New Year’s Eve matchup on December 31, likely with first place in Group A on the line.
Sunday, December 26
Finland vs. Germany (Edmonton), 2 p.m. ET
Russia vs. Sweden (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET
Czechia vs. Canada (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET
United States vs. Slovakia (Red Deer), 9:30 p.m. ET
Monday, December 27
Austria vs. Finland (Edmonton), 2 p.m. ET
Russia vs. Switzerland (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET
Germany vs. Czechia (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET
Sweden vs. Slovakia (Red Deer), 9:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, December 28
Switzerland vs. United States (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET
Austria vs. Canada (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET
Wednesday, December 29
Finland vs. Czechia (Edmonton), 2 p.m. ET
Slovakia vs. Russia (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Germany (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET
Sweden vs. United States (Red Deer), 9:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, December 30
Czechia vs. Austria (Edmonton), 4:30 p.m. ET
Slovakia vs. Switzerland (Red Deer), 7 p.m. ET
Friday, December 31
Germany vs. Austria (Edmonton), 2 p.m. ET
Switzerland vs. Sweden (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Finland (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET
United States vs. Russia (Red Deer), 9:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, January 2
Quarterfinal 1 TBD (Edmonton), 2:30 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 2 TBD (Red Deer), 5 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 3 TBD (Edmonton), 7:30 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 4 TBD (Red Deer), 10 p.m. ET
Tuesday, January 4
Semifinal 1 TBD (Edmonton) 3 p.m. ET
Semifinal 2 TBD (Edmonton) 7 p.m. ET
Wednesday, January 5
Third-place game TBD (Edmonton) 4 p.m. ET
Championship game TBD (Edmonton) 8 p.m. ET