The IIHF World Junior Championships (WJC), (a.k.a. the World Juniors) is an annual tournament for national under-20 ice hockey teams that traditionally takes place from late December to early January.
The World Juniors 2020, will take place in the Czech Republic, starting on Thursday 26 December 2019 and culminating with the final on Sunday 05 January 2020.
The two arenas used for the tournament will be the Ostravar Arena (Ostrava) and Werk Arena (Trinec).
There will, as usual, be 10 teams taking part in the tournament, who are divided into two, five-team groups. The teams in each group all play a single round-robin series, with the top four teams from each group going on to the Play-off Round and the two teams finishing 5th in their respective groups going on to meet in the Relegation Round.
The quarterfinal games are based on finishing places in the group stage, as follows:
1A vs 4B; 1B vs 4A; 2A vs 3B and 2B vs 3A
The draw seeding for the semi-finals will be based on the following criteria:
The winners of the semi-final games will face each other in the final for the Gold Medal Game, while the semi-final losers will play in the Bronze Medal Game.
The Relegation Round series is a best-of-three games (although the third game will only be played if the series is locked at 1-1). The winner gets to return at the 2021 IIHF WJC, with loser relegated to Division I Group A.
Group A (all games to be played in the Werk Arena in Trinec):
Group B (all games to be played in the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava):
Relegation (both games to be played in the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava):
Semifinals (both games to be played in the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava):
Bronze Medal Game (to be played in the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava):
Final (to be played in the Ostravar Arena in Ostrava):
IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship 2020 Group A Outright Betting Odds (all odds from Sports Interaction)
IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship 2020 Group B Outright Betting Odds (all odds from Sports Interaction)
In terms of predictions for the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship 2020 outright winner, there are arguably five realistic contenders for the title – Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden and the defending champions, Finland.
With the three pre-tournament favourites – Canada, USA and Russia – all drawn together in Group B, the finishing positions there could have a significant bearing as to how the draw pans out thereafter.
The USA has shown great consistency in recent years, having finished in the medals in each of the last four tournaments. With no fewer than six players on their roster who have played at this tournament previously, they also possess plenty of experience when it comes to knowing what to expect at this level of competition.
The USA can be backed at +300 (4.00) with Sports Interaction and they are our tips for Gold.
Canadians ice hockey fans are more passionate than anyone when it comes to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The opportunity to see the future stars of the Canadian game is one that always excites the most knowledgeable fanbase on the planet.
Canada was the host nation last year, but came away empty handed as they were eliminated by the eventual champions, Finland, at the quarter-final stage.
Having won five gold medals, five silvers and one bronze in the 11 previous tournaments they had hosted, this was a particularly savage blow for Canada.
Even so, with 17 titles in total, Canada is the most successful team in the history of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and they have twice won the title five times in a row – first from 1993 to 1997 and then again from 2005 to 2009.
Gold is always the target for Canada and head coach Tim Hunter can count on a talented roster, with the Chicago Blackhawks’ centre Kirby Dach being the third overall pick in last year’s NHL draft and left wing Alexis Lafreniere being the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Canada Group B Games (local time/ET):