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IIHF World Junior Championship
  (Redirected from World Junior Hockey Championships)
For the similar tournament for players under age 18, see IIHF World U18 Championship. For the similar tournament for female players, see IIHF World Women's U18 Championship.
The IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC), or simply the "World Juniors" in ice hockey circles, are an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for national under-20 ice hockey teams from around the world. They are traditionally held in late December, ending in early January. The tournament usually attracts top hockey players in this age category. However, some NHL teams do not release their top players as the tournament overlaps with the NHL season.
IIHF World Junior Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
SportIce hockey
Inaugural season1974 (unofficial)
1977 (official)
No. of teams10
Most recent
champion(s)
 United States (5th title)
Most titles Canada (18 titles)
Relegation toDivision I
Division II
Division III
Official websiteIIHF.com
The main tournament features the top ten ranked hockey nations in the world, comprising the 'Top Division', from which a world champion is crowned. There are also three lower pools—Divisions I, II and III—that each play separate tournaments playing for the right to be promoted to a higher pool, or face relegation to a lower pool.
The competition's profile is particularly high in Canada; its stature has been credited to Canada's strong performance in the tournament (it has won the gold medal eighteen times since its inception), the role of hockey in Canadian culture, along with strong media coverage and fan attendance. As such, in recent years, nearly half of the tournaments have been held in Canadian cities, with the remainder being held in Europe and the United States.
The United States is the defending champion of the tournament, after defeating Canada to win the 2021 edition in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
History
The first official tournament was held in 1977, although the first three tournaments from 1974 to 1976 were held unofficially.[1] The tournament has been dominated by the teams from Soviet Union/CIS/Russia and Canada, together accounting for 31 of the 45 overall gold medals awarded (through 2021). The USSR won the first four official tournaments, while the Canadians put together five straight championships between 1993 and 1997, and another five straight from 2005 to 2009. Canada leads the all-time gold medal count with 18 golds, while the Soviet Union, the CIS and Russia combined have 13 golds.
When it began, the World Junior Championship was a relatively obscure tournament. It has since grown in prestige, particularly in Canada, where the tournament ranks as one of the most important events on the sports calendar and during the holiday season. The Globe and Mail writer Bruce Dowbiggin credits TSN, along with Canada's strong performance at the tournament, for turning it from an obscure non-event when it acquired the rights in 1991 (which, however, also began growing in prominence due to the Punch-up in Piestany) to one of Canada's most beloved annual sports events, and at the same time cementing the link between Canadian nationalism and hockey, and inspiring the NHL's Winter Classic[2][3] Based on increasing attendances for countries repeatedly hosting the event[citation needed], the popularity of the tournament seems to be growing in other nations as well.
At editions of the tournament held in the country, games involving Team Canada consistently sell out NHL arenas, offering large profit guarantees to Hockey Canada and the IIHF.[4] In the 21st Century, Canada has and will continue to host the tournament every second or third year due to the significantly greater following the tournament has in Canada compared to other participating countries. Originally, Switzerland was selected to host the WJHC in 2010, but withdrew.[5]Buffalo, New York, USA hosted the tournament in 2011 and 2018; in both cases, proximity to Canada's population core in Southern Ontario was a key factor in the city winning the bidding rights.[6]
The tournament offers one of the most prestigious stages for young hockey players, able to significantly boost a player's value for upcoming NHL Entry Drafts.[3]
Punch-up in Piestany
Main article: Punch-up in Piestany
One of the most infamous incidents in WJC history occurred in 1987 in Piestany, Czechoslovakia (now part of Slovakia), where a bench-clearing brawl occurred between Canada and the Soviet Union. It began when the Soviet Union's Pavel Kostichkin took a two-handed slash at Canadian player Theoren Fleury. The Soviet Union's Evgeny Davydov then came off the bench, eventually leading to both benches emptying. The officials, unable to break up the numerous fights, left the ice and eventually tried shutting off the arena lights, but the brawl lasted for 20 minutes before the IIHF declared the game null and void. A 35-minute emergency meeting was held, resulting in the delegates voting 7–1 (the sole dissenter was Canadian Dennis McDonald) to eject both teams from the tournament. The Canadian team chose to leave rather than stay for the end-of-tournament dinner, from which the Soviet team was banned.
While the Soviets were out of medal contention, Canada was playing for the gold medal and was leading 4–2 at the time of the brawl. The gold medal ultimately went to Finland, hosts Czechoslovakia took the silver and Sweden, who had previously been eliminated from medal contention, was awarded the bronze.[7]
Medalists
Main articles: List of IIHF World Under-20 Championship medalists and List of IIHF World Under-20 Championship Gold Medal Games
The winners by season listed below.
Unofficial tournaments
Year
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Host city (cities)Host country (countries)
1974 Soviet Union Finland CanadaLeningrad Soviet Union
1975 Soviet Union Canada SwedenWinnipeg and Brandon
Minneapolis, Bloomington and Fargo
 Canada
 United States
1976 Soviet Union Canada
 Czechoslovakia
Tampere, Turku, Pori and Rauma Finland
Official tournaments
Key
(#) Number of tournaments (or 2nd placed/3rd places) won at the time.
Year
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Host city (cities)Host country (countries)
1977 Soviet Union (1) Canada (1)
 Czechoslovakia(1)
Zvolen and Banská Bystrica
 Czechoslovakia
1978 Soviet Union (2) Sweden (1) Canada (1)Montreal and Quebec City Canada
1979 Soviet Union (3)
 Czechoslovakia(1)
 Sweden (1)Karlstad and Karlskoga Sweden
1980 Soviet Union (4) Finland (1) Sweden (2)Helsinki and Vantaa Finland
1981 Sweden(1) Finland (2) Soviet Union (1)Füssen, Landsberg and Kaufbeuren West Germany
1982 Canada(1)
 Czechoslovakia(2)
 Finland (1)Bloomington, Minneapolis and Duluth
Winnipeg and Kenora
 United States
 Canada
1983 Soviet Union (5)
 Czechoslovakia(3)
 Canada (2)Leningrad Soviet Union
1984 Soviet Union (6) Finland (3)
 Czechoslovakia(2)
Norrköping and Nyköping Sweden
1985 Canada(2)
 Czechoslovakia(4)
 Soviet Union (2)Helsinki and Turku Finland
1986 Soviet Union (7) Canada (2) United States (1)Hamilton, Toronto and London Canada
1987 Finland[α](1)
 Czechoslovakia[α](5)
 Sweden[α](3)Piešťany, Topoľčany, Trenčín and Nitra
 Czechoslovakia
1988 Canada(3) Soviet Union(1) Finland (2)Moscow Soviet Union
1989 Soviet Union (8) Sweden (2)
 Czechoslovakia(3)
Anchorage and Eagle River United States
1990 Canada(4) Soviet Union(2)
 Czechoslovakia(4)
Helsinki and Turku Finland[β]
1991 Canada(5) Soviet Union(3)
 Czechoslovakia(5)
Saskatoon Canada
1992
 CIS [8](1)
 Sweden (3) United States (2)Füssen and Kaufbeuren Germany
1993 Canada(6) Sweden (4)Czechia and Slovakia [9] (6)Gävle, Uppsala and Falun Sweden
1994 Canada(7) Sweden (5)
 Russia (1)
Ostrava and Frýdek-Místek
 Czech Republic
1995 Canada(8)
 Russia (1)
 Sweden (4)Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary Canada
1996 Canada(9) Sweden (6)
 Russia (2)
Boston, Amherst and Marlborough United States
1997 Canada(10) United States(1)
 Russia (3)
Geneva and Morges
  Switzerland
1998 Finland(2)
 Russia (2)
  Switzerland(1)
Helsinki and Hämeenlinna Finland
1999
 Russia(1)
 Canada (3)
 Slovakia (1)
Winnipeg, Brandon and Selkirk Canada
2000
 Czech Republic(1)
 Russia (3)
 Canada (3)Skellefteå and Umeå Sweden
2001
 Czech Republic(2)
 Finland (4) Canada (4)Moscow and Podolsk
 Russia
2002
 Russia(2)
 Canada (4) Finland (3)Pardubice and Hradec Králové
 Czech Republic
2003
 Russia(3)
 Canada (5) Finland (4)Halifax and Sydney Canada
2004 United States (1) Canada (6) Finland (5)Helsinki and Hämeenlinna Finland
2005 Canada(11)
 Russia (4)
 Czech Republic (1)
Grand Forks and Thief River Falls United States
2006 Canada(12)
 Russia (5)
 Finland (6)Vancouver, Kelowna and Kamloops Canada
2007 Canada(13)
 Russia (6)
 United States (3)Leksand and Mora Sweden
2008 Canada(14) Sweden (7)
 Russia (4)
Pardubice and Liberec
 Czech Republic
2009 Canada(15) Sweden (8)
 Russia (5)
Ottawa Canada
2010 United States (2) Canada (7) Sweden (5)Saskatoon and Regina Canada
2011
 Russia(4)
 Canada (8) United States (4)Buffalo and Lewiston[10] United States
2012 Sweden(2)
 Russia (7)
 Canada (5)Calgary and Edmonton Canada
2013 United States (3) Sweden (9)
 Russia (6)
Ufa
 Russia
2014 Finland(3) Sweden (10)
 Russia (7)
Malmö Sweden
2015 Canada(16)
 Russia (8)
 Slovakia (2)
Toronto and Montreal Canada
2016 Finland(4)
 Russia (9)
 United States (5)Helsinki Finland
2017 United States (4) Canada (9)
 Russia (8)
Montreal and Toronto[11] Canada
2018 Canada(17) Sweden (11) United States (6)Buffalo and Orchard Park[12] United States
2019 Finland(5) United States(2)
 Russia (9)
Vancouver and Victoria Canada
2020 Canada(18)
 Russia (10)
 Sweden (6)Ostrava and Třinec
 Czech Republic
2021 United States (5) Canada (10) Finland (7)Edmonton Canada
2022Edmonton and Red Deer Canada
2023Novosibirsk and Omsk
 Russia
2024Gothenburg Sweden
Medal table
Map of countries' best results
The unofficial tournaments held prior to 1977 are not included in this table.
Countries in italics no longer compete at the World Championships.
Country
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Medals
 Canada1810533
 Russia
 Soviet Union
 CIS
Total 
4
8
1
13
10
3
0
13
9
2
0
11
23
13
1
37
 Finland54716
 United States52613
 Sweden211619
 Czech Republic
 Czechoslovakia
Total 
2
0
2
0
5
5
1
6
7
3
11
14
 Slovakia
0022
  Switzerland
0011
Total454545135

Future tournaments
These tournaments have been announced:
YearHost city (cities)Host country
2022Edmonton and Red Deer[13] Canada
2023Novosibirsk and Omsk[14]
 Russia
2024Gothenburg[13] Sweden
Hockey Canada stated in January 2019 that Canada would also host the tournament in 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2031, though the 2022 and 2024 events have now been swapped between Canada and Sweden due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15][13]
Hosting countries
Host countryTournaments
 Canada15[16]
 Sweden6
 Finland6
 United States6[17]
 Czech Republic
 Czechoslovakia
Total 
4
2
6
 Russia
 Soviet Union
 CIS
Total 
3
2
0
5
 Germany
 West Germany
Total 
1
1
2
  Switzerland
1
Note
The 1982 tournament was co-hosted by the United States and Canada.
Participating countries
Canada, Finland and Sweden have participated in all 44 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championships as well as the three unofficial World Junior Championships. USSR/CIS/Russia (when the Soviet Union broke up, Russia remained in Pool A, while all other former Soviet republics started competing in Pool C in 1993) and Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic have also participated in all official and unofficial World Junior Championships, and the United States has participated in all except the unofficial tournament in 1976.
When Czechoslovakia peacefully split in 1993, the Czech Republic remained in Pool A but Slovakia (Slovak Republic) was placed in Pool C (now Division II). Slovakia was promoted to the top division for the 1996 Championships and has remained there since.
Starting with the 1996 tournament, the competition was increased from an 8-team round-robin to the current 10-team format, including elimination rounds. Since then, Switzerland has become a regular participant.
Germany has been a frequent participant in the top pool, having played there roughly half the time in the past decade. Latvia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan have also each made a number of top division appearances since the early 1990s. Less frequent top pool appearances have been made by Austria, Denmark, France, Japan, Norway, Poland and Ukraine.
At the most recent championship, held in Canada in 2021, participating teams included Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
Player eligibility
A player is eligible to play in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships if:[18]
If a player who has never played in IIHF-organized competition wishes to switch national eligibility, he must have played in competitions for two consecutive years in the new country without playing in another country, as well as show his move to the new country's national association with an international transfer card. In case the player has previously played in IIHF-organized competition but wishes to switch national eligibility, he must have played in competitions for four consecutive years in the new country without playing in another country, he must show his move to the new country's national association with an international transfer card, as well as be a citizen of the new country. A player may only switch national eligibility once.[19]
Tournament awards
At the conclusion of each tournament, the Directorate of the IIHF presents awards to the Top Goalie, Forward and Defenceman of the tournament. The media attending the event select an All-Star team separately from this.
Main article: List of IIHF World Under 20 Championship Directorate award winners
Main article: List of IIHF World Under 20 Championship Media All-Star Teams
Broadcast coverage
The following television networks and websites broadcast World Junior Championship games on television or online.
CountryBroadcaster(s)
CanadaTSN
RDS
Czech RepublicČT Sport
EuropeEurosport
FinlandTV5
RussiaMatch TV
Channel One Russia
SlovakiaRTVS
SwedenSVT
TV4/TV12
C More
SwitzerlandUPC Switzerland (MySports)
United StatesNHL Network
TSN is the IIHF's main broadcast partner for this tournament. TSN.ca carries all Canada, select preliminary round, and all medal round games live, as well as most games on demand after their completion.[20]
Starting with the 2013 tournament, a paywall and geo-block was implemented on TSN's online coverage.[21] The same system applies to Canadian cable subscribers and subscribers of TSN's streaming service - users cannot stream the tournament outside of Canada on TSN Direct.[22]
Norway is currently a 'blackout' zone. Neither Eurosport or Viasat carry the tournament.
See also
Notes
  1. ^ "All Medallists - U20". History. International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  2. ^ "TSN turned World Junior molehill into mountain". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Dowbiggin, Bruce. "Credit TSN for elevating world juniors to must-see TV". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Ottawa to host 2009 world junior tourney". tsn.ca. The Canadian Press. 3 May 2006. Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Toronto, Regina-Saskatoon formally bid to stage World Juniors". tsn.ca. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Buffalo to host 2011 world hockey juniors". CBC Sports. Associated Press. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Punch-up in Piestany". CBC Digital Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 January 1987. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  8. ^ "Story 59" International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  9. ^ "Brotherly but divided". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  10. ^ "2011 IIHF World U20 Championship". International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Toronto and Montreal to host 2015 and 2017 world juniors". TSN. 19 June 2013.
  12. ^ Seravalli, Frank (3 December 2015). "Sources: Outdoor game planned for 2018 World Juniors in Buffalo". TSN.
  13. ^ a b c "IIHF announces 2021 world juniors will be played in Edmonton bubble". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  14. ^ "The emblem for the 2023 World Junior Championship has been presented in Moscow". FHR. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  15. ^ Merk, Martin (5 January 2019). "Happy in BC". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ 1982 tournament was co-hosted with the United States
  17. ^ 1982 tournament was co-hosted with Canada
  18. ^ "IIHF statutes and bylaws" (PDF). IIHF. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  19. ^ "IIHF Eligibility". IIHF. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  20. ^ "IIHF World Under 20 Championship 2011 Television Coverage". iihf.com. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  21. ^ "FAQ: How to watch the World Juniors PPV online". TSN. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012.
  22. ^ TSN ca Staff (7 June 2018). "Streaming FAQ - TSN.ca". TSN. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
General references
Further reading
Gibson, Kevin (2003), The Official Book of Team Canada from Eh to Zed: The World Junior Championships, Trafford, ISBN 1-4120-0162-5
External links
Media related to IIHF World U20 Championship at Wikimedia Commons
Last edited on 9 June 2021, at 08:47
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