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World Juniors 2024

Previewing the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And no, not just because festive pyjamas are an acceptable full-day outfit, or that snacking isn’t just an option but a requirement. That's all fine and dandy, but there's no better part of the holidays than the World Juniors.

This year, Everysport Media Group’s world-leading hockey platform Elite Prospects will be the official career partner of the of the event. Elite Prospects users can look forward to a vast amount of content from the tournament including exclusive behind-the-scenes material from the Swedish junior national team.

The Details


Where: Gothenburg, Sweden

The tournament is set to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is the first time Gothenburg has had the opportunity to play host, with group play split between the Scandinavium and Frölundaborg arenas — the game centre and training facilities for the Frölunda HC SHL club.

When: December 26, 2023 - January 5, 2024

The event will kick off on December 26, 2023, and will end with the gold medal game being played on January 5, 2024.

How to watch:

TV channel (Canada): TSN

Live stream (Canada):, TSN app

TV channel (U.S.): NHL Network

Live stream (U.S.): fuboTV

The Schedule

December 26, 2023

Czechia vs. Slovakia 6:00 a.m. ET

Finland vs. Canada 8:30 a.m. ET

United States vs. Norway 11:00 a.m. ET

Sweden vs. Latvia 1:30 p.m. ET

December 27, 2023

Slovakia vs. Switzerland  6:00 a.m. ET

Finland vs. Germany 8:30 a.m. ET

Norway vs. Czechia 11:00 a.m. ET

Latvia vs. Canada 1:30 p.m. ET

December 28, 2023

Switzerland vs. United States 11:00 a.m. ET

Germany vs. Sweden 1:30 p.m. ET

December 29, 2023

Norway vs. Slovakia 6:00 a.m. ET

Latvia vs. Finland 8:30 a.m. ET

Czechia vs. United States 11:00 a.m. ET

Canada vs. Sweden 1:30 p.m. ET

December 30, 2023

Switzerland vs. Norway 11:00 a.m. ET

Germany vs. Latvia 1:30 p.m. ET

December 31, 2023

United States vs. Slovakia 6:00 a.m. ET

Sweden vs. Finland 8:30 a.m. ET

Czechia vs. Switzerland 11:00 a.m. ET

Canada vs. Germany 1:30 p.m. ET

January 2, 2024

Quarterfinal 1 6:00 a.m. ET

Quarterfinal 2 8:30 p.m. ET

Quarterfinal 3 11:00 a.m. ET

Quarterfinal 4 1:30 p.m. ET

January 4, 2024

Fifth place in Group A vs. Fifth place in Group B (Relegation Game 1), 9:30 a.m. ET

Semi-final 1, 9 a.m. ET

Semi-final 2, 1:30 p.m. ET

January 5, 2024

Bronze Medal Game 9:00 a.m. ET

Gold Medal Game 1:30 p.m. ET

Group A (Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Latvia)


Group A will be the focal point during round-robin play. The two-time defending champion Canadians headline that group. However, for the first time in a long time, the Canadians are not favourites to win gold.

Unlike most years, this edition of the Canadian team is lacking experience. Owen Beck is the lone returnee from last year’s team and he carries just three games of experience. Only Norway, who played in the Division 1 tournament last year, is less experienced. However, the vastness of talent remains. Denton Mateychuk (Columbus Blue Jackets) will lead the backend with his tremendous package of two-way ability. Up front, Macklin Celebrini (2024 NHL Draft) will draw much of the attention, but 19-year-olds such as Conor Geekie (Arizona Coyotes), Matthew Savoie (Buffalo Sabres), Matthew Poitras (Boston Bruins), and Fraser Minten (Toronto Maple Leafs) will see considerable offensive opportunities.

While this version of Team Canada won’t be expected to run and gun over the competition every outing, they will surely possess the usual hard-nosed, physical style that will open up space for the skilled players to operate.

The 2024 squad is home to nine first-round draft picks and 18 drafted players altogether. Additionally, they will bring the consensus and presumptive first-overall selection in the 2024 draft in Celebrini. As usual, Canada will be without several Junior-eligible players currently playing at the NHL level. This includes 2023 No. 1 pick Connor Bedard, as well as Adam Fantilli, Shane Wright, Kevin Korchinski, and Zach Benson.


The Swedes are hosting the event for the first time since 2014 when they came painstakingly close to bringing home the gold. This iteration of the squad appears destined to challenge for that top spot once again.

The roster is home to seven first-round picks, and 19 drafted players in total. Up front, the big missing piece comes in the way of Leo Carlsson. The 2022 second-overall suffered a gruesome-looking though not too serious injury, but it doesn't seem like the Anaheim Ducks would've loaned him to Sweden anyway.

However, the big trio of Jonathan Lekkerimäki (Vancouver Canucks), Noah Östlund (Sabres), and captain, Liam Öhgren (Minnesota Wild) should have the skill and the will to lead the offensive charge. But don’t sleep on Felix Unger Sörum (Carolina Hurricanes) either. He’s looked great everywhere he’s been this season.

Axel Sandin Pellikka (Detroit Red Wings) will create the offence on the backend, with Tom Willander (Canucks), Elias Salomonsson (Winnipeg Jets), and Elias Pettersson (Canucks) providing ample depth. Much of the roster was part of a gold-medal-winning team at the Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Landshut, Germany back in 2022.

The team will be coached by Magnus Hävelid. This is his second stint behind the bench at the top U20 event. He was also the bench boss who led that U18 team to gold and had his first stint behind the World Junior bench last year.


After earning a silver medal at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, the Finnish team disappointed by placing fifth in last year’s event. They will look to avenge that result this year in Gothenburg. But to do so, they’ll need to find scoring from unlikely places.

Finland’s team in 2024 is lacking in high-end talent. Joakim Kemell rejecting an opportunity to play in his third tournament did not help matters. The team does still boast 14 NHL-drafted prospects, but no first-round picks.

A lot of scouts will be keying in on Finland to get their eyes on Konsta Helenius (2024 NHL Draft). The 6-feet-tall centre is in the midst of a tremendous draft-eligible season where he trails only World Juniors teammate Jani Nyman (Seattle Kraken) among U20 scorers. However, it’s difficult to expect a 17-year-old to lead the charge. The team will need to score by committee, stop by committee, and have their starting netminder standing on his head.

The Finns have long been a plucky nation at this tournament, so it would be inadvisable to completely count them out. However, getting out of the quarterfinals may be difficult for the second year in a row.

Group B (USA, Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Norway)

Team USA

If there's a favourite at this year's tournament, then the Americans are it. Their lineup has an embarrassment of riches at every position, with overwhelming star power and depth in almost equal measures. They could net Best Player of the Tournament at every position when it's all said and done.

Much of the focus will be on the Boston College line, with longtime teammates and linemates Will Smith (San Jose Sharks), Ryan Leonard (Washington Capitals), and Gabe Perreault (New York Rangers), and rightly so – they're as skilled a line as any in the tournament and they have built-in chemistry that can be invaluable in this setting.

Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers) is going to be the American's go-to guy in this tournament, though. He's an elder statesman, barely even eligible to play given his age, with a year's experience already and blessed with size, speed, and skill that should make him a force on the bigger ice surface.

It will be interesting to see what they do further down the lineup, though. The American blue line is a turbocharged, offence-first unit if there ever was one, led by Lane Hutson (Montréal Canadiens) and Seamus Casey (New Jersey Devils). They'll be in a lot of track meets. They have the goaltending to play that brand of hockey, too. With Trey Augustine (Red Wings) and Jacob Fowler (Canadiens), they have two of the tournament's best tenders.

This is the team to beat, and they'll be appointment viewing every time they take the ice in Gothenburg.


Czechia was the story of last year's tournament, going on an unlikely run to the gold medal game before bowing out 3-2 in overtime to Canada. What a run though.

They're icing a new-look roster at this year's tournament for the most part, but they've retained the services of their top-line, reuniting Jiří Kulich (Sabres), Eduard Šalé (Kraken), Matyáš Šapovaliv (Vegas Golden Knights). That line has been wreaking havoc on opponents dating back to their first year of draft eligibility, and they're a good bet to keep that up at this year's tournament. Czechia goes as far as they'll take them.

They're going to ice a relatively inexperienced, young forward group behind them, and that could make them something of a one-line team at this year's tournament. The third line of Matyáš Melovský (2024 NHL Draft) with Jakub Štancl (St. Louis Blues) and Simon Slavíček (2024 NHL Draft) may be a surprisingly effective group though.

The blue line may be where the dropoff from last year's team to this one is the most stark. Tomáš Hamara (Ottawa Senators) and Tomáš Cibulka (2024 NHL Draft) look like the odds-on favourite to lead the way at the top of the depth, but they may need to rely on the young, first-time draft-eligible Tomáš Galvas and Adam Jiříček to generate much offence from the back end.

There isn't much suspense in goal. That's Michael Hrabal's job, full-stop. This team is going to need him to steal some games for them if they want to do much damage.


If Czechia was The Story of the last tournament, then Slovakia was the runner-up. They gave everyone all they could handle in this tournament, almost upsetting Canada in the playoffs, led by Adam Gajan (Chicago Blackhawks) in goal.

This is as strong a group of forwards as the Slovaks have brought with them to the tournament in some time. With Dalibor Dvorský (Blues), Samuel Honzek (Calgary Flames), Filip Mešár (Canadiens), Servác Petrovský (Minnesota Wild), Martin Mišiak (Blackhawks), Juraj Pekarčik (Blues), Adam Sýkora (Rangers), Alex Čiernik (Flyers), and Adam Zlnka (Coyotes) upfront, they boast nine drafted skaters just in that part of the lineup.

Things get much more lean on the blue line. Maxim Štrbák (Sabres) will be leaned on as all-situations defender for this Slovak team, but he's struggled this year as a freshman at Michigan State. There's no telling if he's up to that assignment.

This team is going to engage in some shootouts, and they have the goaltending to survive those games – we saw it last year – but that blue line may be an Achilles heel that opponents can easily exploit.


The Swiss have a reputation as a plucky nation, a tough out at every tournament. They just might live up to that at this year's tournament, but they'll rely on a relatively young, inexperienced group to do it.

Leo Braillard (2024 NHL Draft) will be leaned on to score, along with the first-time draft-eligible Jamiro Reber. They made a strong impression with Switzerland when they hosted the U18s in Basel last year, and they'll need to follow that up with a strong tournament for their country to have much of a chance of doing anything in Gothenburg.

The strength of this team is its blueline, led by Rodwin Dionicio (Ducks). Switzerland will go as far as he can take them. He was a star at last year's tournament, so there are worse players to have to lean on. They have a pair of first-time draft-eligible defenceman in Daniil Ustinkov and Leon Muggli who will be critical parts of this team, too. They're worth tracking for this year's draft.

In goal, Alessio Beglieri's experience probably has him prohibitively in the pole position as the team's starter, but Lorin Grüter has had the better season of the two in Switzerland. We'll see how that plays out.

This team isn't likely to medal, but they could put the fear of god into some of these teams.

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This article is about:
World Juniors 2024 Canada U20 Czechia U20 Finland U20 Germany U20 Latvia U20 Norway U20 Slovakia U20 Sweden U20 Switzerland U20 USA U20 WJC-20
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