World Juniors 2024

What we learned at the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – The 2024 World Juniors went according to plan and broke from the script at just the right moments. The end result was as good an entertainment product as could be delivered.

It would've been nice to see Sweden capture their first gold on home soil, especially after they last fell in the gold medal game against Finland in Malmö in 2014, but who doesn't love a good revenge story? The Americans put the exclamation mark on a tale the two nations have written in as many years, taking the series two-to-one with this 5-2 World Juniors win and last year's U18 gold.

Tensions were high, tempers ran higher, and the Scandinavium crowd that kept the place rocking from the first game of the preliminary round right through to the medal ceremony returned that energy in kind.

And certainly, they had quite the amuse-bouche to get them going at the end.

Czechia and Finland put on perhaps the best bronze medal game that I'll ever remember at any level of hockey. It wasn't supposed to end like that, but it did, and I don't think anyone who had the privilege of watching it, much less participating, will forget this game anytime soon.

It was 5-4 for Finland with 1:56 left in regulation, and in the blink of an eye, those pesky upstart Czechs flipped the script, going on to win 8-5 and make history in the process. There's just no quit in them.

Canada was humbled. Slovakia continued their upward trajectory. Germany and Latvia managed to show up when it mattered most. Switzerland and Norway put the fear of god into a few hockey superpowers.

Hell, for all the discussion of whether to contract the tournament or not – isn't that fun, I asked with as thick a layer of sarcasm as can be delivered in digital print… – one could posit that, by the law of transitive properties, the only conclusion one could draw at points was… well… that hockey is great!

There were clear haves and have-nots, and I don't think we have to pretend otherwise, but the beauty of a tournament like this one is that, sometimes, it doesn't matter, and almost all of the time, you're going to get good hockey.

Call it the TSN Cup. Say that it only matters to Canada until you're blue in the face, whether that's true (or ever has been…) or otherwise. If you can't appreciate this tournament, maybe hockey just isn't for you.

Access this article with EP Premium

Go Premium to access this article

Register your Premium-membership at to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside

This article is about:
World Juniors 2024 Canada U20 Czechia U20 Finland U20 Germany U20 Latvia U20 Norway U20 Slovakia U20 St. Louis Blues Sweden U20 Switzerland U20 USA U20 WJC-20 Michael Brandsegg-Nygård Dalibor Dvorský Theo Lindstein Frank Nazar Stian Solberg Jakub Stancl Otto Stenberg
Scoring Leaders