World Juniors teams, rosters, format & more to know about 2022 IIHF hockey tournament

As the year comes to a close and the NHL season hits pause, hockey fans can still get their fill when the World Juniors starts on Dec. 26. The tournament, which showcases the best hockey talent in the world under 20 years old, is in its 46th running this year.

It’s also one of the most anticipated iterations of the tournament as the NHL and NHLPA announced the league won’t be sending any of its players to the Olympics in Beijing, as was the case in 2018 for Pyeongchang.

MORE: Full 2022 World Juniors tournament guide

As a result, the Olympic teams this year will likely be comprised of replacement players, former NHLers and potentially some of the game’s young stars, many of whom will be putting their talents on display at this year’s World Juniors in Edmonton. This is the second-straight year Canada has hosted the tournament.

The tournament will run from Dec. 26 with the preliminary rounds and ends on Jan. 5, 2022, for the gold medal game.

MORE: Top Canadian prospects to watch at 2022 World Juniors

Of note, the IIHF, which puts on the World Juniors, canceled all of its competitions beginning in January and canceled an exhibition game between Czechia and Switzerland due to COVID concerns. As of now, the World Juniors is still on, but Sporting News will provide updates accordingly.

Here’s the rest of the information you need to know about the 2022 World Juniors tournament.

What teams compete in the World Juniors?

There will be 10 teams competing at this year’s tournament, broken up into two groups — Group A and Group B.  The two groups for this year are as follows:

Group A

  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Czechia
  • Austra

Group B

  • United States
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia

The current 10-team format has been in place since 1996 and comprises the top-10 ranked teams in the world. Since the tournament got its official start in 1977, Canada, Sweden, Russia, Czechia, Finland and the United States have participated in every tournament. Slovakia has competed in every tournament since the 10-team format was introduced in 1996, following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

The tournament, which is deemed Division I and the top pool, also has Divisions II and III, with lower-ranked countries who vie for a spot at promotion to the top group and the main World Juniors.

Numerous other countries have participated in the top pool including: Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Austria, Denmark, France, Poland, Japan, Norway and Ukraine.

In the history of the tournament, Russia has the most total medals with 37 (including the Soviet Union and CIS) while Canada has the most gold medals with 18. The Russians last won gold in 2011 while the Canadians last won in 2020. The Americans are reigning champs and have five gold medals and 13 total.

History of IIHF World Junior Championships
YEAR-LOCATION GOLD SILVER BRONZE
2021 – Edmonton, Canada United States Canada Finland
2020 – Ostrava & Trinec, Czech Republic Canada Russia Sweden
2019 – Vancouver & Victoria, Canada Finland United States Russia
2018 – Buffalo, N.Y. Canada Sweden United States
2017 – Montreal and Toronto, Canada United States Canada Russia
2016 – Helsinki, Finland Finland Russia United States
2015 – Montreal/Toronto, Canada Canada Russia Slovakia
2014 – Malmo, Sweden Finland Sweden Russia
2013 – Ufa, Russia United States Sweden Russia
2012 – Calgary/Edmonton, Canada Sweden Russia Canada
2011 – Buffalo/Niagara, N.Y. Russia   Canada   United States
2010  Regina/Saskatoon, Canada United States Canada   Sweden  
2009 – Ottawa, Canada Canada   Sweden   Russia  
2008 – Pardubice/Liberec, Czech Republic Canada   Sweden   Russia  
2007 – Leksand/Mora, Sweden Canada   Russia   United States
2006 – Kamloops/Kelowna/Vancouver, Canada Canada   Russia   Finland  
2005 – Grand Forks, N.D./Thief River Falls, Minn. Canada   Russia   Czech Republic  
2004 – Helsinki/Hameenlinna, Finland United States Canada   Finland  
2003 – Halifax/Sydney, Canada Russia   Canada   Finland  
2002 – Pardubice/Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic Russia   Canada   Finland  
2001 – Moscow/Podolsk, Russia Czech Republic   Finland   Canada  
2000 – Skelleftea/Umea, Sweden Czech Republic   Russia   Canada  
1999 – Winnipeg, Canada Russia   Canada   Slovakia  
1998 – Helsinki/Hameenlinna, Finland Finland   Russia   Switzerland  
1997 – Geneva/Morges, Switzerland Canada   United States Russia  
1996 – Boston, Mass. Canada   Sweden   Russia  
1995 – Red Deer, Canada Canada   Russia   Sweden  
1994 – Ostrava/Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic Canada   Sweden   Russia  
1993 – Gavle/Fulun, Sweden Canada   Sweden   Czechoslovakia  
1992-  Fussen/Kaufbeuren, Germany CIS   Sweden   United States
1991 – Saskatoon, Canada Canada   Soviet Union   Czechoslovakia  
1990 – Helsinki/Turku, Finland Canada   Soviet Union   Czechoslovakia  
1989 – Anchorage, Alaska, United States Soviet Union   Sweden   Czechoslovakia  
1988 – Moscow, Soviet Union Canada   Soviet Union   Finland  
1987 – Piestany, Czechoslovakia Finland   Czechoslovakia   Sweden  
1986 – Hamilton, Canada Soviet Union   Canada   United States
1985 – Helsinki/Turku, Finland Canada   Czechoslovakia   Soviet Union  
1984 – Nykoping, Sweden Soviet Union   Finland   Czechoslovakia  
1983 – Leningrad, Soviet Union Soviet Union   Czechoslovakia   Canada  
1982 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. Canada   Czechoslovakia   Finland  
1981 – Fussen/Augsburg, Germany Sweden   Finland   Soviet Union  
1980 – Helsinki, Finland Soviet Union   Finland   Sweden  
1979 – Karlstad, Sweden Soviet Union   Czechoslovakia   Sweden  
1978 – Montreal, Canada Soviet Union   Sweden   Canada  
1977 – Bystrica-Zvolen, Czechoslovakia Soviet Union   Canada   Czechoslovakia  
1976* – Tampere, Finland Soviet Union   Canada   Czechoslovakia  
1975* – U.S./Canada Soviet Union   Canada   Sweden  
1974* – Leningrad, Soviet Union Soviet Union   Finland   Canada 

* – IIHF began officially sponsoring World Junior Championship in 1977

Who will be representing each team at the World Juniors?

The tournament, which at its most basic, requires that its participants be citizens of the country they represent and turn 20 in the year of the tournament’s ending (eg. 2001 for 2021).

Each team is comprised of the best young talent in their respective countries, with the youngest players being 17 and the oldest being 20. Several of the players were either drafted into the NHL or have their rights owned by an NHL team.

Notable names on the rosters include Owen Power and Kent Johnson on Team Canada, Alexander Holtz and Fabian Lysell on Team Sweden and Matty Beniers and Jake Sanderson on Team USA.

All told, there are 28 first-round picks who’ll be taking the ice at this year’s tournament, including three from Russia, six from the United States, seven from Sweden and 12 from Canada.

Full team rosters can be found here.

What is the format of the 2022 World Juniors tournament?

When the tournament starts on Jan. 6, it’ll begin with the Group stage of the competition to determine standings heading into the quarterfinal round, which features eight teams.

The two teams who don’t make the quarterfinals drop to the relegation round to determine which country will drop out of the top-10. That country will be replaced next year by Belarus, which went 5-0 in the lower division tournament to punch its ticket for next year. It will be Belarus’ first time back in the World Juniors since 2018.

Following the quarterfinal matchups, the final four teams will be re-seeded for the semifinal games based on certain criteria:

  1. Higher position in their respective group
  2. Higher number of points
  3. Better goal differential
  4. Higher number of goals for
  5. Higher seeding coming into 2022

The quarterfinals will all take place on Jan. 2, with the semifinals two days later on Jan. 4 before the gold and bronze medal games on Jan. 5.

The first matchup of the entire tournament comes at 12 p.m. local time in Edmonton and pits Switzerland against Germany. 

World Juniors schedule 2022

Sunday, Dec. 26

Matchup Time TV channel
Finland vs. Germany 2 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Russia vs. Sweden 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Czech Republic vs. Canada 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
USA vs. Slovakia 9:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Monday, Dec. 27 

Matchup Time TV channel
Austria vs. Finland 2 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Russia vs. Switzerland 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Germany vs. Czech Republic 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Sweden vs. Slovakia 9:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Tuesday, Dec. 28 

Matchup Time TV channel
Switzerland vs. USA 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Austria vs. Canada 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Wednesday, Dec. 29 

Matchup Time TV channel
Finland vs. Czech Republic 2 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Slovakia vs. Russia 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Canada vs. Germany 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Sweden vs. USA 9:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Thursday, Dec. 30 

Matchup Time TV channel
Czech Republic vs. Austria 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Slovakia vs. Switzerland 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Friday, Dec. 31 

Matchup Time TV channel
Germany vs. Austria 2 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Switzerland vs. Sweden 4:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Canada vs. Finland 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
USA vs. Russia 9:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Sunday, Jan. 2

Matchup Time TV channel
Quarterfinal 2:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Quarterfinal 5 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Quarterfinal 7:30 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Quarterfinal 10 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Matchup Time TV channel
Semifinal 3 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Semifinal 7 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

Wednesday, Jan. 5

Matchup Time TV channel
Bronze medal game 4 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN
Gold medal game 8 p.m. ET TSN, NHLN

How to watch or stream the 2022 World Juniors

Fans can catch the action from Edmonton in a variety of ways. For those with cable in the United States, NHL Network will carry all the games, while TSN will carry them in Canada.

There are also options to stream the tournament as well. In Canada, fans can stream the game on the TSN app or at TSN.ca.

In the U.S., fans can stream the tournament on fuboTV (7-day free trial), on the NHL App or at NHL.tv. 

Stephen Nelson will handle play-by-play duties for the American broadcasts and he’ll be accompanied by Dave Starman as the analyst while Jon Rosen serves as the reporter.

In Canada, Gord Miller will handle play-by-play duties for TSN with Ray Ferraro joining him as an analyst for all of the Group A games, where Canada will compete.