Many absent at the World Junior Hockey Championship
Among the most important absences, we must mention Russia, suspended by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), due to the attack in Ukraine.
The Russians are always formidable opponents at the world juniors, as evidenced by the 9 medals (1 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze) they have won during the last 11 championships.
The absence of the Russians could open the door in the semi-finals to Slovakia or the Czech Republic.
Over the past 20 years, Slovakia has only won 2 bronze medals and finished 4th once.
For its part, the Czech Republic won a bronze medal and twice finished in fourth place.
During the same period, Canada (16 medals), the United States (10 medals), Sweden (8 medals) and Finland (8 medals) shared the majority of the podiums.
The fight should be between these four countries.
Several absent for Canada
Within the Canadian team, nine players who represented the country at the time of the cancellation of the tournament in December 2021 are not returning for the summer tournament.
Among them are eight first-round picks in one of the three most recent National Hockey League (NHL) amateur drafts.
Their absence can be explained, in the majority of cases, by the proximity that exists between the tournament and the start of the training camps in the NHL.
These players do not want to jeopardize their chances of earning a place on the team that selected them, due to an injury that may occur during the event.
Despite the loss of several important players, the Canadian team will be able to count on the presence of important players such as Mason McTavish, a Ducks prospect, selected third overall in 2021, and Kent Johnson, selected fifth overall by the Blue Jackets last same year.
Connor Bedard, whom many consider to be the best hope for the next draft of the NHL, will also be present. In December, he scored four goals in Canada’s win over Austria before the tournament was cancelled.
Americans without Sanderson and Beniers
Canada is not alone in having to do without some of its best. The American team also had to replace nine members of its formation, including Jake Sanderson and Matty Beniers.
The United States can still count on impact players such as Logan Cooley (3rd, Coyotes, 2022), Luke Hughes (4th, Devils, 2021), Matthew Coronato (13th, Flames, 2021) Chaz Lucius (18th , Jets, 2021) and Mackie Samoskevich (24th, Panthers, 2021)
On the Swedish side, eight players are not back in the national junior team.
Alexander Holtz and William Eklund, both selected seventh overall by the Devils in 2020 and the Sharks in 2021 respectively, will miss the tournament in the Alberta capital. The two players each played nine games last season in the NHL.
Finland’s roster features just five changes from the December roster.
Other brand absentees
On the list of eligible players, but who will not participate in the World Championship, we find the Slovaks Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec, drafted first and second in the most recent amateur draft of the NHLby the Canadiens and the Devils.
Only 8 of the 32 players drafted in the first round in July in Montreal will be in Edmonton to represent their country. They will undoubtedly be more numerous at the next championship which will be presented in December in Moncton, New Brunswick, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia.