The 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships will begin at Christmas, on the 25th of December in Edmonton, Canada. The local favorites are predicted to win the title again in the IIHF U20 World Championships odds. But they will face tough competition from the teams of Russia, Finland and the US.
This will be the 45th edition of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship where the top 10 junior teams will compete. The tournament will start on the 25th of December, while the final will take place on the 5th of January. The teams will begin the competition in two five-team groups, with the first four teams going through to the quarter-finals. Canada host the event for the 14th time which is another advantage for the local team. In spite of the tournament being held behind closed doors as most events this year.
IIHF U20 World Championships odds favor hosts
The U20 Canadian team also won last year’s world championship in the Czech Republic defeating Russia in the final. This year they have a chance to win back-to-back titles with their strong squad. Six players already featured in last year’s winning team. Like Dawson Mercer who was drafted by NHL team New Jersey Devils in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The team has a new head coach, Andre Tourigny who was the assistant coach of last year’s team. But he also achieved success with the team back in 2010 and 2011 winning two silver medals at the worlds.
The team will start against Germany on Sunday which should be an easy win for the team. Another big favorite, Russia will have a much more difficult task against the US team on the day before. Online sportsbooks in Canada slightly favor Russia’s win with the odds of 2.48. While the US team has the odds of 2.73 in the IIHF U20 World Championships odds. The Russian team got to the final last season defeating Sweden in the semi-finals. They have already won the U20 world championships four times (beside 9 more victories for Soviet Union) and will try to win their fifth one now.
The chances of other big teams
Staying with the US team, they are also in the top favorites by online gambling sites in Canada. They also won the event four times before, last time in 2017. 9 players from last year’s team will be back again, including goalie Spence Knight who stopped 28 out of 29 shots in their quarter-finals against Finland. But that one shot was enough for the Finnish team to win the game and meant the end of the American medal dreams. Now they will try again on a soil close to home.
But Finland, who are the 2019 U20 world champions will also go for the victory. They lost against Canada last year in the semi-finals and finished 4th after losing the bronze game too. One of their best players and the team captain, Anton Lundell is back again after missing the previous tournament. He has been drafted to the NHL in the first round and can lead the team now for another trophy. Finland will start their tournament against Germany on Boxing Day with the odds of 1.68 to win the game.