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World Juniors Special 2024

World Juniors Special 2024

Get everything you need to know about the 2024 World Junior Championship with our annual preview edition! Inside, you'll find scouting reports for each country and features on key players to watch. Also in the issue: stories on Pettersson, Rantanen, Hintz, Byfield, Bratt, Necas, Karlsson, Zuccarello, Spooner, Flanagan and more, plus an early look at the 2024 free-agent class.



CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Macoy ___ captained Brandon to the 2016 WHL title, leading all WHL D-men in assists. 4 Clog: two words 7 Odjick, who was a fan favorite in Vancouver 8 Where the Centre Georges-Vezina is located 10 It can mean both self-control and penalize 12 Boeser, with the Canucks 13 Where ‘Super Mario’ played his QMJHL hockey 14 He’s between the pipes in Nashville 18 Flurry of goals 19 Thompson with the Sabres 20 The first Finn named to the Hockey Hall of Fame 21 Mike ___ was the NHL’s first full-time assistant and later took over Toronto’s bench DOWN 1 Defeated narrowly 2 Home of hockey’s Frontenacs and maybe the first organized game 3 Eric ___ was captain in Carolina and now his brother Jordan wears the ‘C’ there 4 Trained reporter 5 A near ___ card is almost perfect 6 A team that’s in financial difficulty…

The Last Word


WHEN RUSSIA WAS BOOTED from IIHF competitions in response to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine, a lot of folks predicted it would make the world juniors less intriguing. And to be fair, when one of the power countries (plus Belarus, which was also banned) is absent, you might think the proceedings would be less competitive. In fact, the opposite has become true. There have been two WJC tournaments since Russia’s ouster, and both featured unexpected results. In 2022 – the summer version, not the ‘Red Deer Wedding’ debacle – upstart teams Latvia and Germany finished third in their groups. So, not only did these typical minnow countries make the medal round, but they did so with legitimate wins already under their belt: Latvia beat the Czechs in the round-robin while Germany bested…

2024 World Junior Championship


THERE’S A CHANCE YOUR team will beat Finland at the WJC, but it will never be easy. A hardworking team as always, the Finns have some big boys to get through, not to mention high-end skill led by Nashville Predators 2022 first-rounder Joakim Kemell, who is now in his first full season with AHL Milwaukee. But it all starts in net for Finland. Seattle Kraken pick Niklas Kokko is the obvious starting candidate after watching as the third-stringer last year. Kokko has NHL size at 6-foot-3 and has been fantastic in Finland’s Liiga this season for Karpat. If he needs a respite, fellow Seattle pick Visa Vedenpaa is an option. The defense corps promises to bring size as well, with Kasper Kulonummi (NSH) and Emil Pieniniemi (PIT) two players to watch. Unfortunately,…



W. GRAEME ROUSTAN: I want to first talk about the world juniors that are coming up. What are you excited about this year? PAT KELLEHER: As always, it’s the greatest tournament in hockey. It’s grown in the U.S. quite a bit thanks to our friends here in Canada, who have done an amazing job growing that tournament. So, it’s just always a special time of year, because people can really dig into a tournament like that. And this year, with it being in Sweden, you know a lot of our country will have those early-morning games they’ll get to watch at some different times throughout the day. So, it’s an incredible event. We’re very, very excited about it, and I think Gothenburg is going to be a fantastic host. WGR: The Hockey…