2021 IIHF U18 World Championship: Tournament Info

Steve Kournianos  |  4/23/2021  |  

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NASHVILLE (The Draft Analyst) — The annual IIHF under-18 world hockey championship begins on Monday, April 26 from Texas, with eight countries from Europe and two from North America participating. This year’s tournament, which returns after being cancelled in 2020 due to the global pandemic, will showcase mostly premier 2003-born prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL draft, plus notable players earmarked for the top spots in either of the two drafts thereafter.

Although this year’s draft crop lacks a consensus top pick, this tournament rarely disappoints in the excitement and intensity categories, as most of the participants have already played against one another internationally at either the under-17 or under-16 levels. It bears mentioning that only select 2021 draft-eligible players will comprise the majority of those competing in Texas over the next two weeks, and several notable prospects earmarked for the top 10 of this year’s NHL draft, specifically defenseman Owen Power, goalie Jesper Wallstedt, and forwards Matt Beniers, Kent Johnson, and William Eklund, are ineligible to play due to their 2002 birth years.

This event traditionally is dominated by the Americans and their under-18 National Team Development Program, which has medaled in 16 consecutive competitions and won gold a record 10 times since the tournament began in 1999. In 2019, the Swedes took home the gold in a thrilling overtime win over Russia. The NTDP and their eventual 17 NHL draft picks settled for bronze in a blowout win over Canada.

This year’s tournament on paper lacks a unanimous favorite, however Russia’s 2003 year group has won convincingly at other international events, including gold at the 2019 World under-17 Hockey Challenge via a 6-2 thumping of the Americans. The group they ice in Texas will feature potential superstar Matvei Michkov, who at 16 led Russia’s top junior league in goal scoring and is the favorite to go first overall in the 2023 NHL draft.

Participating nations and groups

Group A Group B
1. Sweden 2. Russia
4. Canada 3. United States
5. Belarus 6. Czech Republic
8. Latvia 7. Finland
9. Switzerland Germany*

*Germany won the 2019 D1A under-18 tournament to advance into this year’s competition. Slovakia was relegated to the lower division via its 10th-place finish in 2019.

Rosters

U.S. | RUS | FIN | CZE | SWE | CAN | GER | SUI | LAT | BLR

Tournament schedule, venues, and streams

Live streams of all events can be found via a monthly charge from HockeyTV. NHL Network will also stream games but not every match, and some are expected to be tape delayed. You can always try OnHockey.TV which will provide you with streams of every game for free, but you’ll definitely need multiple ad blockers activated if you decide to use the site. 

Match Group Day Date EDT Location
Czech Rep. vs. Germany B
Monday
April 26, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Belarus vs. Sweden A
Monday
April 26, 2021 5 p.m. Plano, TX
Russia vs. U.S. B Monday April 26, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Latvia vs. Switzerland A Monday April 26, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Finland vs. Russia B Tuesday April 27, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Switzerland vs. Belarus A Tuesday April 27, 2021 5 p.m. Plano, TX
Germany vs. U.S. B Tuesday April 27, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Sweden vs. Canada A Tuesday April 27, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Czech Rep. vs. Finland B Wednesday April 28, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Canada vs. Latvia A Wednesday April 28, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Germany vs. Russia B Thursday April 29, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Sweden vs. Switzerland A Thursday April 29, 2021 5 p.m. Plano, TX
U.S. vs. Czech Rep. B Thursday April 29, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Belarus vs. Latvia A Thursday April 29, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Finland vs. Germany B Friday April 30, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Switzerland vs. Canada A Friday April 30, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Russia vs. Czech Rep. B Saturday May 1, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Latvia vs. Sweden A Saturday May 1, 2021 5 p.m. Plano, TX
U.S. vs. Finland B Saturday May 1, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Canada vs. Belarus A Saturday May 1, 2021 9 p.m. Plano, TX
Quarterfinals QF Monday May 3, 2021 1:30 p.m. Plano, TX
Quarterfinals QF Monday May 3, 2021 4 p.m. Frisco, TX
Quarterfinals QF Monday May 3, 2021 6:30 p.m. Plano, TX
Quarterfinals QF Monday May 3, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Semifinals SF Wednesday May 5, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Semifinals SF Wednesday May 5, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX
Bronze medal game F Thursday May 6, 2021 5 p.m. Frisco, TX
Gold medal game F Thursday May 6, 2021 9 p.m. Frisco, TX

Medal winners

Year Gold Silver Bronze Host
1999  Finland   Sweden   Slovakia   Germany
2000  Finland   Russia   Sweden    Switzerland
2001  Russia    Switzerland   Finland   Finland
2002  U.S.   Russia   Czech Rep.   Slovakia
2003  Canada   Slovakia   Russia   Russia
2004  Russia   U.S.   Czech Rep.   Belarus
2005  U.S.   Canada   Sweden   Czech Rep.
2006  U.S.   Finland   Czech Rep.   Sweden
2007  Russia   U.S.   Sweden   Finland
2008  Canada   Russia   U.S.   Russia
2009  U.S.   Russia   Finland   U.S.
2010  U.S.   Sweden   Finland   Belarus
2011  U.S.   Sweden   Russia   Germany
2012  U.S.   Sweden   Canada   Czech Rep.
2013  Canada   U.S.   Finland   Russia
2014  U.S.   Czech Rep.   Canada   Finland
2015  U.S.   Finland   Canada    Switzerland
2016  Finland   Sweden   U.S.   U.S.
2017  U.S.   Finland   Russia   Slovakia
2018  Finland   U.S.   Sweden   Russia
2019  Sweden   Russia   U.S.   Sweden
2020 Cancelled

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