2019 World Juniors Preview

wjc19There’s no doubt that the World Juniors are a tournament dominated by Canadians who took their 17th title in 2018.

They went to Buffalo for another year and took home another title in a tournament that they have dominated over the years.

They are the winningest program in the tournament and one of the few countries that pay close attention every year.

That is why the IIHF continues to commit to sending the tournament to Canadian cities where it will land once again this year.

The Junior tournament will travel to the other side of North America where Vancouver and Victoria will play host to the 2019 version of the tournament.

It continues to be one of the most important tournaments for the country and so it will head to a bit of a home in Canada.

There the Canadians will look to repeat as champions, something that they have done multiple times throughout the history of the tournament.

They bring in a talented team like they do every year with some of the top scorers from major junior and top prospects already drafted into the NHL.

There is little doubt that out of every team in the tournament the Canadians will have more recognizable names in the tournament this year.

They may not be household names right now but they could be soon and that is not new for a Canadian junior team.

Canadians have always brought in more big names than any other country simply because they have the depth to choose from.

The biggest challenge for them is that their best eligible players are rarely ever available because they are playing in the NHL and too valuable to their NHL teams.

When heading into the tournament they are always going to be the favourites to take the entire thing for another title.

That is becoming a lot less common though as the Canadians remain a favourite every year but they can’t walk through the competition.

The Russians have always been the team to challenge them throughout the history of the tournament.

They are one of the few teams in the world who can rival the Canadians in depth and level of talent.

The other team to bring that same depth is the Americans who continue to develop great talent in the sport and continue to evolve into a constant contender.

Even though Finland and Sweden are nowhere near as consistent or as deep as these other teams they are getting better.hockey-sidebar

The level of talent that they bring to the table is among the best with top-level talent coming through the ranks on their team.

There aren’t as many of those great players on these teams but they have talent on the front end to compete.

Sweden has become a constant contender and came close to taking a title last year losing to Canada in the final.

They can certainly find their way back there but the challenge remains the same for all of these teams, they need to take advantage of the talent when they are around.

Teams don’t last together for a long time as the best players head to the NHL and others age out of the tournament.

So new players will always take the focus and this year despite the fact that the Canadians will have a lot of talent there is plenty to unseat them at the top.

The Americans will be lead by the Hughes brothers, Jack Hughes is currently one of the top prospects for the 2019 draft while Quinn Hughes is a Vancouver prospect.

Finland will be led by Nashville prospect, Eeli Tolvanen while Russia will look to Vitali Kravtsov who was drafted by the Rangers.

These players will all be looking to knock off the Canadians and lead their teams to the top of the heap.

It is easily possible as the Canadians won last year but before that, the Americans and Finns took home gold medals.

The tournament may be Canada’s tournament as it is one of the biggest throughout the country and one where they are the most successful.

That gap is decreasing though as there are more teams with more talent all with a chance to take home a title.

Although Canada remains the favourites there is no writing off the Americans or the Russians in this year’s tournament.

Then again another team could find their way to the final and take home the title this year in Vancouver.

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