You’re a hockey fan. You enjoy the World Juniors every year, and hey why not, it’s a great event. But quite frankly, World Juniors and presumptuous World Junior media, you don’t have a sniff who 15% of these kids are because it’s junior hockey and you follow the NHL and you’ve got a job and a life outside being a hockey fan, goshdarnit. Am I close?

Well, don’t you fear. We’re just a couple days into the event and you haven’t missed much (anything) yet. To really enjoy the tournament it helps to know the basic details, so let me fill you in on those. We’ll call this “World Juniors for Dummies,” and yes, I include myself in that label. Here’s what it helps to know:

The what: The World Junior Championship! It matters to nations like Canada!

And…sort of Russia.

Maybe Sweden a bit?


…Canada, though. F’real.

The who: If you’re under 20 years old and one of the 22 best hockey players in your country, you can play. Assuming your country is into the whole thing, of course.

The where: Malmo, Sweden. More on that below.

The when: December 26th til January 5th. But not much all that cool happens til the second of January, when the not-really-contenders are officially wiped out.

The how: Ten teams, separated into two groups of five. The teams in each group play each other once. Top four from each group advance and are seeded how you’d expect. Bottom two teams play a best-of-three to avoid relegation.

Okay, the last part wasn’t true, just seeing if you’re paying attention.

The why: What, we’re getting existential about the whole thing? I don’t know.


Intense details

The Pools (links go to rosters)

Group A:

Czech Republic

Group B:


The Schedule, TV and otherwise

You can find that here, Canada, and Amuricans can track theirs down here.

Info sources

For opinion and updates, I’d completely unbiasedly recommend Backhand Shelf, which will be featuring a daily piece (largely North American-centric) on the action every day, not too dissimilar from the On The Regroup posts you’ve come to know.

For completely over-the-top overkill obsession (man, that left-winger on Switzerland’s third line sure makes a nice C-cut when skating backwards, doesn’t he?), TSN has what you’re looking for. WE DO TO HAVE HOCKEY YOU GUYS, SEE??

I’d also recommend the Twitter humans below, who are all over it:


Hell…check this list out if you’re that hardcore

You can also use the hashtag #2014WJC if you’d like to be a part of the conversation.

Names of note

The following players are some of the biggest names in the event, and likely to be your tournament difference-makers. Tune in.

  • Mikhail Grigorenko, Russia
  • Teuvo Teravainen, Finland
  • Jonathan Drouin, Canada
  • Sam Reinhart, Canada
  • Connor McDavid, Canada
  • Matt Dumba, Canada
  • Leon Draisaitl, Germany
  • Adam Erne, United States
  • Riley Barber, United States
  • Radek Faksa, Czech Republic
  • Marko Dano, Slovakia
  • Filip Forsberg, Sweden
  • Elias Lindholm, Sweden

The following players are eligible to be drafted this upcoming summer, and damn good at hockey. Watch for them.

  • Sam Reinhart (Canada)
  • Aaron Ekblad (Canada)
  • Leon Draisaitl (Germany)
  • Ivan Barbashev (Russia)
  • Julius Honka (Finland)
  • Anton Karlsson (Sweden)
  • Jakub Vrana (Czech Republic)
  • David Pastrnak (Czech Republic)

You can learn more about the names above here.

The name you probably need to know most

Connor McDavid (Canada), or “McJesus,” as I’ve seen him called. He’s eligible to go in the 2015 draft, and teams are already thinking about tanking that year to get him. He’s “the next one,” your next Crosby, a 16 year old holding his own against guys far more developed (older) than him.

Preview videos

The main teams have been previewed in video form. Come along! Let’s learn about…


The Amuricans!

The True North Strong and Free

The Svedes

The Czechs

The Fins

And finally….your host city, Malmo

And finally, JB’s PREDICTION

1. Sweden
2. Canada
3. USA
4. Russia

Those Swedes, man. They can do it however you want it. Gritty? They got it. Skill game? No problem. Patience, poise…they’re the real deal.

Bold not to pick Germany, I know. Enjoy the tourney!

One more thing…the WJC mascot

What the hell is this (thanks to Mark Masters for the pic):


Comments (8)

  1. Only 2 teams are relegated this year. 4 teams from each pool advance to the cross over playoff.

    • Actually only one team is relegated, the loser of the best of 3 series between the 2 last place group finishers.

  2. They changed the Playoff round format this year. Pool winners do not move on to the semi-finals. Top 4 from each pool make it and all play in the quarter finals. Bottom teams play a best of 3 for relegation.

    • Hey, I doofed up and assumed it was the same as past years. Fixed (along with the other error), thanks for the help, all.

  3. What the other two commenters said – no byes to the semi-finals this year. My faith in you as an all-knowing hockey person has been severely damaged now.

    Also, I’d watch Lazar too (because we need more Canadian players to watch). It looks like Paterson is getting the starting job, so save Fucale to watch next year.

  4. Need to fix the “where” in case uh, someone reads this post and decides to… go in person?

    The World Juniors are not split between Helsinki and Malmö, all games are in Malmö split between two different arenas within walking distance of each other. Maybe you’re thinking of the spring World Championships which are split between Stockholm and Helsinki in 2012 and 2013.

    Also, Finland is not a Scandinavian country (but it is a Nordic country!)

  5. Any fellow Yanks should watch Jack Eichel for the Americans. 17 year old Massachusetts kid with tons of skill. Currently the 2nd line center, he had a nifty assist on the USA’s second goal of the tourney and is 2015 draft eligible.

  6. Quick notes Justin:

    Shouldve listed Reway (Gatineau Olympiques – one of the PPG leaders in the Q, drafted by MTL in 2013, just a revelation to watch – fits your definition of fun perfectly, Im sure) for Slovaks in players to watch category. Already has a 4p game against Germany under his belt.

    Double underagers to watch:
    - McDavid (CAN)
    - Zacha (CZE)
    - Cernak (SVK)
    - Eichel (USA)

    All of them had semi-good to great opening games, which is indeed impressive.

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