World Juniors Championships 2021: Habs’ Prospects and Full Tournament Schedule

🎢 It’s the most wonderful time of the year 🎢… Of course, Andy Williams was referring to Christmas when he sang this classic. But for many people in Canada, it also refers to the IIHF World Junior Championship, which runs over the Christmas and New Year holiday. Ten countries represented, divided in two groups, playing a preliminary round, then playoffs’ style format to get to the medal round. Every player is under 20 years old, many of which are already drafted in the NHL, hoping to have a good tournament and for some, dreaming of a medal.

For a few countries such as Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, the Gold medal is the target while others will be working to avoid relegation. This year is a special one as fans won’t be in the arena to create an atmosphere. Even NHL scouts will have to do like the fans, watching on their TV set.

Canadiens’ prospects

The Montreal Canadiens have three prospects competing in this year’s tournament. Cole Caufield will be playing in his second tournament. He will be looking to avenge a rather poor showing (for his standard) last year, trying to guide the United States to the medal round.

Cole Caufield, RW (USA) – 2019 1st round (15th overall) 19 years old

A game-breaking goal scorer that, despite his diminutive frame, thrives under pressure and is difficult to contain. Defensively, he’s uncomfortable having the puck in his own end for long and he’ll make the extra effort to pressure around the blue line and take away cross-ice options. Upon procuring puck possession, he’ll be the first to explode up ice in-transition. The hallmark of his game is his exceptional goal-scoring ability. He has a shot that absolutely leaps off his stick with pinpoint accuracy when he lets loose and a low centre of gravity that facilitates fast and flashy puckhandling at pace. He affords his linemates options by taking advantage of any allotted attention he garners, generating time and space by drawing guys in; he’s perpetually hard to play against. All-in-all, Cole Caufield is an electrifying goal-scoring machine who makes some of the most otherworldly plays look like child’s play. [EP 2019]

The Habs’ first round pick at the last NHL Draft, Kaiden Guhle, has been named to Team Canada’s roster as an 18 year-old defenseman. The rugged defenseman has taken huge strides since the Draft and will be part of a solid group at that position. Habs’ fans need not to worry if he doesn’t have a big impact or if he doesn’t play as much as they would like him to. The World Juniors are known as a 19 year-old tournament. The experience he will gain will be valuable, regardless of his role on the team.

Kaiden Guhle, D (CAN) – 2020 1st round (16th overall) 18 years old

Guhle is an absolute menace when he’s on. He’s constantly moving his feet and closes with such speed and force that he regularly dispossesses his opponent of the puck right at the defensive blue line. Guhle creates by activating off the rush or joining the second-wave of the attack. That’s where his strengths lie. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Another 18 year-old Canadiens’ prospect from this past Draft has forced his team to keep him. Jan Mysak will be playing for the Czech Republic in this year’s tournament. It will be interesting for Habs’ fans to see him play as for most of us, it will be our first opportunity to notice this second round pick.

Jan Mysak, C (CZE) – 2020 2nd round (48th overall) 18 years old

Mysak excels most in the offensive zone is as a forechecker. He takes smart routes to the puck, funnels opposition defenders towards support, and anticipates play well generally. He’s a north-south attacker and often attacks in a straight line. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Groups

So there you have it folks. Here are the two groups for this year’s tournament. I have added the schedule to the Events on the front page of this blog so come back often to see when the next game(s) will be.

GROUP AGROUP B

Full tournament schedule by date

Exhibition

All games from the start of the exhibition round to the Gold Medal Game will be aired on TSN and TSN Direct in Canada.

December 20, 2020
Switzerland (SUI) vs. USA (6:00 PM EST)
Czech Republic (CZE) vs. Finland (FIN) (9:30 PM EST)

December 21, 2020
Germany (GER) vs. Austria (AUT) (2:00 PM EST)
Sweden (SWE) vs. Canada (CAN) (6:00 PM EST)
Slovakia (SVK) vs. Russia (RUS) (9:30 PM EST)

December 22, 2020
USA vs. FIN (6:00 PM EST)
SWE vs. SUI (9:30 PM EST)

December 23, 2020
AUT vs. SVK (2:00 PM EST)
RUS vs. CAN (6:00 PM EST)
GER vs. CZE (9:30 PM EST)

Preliminary round

December 25, 2020
SUI vs. SVK (2:00 PM EST)
GER vs. FIN (6:00 PM EST)
RUS vs. USA (9:30 PM EST)

December 26, 2020
SWE vs. CZE (2:00 PM EST)
GER vs. CAN (6:00 PM EST)
USA vs. AUT (9:30 PM EST)

December 27, 2020
FIN vs. SUI (2:00 PM EST)
SVK vs. CAN (6:00 PM EST)
CZE vs. RUS (9:30 PM EST)

December 28, 2020
AUT vs. SWE (6:00 PM EST)
SVK vs. GER (9:30 PM EST)

December 29, 2020
USA vs. CZE (2:00 PM EST)
CAN vs. SUI (6:00 PM EST)
AUT vs. RUS (9:30 PM EST)

December 30, 2020
FIN vs. SVK (2:00 PM EST)
SUI vs. GER (6:00 PM EST)
RUS vs. SWE (9:30 PM EST)

December 31, 2020
CZE vs. AUT (2:00 PM EST)
CAN vs. FIN (6:00 PM EST)
SWE vs. USA (9:30 PM EST)

Quarter-finals

January 2, 2020
QF1 (12:00 PM EST)
QF2 (3:30 PM EST)
QF3 (7:00 PM EST)
QF4 (10:30 PM EST)

Semifinals

January 4, 2021
SF1 (6:00 PM EST)
SF2 (9:30 PM EST)

Medal Round

January 5, 2020
Bronze Medal Game (5:30 PM EST)
Gold Medal Game (9:30 PM EST)

Full tournament schedule by team

TeamDec 25Dec 26Dec 27Dec 28Dec 29Dec 30Dec 31Jan 1Jan 2Jan 3Jan 4Jan 5
AUTβ€”USA (9:30)β€”SWE (6:00)RUS (9:30)β€”CZE (2:00)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
CANβ€”GER (6:00)SVK (6:00)β€”SUI (6:00)β€”FIN (6:00)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
CZEβ€”SWE (2:00)RUS (9:30)β€”USA (2:00)β€”AUT (2:00)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
FINGER (6:00)β€”SUI (2:00)β€”β€”SVK (2:00)CAN (6:00)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
GERFIN (6:00)CAN (6:00)β€”SVK (9:30)β€”SUI (6:00)β€”β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
RUSUSA (9:30)β€”CZE (9:30)β€”AUT (9:30)SWE (9:30)β€”β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
SUISVK (2:00)β€”FIN (2:00)β€”CAN (6:00)GER (6:00)β€”β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
SVKSUI (2:00)β€”CAN (6:00)GER (9:30)β€”FIN (2:00)β€”β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
SWEβ€”CZE (2:00)β€”AUT (6:00)β€”RUS (9:30)USA (9:30)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD
USARUS (9:30)AUT (9:30)β€”β€”CZE (2:00)β€”SWE (9:30)β€”TBDβ€”TBDTBD

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