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Habsent Minded 2.30: World Junior Championship Preview

As the tournament begins, we discuss our thoughts.

USA v Finland: Gold Medal Game - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

The Europeans at Eyes on the Prize, Anton Rasegård and Patrik Bexell preview the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic.

Starting with group A: Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Kazakhstan. This group certainly looks like a three layered cake, Sweden has the top tier all by itself with possibly the best puck moving defence in the history of the tournament. The Finns and the Swiss will battle it out for second place, as there are some question marks about the Finnish squad, and the loss of the coach for Switzerland. Then it all comes own to Slovakia and if Samuel Hlavaj can control the Kazaks.

It is followed by the arguably tougher group that includes USA, Russia, Canada, Czech Republic and Germany. The discussion includes Germany’s rise and the top 10 prospect Tim Stützle. With three first round picks in the last three years Germany is developing talent, but can they find the depth? How big are the defensive problems for the Czech Republic, and what happens with the home crowd if the Czechs starts to lose badly? Two of the big three teams in the group of USA, Canada and Russia have the top Montreal Canadiens prospects in the tournament in Cole Caufield and Alexander Romanov.

The conversation ends with the Montreal prospects and what we can expect from them in this tournament.