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Bronze Medal - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

World Juniors 2017: Denmark vs. Sweden, Latvia vs. USA, Finland vs. Czech Republic Preview, TV schedule, roster news, & more

Tournament kicks off on Boxing Day with three games

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the start of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Under-20 World Championship, popularly known as the World Juniors!

1:00 PM EST Denmark vs. Sweden (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4)

Sweden returns to the tournament they used to dominate, failing to medal the last two years, including an embarrassing 8-3 knock-out during the bronze medal game against the United States last year. The team will be lead by emerging superstar Rasmus Dahlin, the youngest player to suit up in the tournament. Only draft eligible in 2018, Dahlin will be entertaining to watch.

For Denmark this is the third straight year that the non-traditional participant country has qualified for the tournament, slowly increasing their expectations. Last season’s win in the preliminary round against Switzerland was a historic first for the country, as well as a nail-biter overtime loss in the quarterfinals against the Russians.

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Alexander True Rasmus T. Andersson Niklas Andersen
Jonas Røndbjerg Nikolaj Krag Christensen Joachim Blichfeld
William Boysen Frederik Høeg-Jørgensen David Madsen
Jeppe Jul Korsgaard Christian Wejse Tobias Ladehoff

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Oliver Gatz Nielsen Nicolai Weichel
Christian Mieritz Oliver Joakim Larsen
Anders Koch Mathias Røndbjerg
Morten Jensen

Lasse M. Petersen
Kasper L. Krog

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#11 Filip Ahl #20 Joel Eriksson-Ek #19 Alexander Nylander
#18 Rasmus Asplund #24 Jens Lööke #27 Jonathan Dahlen
#14 Elias Pettersson #15 Lias Andersson #16 Carl Grundström
#25 Sebastian Ohlsson #28 Andreas Wingerli #29 Tim Söderlund
#17 Fredrik Karlström

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#7 Oliver Kyllington #9 Gabriel Carlsson
#4 Jacob Larsson #6 Kristoffer Gunnarsson
#5 David Bernhardt #23 Lucas Carlsson
#8 Rasmus Dahlin

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#1 Felix Sandström
#30 Filip Gustavsson

3:30 PM EST Latvia vs. United States (TSN1, TSN4)

After a four year absence, Latvia returns to the top U20 division for the World Championships, with the unfortunate task of being the first opponent for one of the favourites to win the tournament in the United States.

Latvia is further entrenched in misery by being placed in Group B with countries such as Russia, the United States, and Canada, meaning that their hopes of remaining in the top division hinge on a strong performance to at least minimize their goal differential as much as possible and hope for a good result once they play the Czech Republic.

The American squad will be without powerhouse forwards Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk from last year’s squad, but their overall depth this year is such that they were able to cut OHL star Alex Debrincat from their final roster.

Latvia - Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Rihards Puide Roberts Baranovskis Valters Apfelbaums
Eduards Tralmaks Renars Krastenbergs Erlends Klavins
Martins Dzierkals Rudolfs Balcers Filips Buncis
Roberts Blugers Ricards Bernhards Deniss Smirnovs

Latvia - Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Maksims Ponomarenko Kristaps Zile
Eduards Hugo Jansons Gvido Jansons
Kristians Rubins Karlis Cukste
Tomass Zeile Rimants Zeilis

Latvia - Goaltenders

Mareks Egils Mitens
Gustavs Davis Grigals

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#19 Clayton Keller #18 Colin White #29 Tage Thompson
#12 Jordan Greenway #9 Luke Kunin #20 Troy Terry
#14 Erik Foley #28 Jack Roslovic #17 Jeremy Bracco
#23 Kieffer Bellows #10 Tanner Laczynski #13 Joey Anderson
#11 Patrick Harper

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#4 Caleb Jones #25 Charlie McAvoy
#2 Ryan Lindgren #8 Adam Fox
#3 Jack Ahcan #33 Joe Cecconi
#6 Casey Fitzgerald

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#1 Tyler Parsons
#31 Joseph Woll

5:00 PM EST Finland vs. Czech Republic (TSN3, TSN5)

The defending champion Finns kick off the tournament against the upstart Czechs, a team that gave Finland quite the scare in the preliminary round last year. The Finns came from behind late in the third to beat the Czechs, however this year the Finns will be without their top three scorers from the previous year Jesse Puljujarvi, Sebastian Aho, and Patrik Laine. In fact the Finns will be very hard-pressed to offer a repeat performance from last season, so the Czechs may want to take advantage.

Leading the way for them will be five players who are developing in Canada, notably Filip Chlapik, Adam Musil, Simon Stransky, Michael Spacek, and Tomas Soustal. Martin Necas is also expected to have a breakout performance ahead of his draft year. The Czechs can also rely on Kristian Reichel, the son of former NHLer and World Junior star Robert Reichel.

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Eeli Tolvanen Julius Nättinen Petrus Palmu
Janne Kuokkanen Henrik Borgström Kristian Vesalainen
Arttu Ruotsalainen Aapeli Räsänen Otto Koivula
Kasper Björkqvist Julius Mattila Joona Luoto

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Vili Saarijärvi Juuso Välimäki
Olli Juolevi Miro Heiskanen
Urho Vaakanainen Jesper Mattila
Juho Rautanen

Veini Vehviläinen
Karolus Kaarlehto

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#12 František Hrdinka #29 Filip Hronek
#20 Jakub Zbořil #28 Petr Kalina
#3 Daniel Krenželok #6 Ondřej Vála

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
David Kvasnicka Filip Hronek
Jakub Zbořil Petr Kalina
Daniel Krenželok František Hrdinka
Ondřej Vála

Jakub Škarek
Daniel Vladař
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