Group A Preliminary Games
9 AM ET: Kazakhstan vs Switzerland
For the first time in several years, Switzerland will take to the ice at the World Juniors without Christian Wohlwend behind the bench. Their new coach Thierry Paterlini will be in tough to finish anywhere other than in third place, but that would require a win against Kazakhstan. Valentin Nussbaumer and Nico Gross should lead the Swiss offensively. For Kazakhstan, their focus may be on their game against Slovakia on Friday. We may see some usage that suggests they are holding something back for their must-win game. The game will be shown on TSN 1/3 and RDS in Canada.
The defending Gold Medal winners will look to start their title defence successfully in a game against their hated rival. Finland will be relying on goaltender Justus Annunen and a very experienced and talented defensive core but will no doubt miss top 2020 draft prospect Anton Lundell. Sweden will once again have a talented roster, especially on defence. Mattias Norlinder should be expected to get spot duty on defence, while they have injury issues of their own as Canadiens prospect Jacob Olofsson will miss the tournament. The game will be on TSN 3 in Canada. RDS will show the game on delay.
Group B Preliminary Games
9 AM ET: Czech Republic vs Russia
Alexander Romanov will look to pick up where he left off at last year’s tournament where he was named the top defender. This year, he’s the oldest player on a Russian squad that will be expected to perform well. Top 2020 draft prospect Yaroslav Askarov will lead the way in goal for Russia. The Czech Republic is hosting the tournament and bringing a very young roster. Eleven players on the roster are eligible for next year’s tournament. The youth movement will be in tough in a group with little room for error. The game will be on TSN 4/5 and RDS in Canada, NHL Network in the US.
1:00 PM ET: Canada vs United States
A North American rivalry will be in the spotlight as the two countries continue their hostilities. After not facing off in the 2019 tournament, the two are back in the same group. Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield will have all eyes on him as he is coming off a four-goal performance against Germany in pre-tournament action. For Team Canada, Alexis Lafreniere will have a lot of attention on him as he enters his second tournament but this year in his draft year. Neither team will want to start the tournament off with a loss, adding to the urgency even though it’s only the tournament’s first day. The game will be on TSN 1/4/5 and RDS in Canada, NHL Network in the US.
All games shown on TSN will be streamed on TSN Live in Canada, but it requires a subscription.