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2022 World Junior Hockey Championship: Group B preview

Take two of the tournament takes place this week.

Germany v Czechia: Preliminary Round Group A - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Eight months after the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship was cancelled, the slate has been cleared and the tournament will start fresh.

Since December, a lot has changed, and Russia is out of the tournament and have been replaced with Latvia in Group A. The German team, as a result, shifts to Group B.

There will be no relegation for the 2022 tournament which means that the same 10 teams will take part in the 2023 tournament that will start in December like normal. Players born in 2002, and who were eligible for the tournament in December will remain eligible, even if they have since turned 20.

The tournament will start on Tuesday, and although we have previews from December, there have been several changes to rosters.

Austria

OUT: G Lukas Moser, D Luca Erne, F Mathias Bohm, F Marco Kasper, F Killian Rappold, F Vinzenz Rohrer, F Johannes Tschurnig

IN: G Thomas Pfarrmaier, D Maximilian Preiml, F Jonas Dobnig, F Nico Kramer, F Moritz Lackner, F Ian Scherzer, F Janick Wernicke

Austria lost two key drafted players from 2022, first-round pick Marco Kasper and Canadiens draft pick Vinzenz Rohrer. That will definitely hurt them, especially given the group they find themselves in, but the threat of relegation is no more.

Sebastian Wraneschitz returns in goal, and will likely be tasked with trying to steal a game.

Germany

OUT: D Justus Böttner, D Fabrizio Pilu, F Jakub Borzecki, F Yannik Burghart, F Noah Dunham, F Florian Elias, F Jussi Petersen

IN: D Nils Elten, D Leon van der Linde, F Ryan Del Monte, F Luca Hauf, F Nikolaus Heigl, F Håkon Hänelt, F Yannick Proske

Germany had an upset win in the cancelled 2022 tournament against Czechia, and for their reward, they get sent to the very tough Group B, but not as tough without the Russians. Losing captain Florian Elias from the December tournament will hurt them but the Germans are no stranger to missing top players at this tournament.

Sweden

OUT: G Jesper Vikman, D Leo Lööf, D Joel Nyström, D Victor Sjöholm, F William Eklund, F Elliot Ekmark, F Alexander Holtz, F Zion Nybeck, F Elias Stenman

IN: G Carl Lindbom, D Ludvig Jansson, D William Wallinder, F Jonathan Lekkerimäki, F Linus Sjödin, F Victor Stjornborg

While Sweden lost several first-round picks, they do add one in Vancouver Canucks first-round pick Jonathan Lekkerimäki. After being a surprising cut for the December tournament, Detroit Red Wings prospect William Wallinder will patrol the defence for Sweden in this tournament.

Switzerland

OUT: G Loic Galley, D Lian Bichsel, D Damian Gehringer, D Noah Meier, F Jérémie Bärtschi, F Lorenzo Canonica, F Christophe Cavalleri, F Keanu Derungs, F Valentin Hofer, F Louis Robin

IN: G Andri Henauer, D Giancarlo Chanton, D Vincent Despont, D Rodwin Dionicio, D Nick Meile, F Mats Alge, F Simon Knak, F Tim Muggli, F Kevin Nicolet, F Jonas Taibel

One big addition is forward Simon Knak, who was out of the December tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test. The loss of Bichsel will hurt, but the Swiss are always a tough opponent.

United States

OUT: G Drew Commesso, G Dylan Silverstein, D Scott Morrow, D Jake Sanderson, F Matthew Beniers, F Tanner Dickinson, F Chaz Lucius, F Ty Smilanic

IN: G Remington Koepple, G Andrew Oke, D Sean Behrens, D Jacob Truscott, F Thomas Bordeleau, F Riley Duran, F Hunter McKown, F Charlie Stramel

The Americans lose two top-five picks in Sanderson and Beniers, and overhauled their goaltending for this tournament. Canadiens prospect Ty Smilanic is also no longer on ther roster.

They do get back Thomas Bordeleau. After missing the 2021 World Juniors, the 2022 Olympics, and being ruled out of the December 2022 World Juniors due to positive COVID-19 tests or close contacts, he finally gets a chance to represent his country at this tournament, and was given an ‘A’ on his jersey.