September 27, 2022


The United States will try to win back-to-back titles for the first time since defeating Canada 2-0 in the 2021 championship game. Canada was the last team to do so, winning five in a row from 2005-09.

WJC 2022 is August 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The tournament was originally scheduled for Dec. 26-Jan. 5, but was postponed to December 29 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

The United States is scheduled to play qualifying round games in Group B against Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Group A consists of Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia.

Latvia was added to replace Russia, which has been banned from international games due to its invasion of Ukraine.

Hughes, the younger brother of the Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and Devils center Jack Hughes, had 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 41 games as a freshman at the University of Michigan last season. The 18-year-old defenseman was a top-10 candidate for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award given annually to recognize the top NCAA men’s hockey player.

“It’s an honor to wear the jersey whenever you can,” Hughes said. “To get back out there and try to defend that is really important for USA Hockey and our country. I think it’s really exciting and we’re going to do our best. We’re going to go game by game and we’re really excited as a team.”

[RELATED: World Junior Championship schedule | Group A preview]

The top four teams from each group will play in the quarter-finals on August 17. The semi-finals are on August 19 and the championship and third place games are on August 20.

There will be no relegation round, meaning the same 10 teams will play at the 2023 WJC in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick from December 26 to January 26. 5.

All games will be shown on NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada.

Here’s a look at each team in Group B, with projected order of finish:

United States

Coach: Nate Leaman

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Charlie Stramel, F, USA U-18 (NTDP)

Program: Aug. 9, Germany (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 11, Switzerland (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Austria (2 p.m. ET); August 14, Sweden (10 p.m. ET)

Point of view: Leaman will incorporate a quick and supportive game up front and backcourt with help from forwards Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Brett Berard (New York Rangers) and Landon Slaggert (Chicago Blackhawks) and defensemen Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild). ), Tyler Kleven (Ottawa Senators) and Hughes. Goalies Andrew Oke (2023 draft eligible) and Kaidan Mbereko (2023 draft eligible) each impressed during development camp and are the frontrunners to compete for playing time. Cooley, a freshman center at the University of Minnesota, was second on the USA Hockey Under-18 National Team Development Program squad with 75 points (27 goals, 48 ​​assists) in 51 games last season. He was second for the second-place United States at the 2022 IIHF World U18 Championship with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in six games. Strammel (6-foot-3, 212 pounds), a right-shooting center who will be a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, had 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games for the United States Under-18 team in last time. Faber is the captain of the team. Traded to Wild with No. 19 pick in 2022 NHL Draft from Los Angeles Kings for forward Kevin Fiala on June 29.

Video: Jon Paul Morosi and the Team USA crew at the WJC

Sweden

Coach: Thomas Moden

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Mans Forsfjall, D, Skelleftea (SWE)

Program: Aug. 10, Switzerland (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 12, Austria (2 p.m. ET); August 14, United States (10 p.m. ET); August 15, Germany (10 p.m. ET)

Point of view: Sweden will be without forwards Alexander Holtz (Devils) or William Eklund (San Jose Sharks) to lead the offense, but remains solid in goal with Jesper Wallstedt (Wild), Calle Clang (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Carl Lindbom (Vegas Golden Knights). and at Defenseman with Simon Edvinsson (Detroit Red Wings), Helge Grans (Kings) and William Wallinder (Red Wings). Offensively, Monten will look to Daniel Ljungman (Dallas Stars), Theodor Niederbach (Red Wings), Oskar Olausson (Colorado Avalanche) and Jonathan Lekkerimaki (Vancouver Canucks). Wallstedt will play for Iowa in the American Hockey League this season after going 12-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .918 save percentage for Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League last season. The 19-year-old was 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .962 save percentage at the 2022 WJC in December before the tournament was postponed.

Germany

Coach: Tobias Abstreiter

2023 NHL Draft Watch: No one

Schedule: Aug. 9, United States (10 p.m. ET). Aug. 10, Austria (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Switzerland (10 p.m. ET); August 15, Sweden (10 p.m. ET)

Point of view: Germany will struggle to finish sixth at the 2021 WJC without their top qualifying players, forwards Tim Stutzle (Senators), JJ Peterka (Buffalo Sabres) and Lukas Reichel (Blackhawks). Defenseman Luca Munzenberger, who averaged 21:41 of ice time in five games at the 2021 WJC, will be counted on heavily. The 19-year-old, selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round (No. 90) of the 2021 draft, will be a sophomore at the University of Vermont this season. Goaltender Florian Bugl (2023 draft eligible), who helped Germany beat Slovakia and Switzerland at the 2021 WJC and finished with a 2.95 GAA and .896 saves in three games, returns but will be pushed for the starting job by Nikita Quapp (Carolina Hurricanes).

Switzerland

Coach: Marco Bayer

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Rodwin Dionicio, D, Niagara (OHL)

Program: August 10, Sweden (2 p.m. ET); August 11, United States (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Germany (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Austria (2 p.m. ET)

Point of view: Switzerland will rely on goalies Noah Patenaude (7-2-2, 2.96 GAA, .914 save percentage) of Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Kevin Pasche (20-19-4, 2.87 GAA, .903 save percentage) of Omaha in the United States Hockey League to stay competitive. Forward Simon Knak (Nashville Predators) returns for his third World Juniors after captaining ninth-place Switzerland in 2021. Defenseman Brian Zanetti (Philadelphia Flyers) had 26 points (four goals, 22 assists) in 56 games for the Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League last season and should play a big role. Dionisio (6-2, 207) had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 57 games for Niagara in his North American debut last season and is on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2023 draft .

Austria

Coach: Philip Pinter

2023 NHL Draft Watch: No one

Program: Aug. 10, Germany (10 p.m. ET). August 12, Sweden (2 p.m. ET); August 13, United States (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Switzerland (2 p.m. ET)

Point of view: Austria finished 10th in 2021 and return looking for their first win in their fifth tournament appearance (0-17), but it won’t be easy against them in the qualifying round. They will be without Marco Kasper (Red Wings), the No. 8 pick in the 2022 draft. Forward Senna Peeters, who scored Austria’s only goal and will play his third of the WJC, will be counted on for offense. The 20-year-old had 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 34 games for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season. Kasper, who signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Detroit on July 13, decided to take a break from hockey in August due to a heavy workload at the international level and with Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League last season.





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