2021 wjc schedule feature

28 games … 12 days … 1 gold

A closer look at the game schedule for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship

Jason La Rose
October 19, 2020

Sixty-seven days before the puck drops in Edmonton, Alta., the game schedule is out for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and it looks a little bit different than what fans of the holiday hockey tradition are used to.

The biggest change? For the first time since 2005, the World Juniors will open up on Christmas Day, not its usual Boxing Day start date.

With the tournament being played in just one venue – Rogers Place – instead of two, the preliminary round had to be extended by a day in order to fit all 20 prelim games. There will be three games a day played from Dec. 25 to Dec. 31, with the exception of a two-game day on Dec. 28.

Once the preliminary round is done, the playoff schedule looks the same as recent years – four quarter-finals on Jan. 2, the semifinals on Jan. 4 and medal games on Jan. 5.

Let’s go group by group and team by team and find out more about the 10 teams coming to Alberta.


Game to watch – Canada vs. Finland (Dec. 31)
Prelim play comes to a close in Group A with a marquee match-up featuring the last two gold medallists. The Canadians have an all-time 25-10-6 edge over the Finns, but the teams have split their last six meetings; Canada earned preliminary-round wins in 2015 and 2018 before blanking Finland in the semifinals last year, while the Scandinavians earned a semifinal victory in 2014 and quarterfinal triumphs in 2016 and 2019.

Dec. 26 vs. GER | Dec. 27 vs. SVK | Dec. 29 vs. SUI | Dec. 31 vs. FIN

2020 result – gold medal

Potential returning players – 7 (Quinton Byfield, Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Jamie Drysdale, Alexis Lafrenière, Connor McMichael, Dawson Mercer)

All-time at the WJC – 207-58-21 (18G 9S 5B)

Dec. 25 vs. GER | Dec. 27 vs. SUI | Dec. 30 vs. SVK | Dec. 31 vs. CAN

2020 result – fourth place

Potential returning players – 8 (Santeri Hatakka, Ville Heinola, Mikko Kokkonen, Kari Piiroinen, Patrik Puistola, Aatu Räty, Aku Räty, Antti Saarela)

All-time at the WJC – 158-113-16 (5G 4S 6B)

Dec. 25 vs. FIN | Dec. 26 vs. CAN | Dec. 28 vs. SVK | Dec. 30 vs. SUI

2020 result – ninth place

Potential returning players – 7 (Tobias Ancicka, Nino Kinder, Jan Nijenhuis, John-Jason Peterka, Lukas Reichel, Moritz Seider, Tim Stutzle)

All-time at the WJC – 18-82-2 (0G 0S 0B)

Dec. 25 vs. SUI | Dec. 27 vs. CAN | Dec. 28 vs. GER | Dec. 30 vs. FIN

2020 result – eighth place

Potential returning players – 8 (Maxim Cajkovic, Samuel Hlavaj, Dominik Jendek, Samuel Knazko, Michal Mrazik, David Mudrak, Marko Stacha, Oliver Turan)

All-time at the WJC – 53-87-9 (0G 0S 1B)

Dec. 25 vs. SVK | Dec. 27 vs. FIN | Dec. 29 vs. CAN | Dec. 30 vs. GER

2020 result – fifth place

Potential returning players – 5 (Bastian Guggenheim, Gaétan Jobin, Simon Knak, Rocco Pezzullo, Joel Salzgeber)

All-time at the WJC – 58-142-7 (0G 0S 1B)


Game to watch – Sweden vs. United States (Dec. 31)
The Swedes could potentially reach New Year’s Eve with their preliminary-round win streak at 55, dating back to 2007. Even if that remarkable run has come to an end, this game will be must-watch; it could include as many as 16 first-round NHL draft picks and 17 players back from 2020. Sweden has an 18-15-1 edge in all-time meetings, although it hasn’t been that even as of late (the U.S. is 12-3-1 since 1998; Sweden was 15-3-0 from 1976-97).

Dec. 26 vs. USA | Dec. 28 vs. SWE | Dec. 29 vs. RUS | Dec. 31 vs. CZE

2020 result – gold medal (Division I Group A)

Potential returning players – 9 (Tim Harnisch, Luis Lindner, Thimo Nickl, Timo Pallierer, Senna Peeters, Jacob Pfeffer, Lucas Thaler, Martin Urbanek, Leon Wallner)

All-time at the WJC – 0-16-1 (0G 0S 0B)

Dec. 26 vs. SWE | Dec. 27 vs. RUS | Dec. 29 vs. USA | Dec. 31 vs. AUT

2020 result – seventh place

Potential returning players – 10 (Martin Has, Karel Klikorka, Simon Kubicek, Radek Kucerik, Nick Malik, Jan Mysak, Lukas Parik, Jaromir Pytlik, Adam Raska, Michal Teply)

All-time at the WJC – 77-83-6 (2G 0S 1B)

Dec. 25 vs. USA | Dec. 27 vs. CZE | Dec. 29 vs. AUT | Dec. 30 vs. SWE

2020 result – silver medal

Potential returning players – 3 (Yaroslav Askarov, Maxim Groshev, Vasili Podkolzin)

All-time at the WJC – 121-51-8 (4G 11S 8B)

Dec. 26 vs. CZE | Dec. 28 vs. AUT | Dec. 30 vs. RUS | Dec. 31 vs. USA

2020 result – bronze medal

Potential returning players – 7 (Huge Alnefelt, Tobias Bjornfot, Philip Broberg, Karl Henriksson, Alexander Holtz, Lucas Raymond, Victor Soderstrom)

All-time at the WJC – 181-95-13 (2G 11S 6B)

Dec. 25 vs. RUS | Dec. 26 vs. AUT | Dec. 29 vs. CZE | Dec. 31 vs. SWE

2020 result – sixth place

Potential returning players – 10 (John Beecher, Bobby Brink, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Spencer Knight, Nick Robertson, Alex Turcotte, Dustin Wolf, Cam York, Trevor Zegras)

All-time at the WJC – 148-121-11 (4G 2S 6B)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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