On Boxing Day, the start of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship will begin out west in Victoria and Vancouver. Canada looks to defend its title for a second straight gold medal.
This marks the 13th time Canada is hosting the tournament (14th including the 1982 joint effort between Canada and the United States). Canada will play four preliminary games before elimination action begins on January 2.
Let’s break down Canada’s performance in past tournaments in numbers:
42 official tournaments
There have been a total of 42 official tournaments starting in 1977. Before that, there were three unofficial ones held from 1974-1976. Canada played host for the first time for the 1978 tournament, with games held in Montreal and Quebec City. At the 1977 tournament, Canada hit the podium for the first time, leaving with the silver medal.
Canada has claimed the title 17 times. The first time Canada won gold came in 1982. Overall, Canada has a total of 31 medals (9 silver, 5 bronze).
17-years-old: Canada’s youngest player this year
The youngest player on this year’s squad is Alexis Lafrenière, currently playing for the QMJHL’s Rimouski Océanic. He joins an exclusive club of players to make Canada’s roster as a 17-year-old. Former players to crack the roster at that age include Wayne Gretzky, Jay Bouwmeester, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
5 titles on home ice
Out of the 12 times Canada has hosted the tournament, almost half of those times have ended with Canada winning the top prize. The five gold medals won on Canadian ice were done in the 1991, 1995, 2006, 2009 and 2015 tournaments.
2 golden streaks
Canada dominated the tournament for a period of 5 years two separate times. From 1993-1997 and 2005-2009, Canada won five straight gold medals.
1 returning player
This year, Canada’s roster is full of fresh faces. Maxime Comtois is the lone returning player. At last year’s tournament, he played seven games, scoring three goals and three assists.
2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Roster:
Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, ON)
Ian Scott (Calgary, AB)
Evan Bouchard (Oakville, ON)
Josh Brook (Roblin, MB)
Noah Dobson (Summerside, P.E.I.)
Jared McIsaac (Truro, NS)
Ian Mitchell (Calahoo, AB)
Markus Phillips (Port Perry, ON)
Ty Smith (Lloydminster, AB)
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Calgary, AB)
Shane Bowers (Herring Cove, NS)
Maxime Comtois ( Longueuil, QC)
MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, ON)
Morgan Frost (Aurora, ON)
Cody Glass (Winnipeg, MB)
Barrett Hayton (Peterborough, ON)
Alexis Lafrenière (Saint-Eustache, QC)
Brett Leason (Calgary, AB)
Jack Studnicka (Tecumseh, ON)
Nick Suzuki (London, ON)
Owen Tippett (Peterborough, ON)
Joe Veleno (Montréal, QC)
Canada will open the tournament on December 26 with a game against Denmark. The rest of the preliminary round is as follows:
- December 27: SUI vs CAN
- December 29: CAN vs CZE
- December 31: RUS vs CAN
Canada’s preliminary games will be played in Vancouver, out of Rogers Arena. All games will start at 5pm PST. For the full schedule click here.