World Juniors Preview: Breaking down Team Canada in numbers

The puck will drop on Boxing Day at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Třinec of the Czech Republic. Canada looks to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish at last year’s tournament in British Columbia.

This marks the fourth time that the Czech Republic is hosting the tournament, with the last time coming in 2008. Canada won its 14th title at those World Juniors, and will be hoping to find success once again at this year’s tournament.

Let’s break down Canada’s performance in past tournaments in numbers:

43 official tournaments

Team Canada’s Wayne Gretzy plays against the Soviet Union during the World Junior Hockey Championships in Quebec City, Dec. 28, 1977. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ball

There have been a total of 43 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.

17 titles

From left, Canada’s Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry celebrate the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Grand Forks, N.D., Jan. 4, 2005. Crosby helped spark the golden age of Canadian junior hockey. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain and his teammates ended a seven-year gold-medal drought at the world junior championship, which began a stretch of five straight titles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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).

RELATEDWorld Juniors: Remembering the 2005 All-Star team

17-years-old: Canada’s youngest players this year

Quinton Byfield skating

Quinton Byfield, the OHL’s rookie of the year, skates during an intersquad game at Hockey Canada’s men’s under-18 hockey camp in Calgary, Alta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Quinton Byfield of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and Jamie Drysdale of the OHL’s Erie Otters are the youngest players on this year’s team at just 17 years of age. The two join an exclusive club, becoming just the seventh and eighth players to crack Canada’s roster as 17-year-olds. Former players to make the team at that age include Wayne GretzkySidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, and returning player Alexis Lafreniere.

2 golden streaks

Team Canada’s head coach Don Hay joins teammates in singing O’ Canada at the World Junior Hockey championships in Red Deer, Jan. 4, 1995. (CP PHOTO/Dave Buston)

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.

5 returning players

Alexis Lafreniere skating

Team Canada’s Alexis Lafreniere moves in for the puck against Team Switzerland during third period action in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Canada won 5-3. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

This year, Canada’s roster is full of fresh faces with just five returning players: Lafreniere, Joe Veleno, Ty Smith, Jared McIsaac, and Barrett Hayton.

Canada’s first player from the Yukon

Dylan Cozens shoots

Dylan Cozens takes a slap shot during practice at the team world juniors selection camp in Oakville, Ont., Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Forward Dylan Cozens of Whitehorse, YT will be the first ever player from the Yukon to suit up for Team Canada. The 18-year-old has posted 46 points through 30 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL this season.

2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Roster:


Nico Daws (Burlington, ON)

Joel Hofer (Winnipeg., MB)

Olivier Rodrigue (Chicoutimi, QC)


Kevin Bahl (Mississauga, ON)

Calen Addison (Brandon, MB)

Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, BC)

Jacob Bernard-Docker (Canmore, AB)

Jamie Drysdale Defence (Toronto, ON)

Jared McIsaac (Truro, NS)

Ty Smith (Lloydminster, AB)


Liam Foudy (Scarborough, ON)

Joe Veleno (Kirkland, QC)

Raphaël Lavoie (Chambly, QC)

Alexis Lafrenière (Saint-Eustache, QC)

Benoît-Olivier Groulx (Gatineau, QC)

Akil Thomas (Toronto, ON)

Connor McMichael (Ajax, ON)

Ty Dellandrea (Port Perry, ON)

Quinton Byfield (Newmarket, ON)

Dawson Mercer (Bay Roberts, NL)

Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, YT)

Aidan Dudas (Parry Sound, ON)

Barrett Hayton (Peterborough, ON)

Nolan Foote (Kelowna, BC)

Canada will open the tournament on December 26 with a game against the United States. The rest of the preliminary round is as follows:

  • December 28: RUS vs CAN
  • December 30: GER vs CAN
  • December 31: CAN vs CZE

For the full schedule click here.