2022 IIHF World Junior Championship
The U.S. National Junior team claimed their first World Junior Championship gold medal since 2017 when they beat Canada 2-0 in the final last year. The U.S. team went through the whole tournament undefeated, and the performance was hugely impressive and an outcome not many experts and fans had predicted before the tournament started.
On Sunday, Dec. 26, it’s time for the U.S. National Junior team to go out and defend their gold medal as the 46th edition of the World Junior Championship begins. A new generation of U.S. talents will get their time to shine when the annual tournament takes place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, between Dec. 26 – Jan. 5, 2022.
Venues: Rogers Place (Edmonton), Peavey Mart Centrium (Red Deer)
U.S. National Junior Team Rooster
Goalies: Drew Commesso, Kaidan Mbereko, Dylan Silverstein
Defenders: Brock Faber (A), Luke Hughes, Wyatt Kaiser, Tyler Kleven, Ian Moore, Scott Morrow, Jack Peart, Jake Sanderson (C)
Forwards: Matty Beniers (A), Brett Berard, Logan Cooley, Matt Coronato, Tanner Dickinson, Dominic James, Matthew Knies, Chaz Lucius, Carter Mazur, Sasha Pastujov, Mackie Samoskevich, Red Savage, Landon Slaggert (A), Ty Smilanic
Dec. 26, 19:30 MST, USA – Slovakia
Dec. 28, 14:30 MST, Switzerland – USA
Dec. 29, 19:30 MST, Sweden – USA
Dec. 31, 19:30 MST, USA – Russia
Not since Canada’s five consecutive tournament wins between 2005 and 2009 has a team managed to defend a gold medal in the IIHF World Junior Championship. The U.S. national team will go into this year’s tournament with a much-changed side compared to the one that went undefeated through the 2021 tournament. A new generation of players will replace the ones who have now went on to represent some of the best teams in the NHL and AHL. Six players are selected for this year’s tournament who were also part of the winning team from last year.
Matty Beniers is one of the players who made an impact in last year’s tournament and who was also representing the U.S. in the World Cup earlier this year. He, along with Chaz Lucuis and Matt Coronato who both got drafted in the first round, will be leading the U.S. team this winter, and are regarded as three of the best players in the tournament. Bernier has had a great season for his University of Michigan where he has 22 points in 20 games.
Defensivly, Luke Hughes and Jake Sanderson are the two names that coach Nate Leaman will be relying on when he is going to coach his side through another successful World Cup Junior Championship. Sanderson was one of the players who took part in last year’s gold winning team and he will be contributing with plenty of experience and qualities, even though he has been struggling with an injury prior to the tournament.
This year’s U.S. team is a bit more unpredictable than the one that went all the way last year. Many players are doing their first ever WJC and depending on how well the key players from last year’s tournament can replicate those top performances, U.S. can have another successful tournament in Red Deer and Edmonton.
Russia is the favorite to win Group B, but the U.S. team is not far behind. They should be able to put up a fight for the medals and if they can avoid getting Canada already in the quarterfinal, then a semifinal and a potential final seems to be within reach for this U.S. team.
NHL Network – Exclusive U.S. TV Broadcaster
NHL Network is the exclusive national broadcaster for this year’s IIHF WJC. Watch every single game live on NHL Network including previews, highlights, interviews and analysis every day throughout the tournament. The tournament begins on Dec. 26 and conclude with the final at Rogers Place on Jan. 5. Check out the full broadcast schedule here.
Author: Dan Anderson