The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships are slated to begin Thursday in British Columbia, the tournament will feature 42 Selects alumni competing at the 10-team event.
Five players off of the ‘99 West Coast Selects team including goaltender Kyle Keyser and defenseman Jack St. Ivany along with forwards Sasha Chmelevski, Logan Cockerill and Joshua Norris will represent the United States. They are joined by three picks from the 2018 NHL Draft in ‘00 East Coast Selects-Q forward Oliver Wahlstrom, ‘00 East Coast Selects-O forward Mattias Samuelsson and ‘00 East Coast Selects-O forward Joel Farabee. Rounding out the group is one of the youngest member of Team USA, former ‘01 East Coast Selects-Q goaltender Spencer Knight.
Three former Selects players and first-round NHL draft picks from 2017 will represent Team Canada. The defending 2017 WJC champs will have a pair of Ontario natives and former ‘99 East Coast Selects-O forwards Nick Suzuki and Owen Tippett up front. Cody Glass (‘99 Western Canada Selects) is also among the team’s top 12 forwards as Canada looks to repeat as champions.
Team Sweden will be represented heavily by 12 European Selects alumni. A pair of ’00 Sweden Selects in Adam Boqvist and Rasmus Sandin as well as ’99 Sweden Selects Erik Brannstrom and Filip Westerlund make up the D corps. They’re joined by the youngest player on Team Sweden, ’01 Sweden Selects Philip Broberg.
Up front, four players off of the ’99 Sweden Selects will help lead the offense with Rickard Hugg, Isac Lundestrom, Filip Sveningsson and Johan Sodergran. Additional ’00 Swedes include Oskar Back, Filip Hallander and Jacob Olofsson.
Eight former Selects will take the ice for Team Finland. Forwards Kaapo Kakko, Anton Lundell, Aarne Talvitie, Eeli Tolvanen, and Santeri Virtanen are joined by defensemen Toni Utunen and Urho Vaakanainen along with goaltender Filip Lindberg.
Five forwards for Team Czech have Selects ties, including Michael Gaspar, Ondrej Machala, Martin Necas, Matej Pekar and Jakub Pour. Their goaltender, Jakub Skarek, is also a Czech Selects alumni.
Team Slovakia returns five Selects alumni from the 2018 WJC in Martin Fehervary, Filip Krivosik, Adam Liska, Milos Roman and Adam Ruzicka. They are joined by first-timers Jozef Balaz, Patrik Hrehorcak, Martin Pospisil and Adam Ziak.
The 10-team tournament begins on Thursday, December 26th, at 4 p.m. EST in Vancouver, British Columbia. The IIHF World Junior Championships is the premier U-20 event in the world that regularly features up-and-coming NHL players, junior and NCAA prospects as well as future NHL draft picks. For more on the 2019 World Championships tournament click HERE.
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