Dom Lunardo | December 27th, 2019
The annual IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, a tale as old as time. Known for its full-on display of high-level skill, magic, screaming, passionate hockey fans, and serving as a feeder tournament for future NHL stars alike, few would attest to the fact that the Word Juniors are a holiday tradition like no other for hockey fans. For over 30 years, many major sports networks across both Canada and the United States (i.e. TSN, RDS, NHL Network, etc) have broadcasted and showcased the World Juniors. But what really makes this tournament so special? What is it about this “tourney” that captivates audiences year after year?
The uniqueness and authenticity surrounding the World Juniors is something that can’t be matched. It’s a 10-12 day, best-on-best tournament, where players and teams are assembled with hopes of capturing a coveted and cherished gold medal. As a team, these players have never played with one another before, and will never do so again, when age restrictions, draft eligibility, and the hustle and bustle of minor hockey are taken into consideration. For this reason, this is what makes this tournament for hockey fans all around the world so very special and memorable. Over the course of the tournament whether on a North American ice surface or the larger European-style ice, these players form a special bond with one another that translates to an aura on the ice for fans alike. Like all major international sporting events, the World Juniors has that “aura” around it that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Since 1977 (officially), the World Juniors has seen its fair share of talent. Whether it was the emergence of “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky, Robert Reichel, Peter Forsberg, Eric Lindros, Alex Ovechkin, John Gibson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Patrik Laine, or John Tavares, there’s certainly no shortage of iconic moments to bring countries and fans alike that stem from the World Junior Hockey Championship. Whether it was the brilliance of Jordan Eberle in 2009 and 2010 or Kasperi Kapanen’s overtime heroics to win the tournament on home ice for Team Finland in 2016, it is moments like these which are ingrained in hockey fans forever. This tournament never ceases to amaze even the most passionate of fans from all around the globe.
So what do hockey fans have in store for the 2020 tournament, in the Czech Republic? If recent memory and events serve correctly, hockey enthusiasts from far and wide, are in for a real treat this holiday season.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images