On Tap: Day 1 of the 2022 World Junior Championships

Tuesday is the first day of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

On tap for day 1

All games on NHL Network in the US and TSN in Canada

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia (2 p.m. ET) — Slovakia is missing some of its best players, including the first two picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, forwards Juraj Slafkovsky (Montreal Canadiens) and defenseman Simon Nemec (New Jersey Devils). But there will still be plenty of talent on display. That includes 17-year-old forward Dalibor Dvorsky, who could be a top-five pick in the 2023 NHL Draft after he had 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 33 games for AIK in Sweden’s junior league and three points (two goals, one assist) in 17 games for AIK in Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second division, last season. Forward Jiri Kulich (Buffalo Sabres) could be a key for the Czech Republic. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 IIHF Under-18 World Championship after scoring nine goals in six games.

Latvia vs. Finland (6 p.m. ET) — Latvia is playing its first top-level game in the WJC since 2017 after being added to replace Russia, which was banned from international play following the invasion of Ukraine. Latvia starts with a back-to-back against Finland and Canada. Finland should have little trouble producing offense with experienced forwards Samuel Helenius (Los Angeles Kings), Roni Hirvonen (Toronto Maple Leafs), Kasper Simontaival (Kings) and Aatu Raty (New York Islanders). Keep an eye on Brad Lambert (Winnipeg Jets), who had five points (one goal, four assists) in two WJC games in December before the tournament was postponed after four days due to COVID-19.

USA vs. Germany (10 p.m. ET) — The quest for a second consecutive championship begins for the United States. Four players return from the team that won the 2021 tournament in Edmonton, including defenseman and captain Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild). There are questions in goal, with three undrafted players – Kaidan Mbereko (2023 draft eligible), Remington Keopple and Andrew Oke (2023 draft eligible) – looking to take the job. Whoever is in goal should get plenty of support from an offense that will likely be led by forwards Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Matt Coronato (Calgary Flames) and Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks).

Quick links

World Junior Championship predictions

Group A preview

Group B preview

WC lists for juniors

Tournament schedule

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