The ice hockey fans among you probably won't need telling, but the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament will soon be underway. This will be the 47th edition of the event and it will be hosted right here in Canada. The competition always attracts huge numbers of spectators, and in recent years it has become very popular among sports betting fans. Whether you want to place a bet or two of your own or simply enjoy the action as an enthusiastic spectator, read on and we'll tell you all you need to know about the event.
Bet on the World Junior Championships 2023
What are the IIHF World Junior Championships?
The IIHF World Junior Championship is an annual event for national ice hockey teams of players who are no older than 20 years of age. As the letters IIHF indicate, it is organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships will see ten teams competing in two groups of five teams. Each team will play every other team in the same group twice:
GROUP A: Canada, Sweden, Czechia (Czech Republic), Germany and Austria.
GROUP B: United States, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Latvia.
When all Group matches have been played, the top four teams in each group will then proceed to the Playoff round. This has a knockout format, so it starts with Quarterfinals leading to two Semifinals and then culminates in the Final. Another match between the two losing semifinalists will be played to determine which team will finish the championship in third place.
Where are the 2023 World Juniors Taking Place?
The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships were originally going to be hosted by Russia, but that nation's right to host the event was retracted in February 2022 following its military action against Ukraine. Canada was announced as the alternative host nation a few months later, and Group A matches will be hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while Group B matches will be hosted in Moncton, New Brunswick.
World Juniors 2023 Schedule
- Monday 26th December – Group stage matches
- Saturday 31st December – Group stage matches
- Monday 2nd January – Quarter-Finals Playoffs
- Wednesday 4th January – Semi-Finals
- Thursday 5th January – The Final (plus, Third Place match)
How to Watch the World Juniors
You don't need to have tickets to watch the IIHF World Juniors 2023 because the event will be broadcast to ice hockey fans around the world. Here in Canada, you can catch the games on the TSN website or via the TSN app on your tablet or mobile. Hockey fans in the US will find games being broadcast on the NHL network. There is also an official YouTube channel (check out @IIHFWorlds) that you can tune into for match highlights and other treats.
History of the World Juniors
The first official IIHF World Junior Championship event was held in 1977. However, it's worth noting that three unofficial events had been previously held in 1974, 1975 and 1976. In those early years, the Soviet Union dominated the championships, winning all three of the unofficial events and the first four official ones. Sweden won the fifth event in 1981, and Canada won its first gold medal in 1982.
As we head into the 2023 IIHF event, Canada has won 19 times, which is more than any other participating nation. Russia (including its entries as the Soviet Union and Commonwealth of Independent States) has won 13 times, and Finland and the United States have each won five times.
Who are the 2023 World Juniors Favorites?
Russia has been banned from participating in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, and that has left Canada as the clear favourite to win the event. Finland is considered next best with most online sportsbooks at the time of writing, just ahead of the USA and Sweden. All other participating teams are long shots, with Austria and Latvia being the least likely countries to win gold as far as sportsbook odds are concerned.
World Juniors 2023 Betting Opportunities
The IIHF World Junior Championship presents hockey fans with a wide range of betting opportunities. Here are some of the main ones to consider:
Outright Winner: Here you are required to bet on which national team you think will win the tournament as a whole. The sportsbooks think that Canada has the best chance, but what do you think?
Group Winner: You can also bet on any team to win its respective Group. Each Group has five teams, so your chosen team would need to score more points in total than the other four in order for this type of bet to win.
Match Winner: Many hockey fans will want to bet on individual matches as they happen. This can give you a great chance of winning again and again if you choose to side with teams that do well. You can also follow your favourite team match by match as they progress through the tournament.
Prop Bets: As is the case with regular hockey matches, there will be plenty of prop betting markets for you to take a look at. These will allow you to bet on events that aren't related to the overall result of the match, such as the time of the first goal, how many goals there will be in total in the game, and so on.
Mark Your Calendar Today!
There isn't long to go before the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship gets underway, so be sure to mark the important dates on your calendar. The Group action starts on the December 26th, the Playoffs begin on the January 2nd, and the biggest game of them all - the Final - will be played on the January 5th, 2023. Which team will win? We won't know until the games have been played, so get ready to place your bets. In the meantime, we've prepared some of our favorite ice hockey slots to get you in the mood for all the action.