It is the most wonderful time of year as the 2023 World Junior Championships get underway on Monday, December 26. The tournament takes place again in Canada, this time in Halifax and Moncton. There are no threats of COVID in sight as the organizers hope this tournament goes off with no hitches, not to mention it was only four months ago when the 2022 World Junior Championships 2.0 took place in Edmonton. The same 10 teams are back as Russia is not participating in the tournament. And oh yeah, relegation is back again. So it is going to be an exciting tournament when the puck drops.
Just like in December 2022 and August 2022, the defending gold medalist Team Canada is favoured to win the 2023 World Junior Championship. However, they will have heavy competition. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Canada Favoured To Win 2023 World Junior Championships
2023 World Juniors Odds Via Covers
Entering this tournament, there are four teams that have a legit shot to win the gold medal. Canada, Finland, the USA, and Sweden. You can even throw Czechia into the mix after their result last year (which was only four months ago). It is no surprise that Team Canada is favoured to win the tournament at -120.
After dominating this summer’s World Juniors by going 7-0-0, there is a reason why Canada is favoured to repeat for the first time since Canada won five straight gold medals from 2005-2009. Canada is -315 to win Group A as they are led by captain Shane Wright and Connor Bedard. Outside of those two players, the Canadians have plenty of firepower with Logan Stankhoven, Brandt Clarke (defenceman), Brennan Othmann, and Adam Fantilli.
Even with Sweden in their group, Canada should not have any issues until the medal round, if at all.
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As mentioned before there are other teams that can win this thing. Let’s take a look at those. Finland is the second favourite to win the tournament at +300, while Team USA, who is looking for redemption entering this tournament, comes in at +380.
The Americans are a good bet here to win as there is a pattern that shows Team USA will win a gold medal after finishing fifth or lower in the tournament before. Team USA finished fifth four months ago, so expect them to compete for a medal this time around. Team USA has eight returning players including captain Luke Hughes, who leads a mobile defence corps.
Never discount Finland, though. While they may not be as skilled in years past, they are always a tough out. In Group B with the Americans, Finland will bring a competitive team to the tournament. There is a reason they are behind Canada to win this thing. Finland has won three golds in the past nine tournaments and lost to Canada in the final last year. The Finns are favoured to win Group B at -315 with Team USA coming in at +102. Again, the Americans are a solid value play to not only win the tournament but their group.
You don’t want to miss any of the action as the 2023 World Junior Championships get underway on Boxing Day — Monday, December 26.
This post Team Canada Favored To Win 2023 World Junior Championship appeared first on Full Press Hockey.
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