The World Junior Championship may not take center stage until the end of the year but preparations are already underway. Each summer the respective national teams gather and hold camps which will go a long way in determining the make up of their final roster. Following the success of last summer's showcase in Plymouth, Michigan between the United States, Finland, Sweden and Canada, the foursome will gather again from July 28th to August 5th in a round-robin set of games over the next week.
Of particular interest for Avalanche fans is a trio of invites to the team Canada camp in forward Tyson Jost and recently drafted defensemen Cale Makar and Conor Timmins. Those that are expected to spend the season in the NHL, and subsequently will not be available for the tournament in December, generally still attend the camp but may sit out all or a majority of the games, as Nathan MacKinnon did in 2013 after being drafted by the Colorado Avalanche. However, some choose to participate fully such as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner did last year. It remains to be seen how much ice time Jost and the other invitees will receive.
Most of the participants in this showcase have already been drafted, however there are a handful of 2018 draft eligibles to keep an eye on. Possible first overall defenseman Rasmus Dahlin headlines the field for Sweden as well as forwards Brady Tkachuk and Oliver Wahlstrom plus defenseman Quinn Hughes for the United States. Most of the other draft eligible talent is heading overseas for the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament.
Team USA will begin split squad games on July 29th, while Canada joins in on August 1st. These games can be seen on HockeyTV ($). The NHL Network and TSN will broadcast the following full squad games:
Wed August 2nd: Canada vs. Finland 1pm ET, USA vs. Sweden 4pm ET
Fri August 4th: Canada vs. Sweden 1pm ET, USA vs. Finland 4pm ET
Sat August 5th: Sweden vs. Finland 4pm ET, Canada vs. USA 7pm ET
Stay tuned for our first look at hockey this season!