World Juniors Odds and Picks: Canada Favoured on Home Ice

Notice! Actual odds are subject to change and are correct as displayed only at the time of publishing: 10:16 AM 23.12.2021.

World Juniors Odds and Picks: Canada Favoured on Home Ice

Canada will be vying for their third IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship title in five years when they hit the ice in Edmonton on Boxing Day for this year’s edition of the tournament as short 2.50 favourites on the ice hockey futures at Sports Interaction.

The Canadians have dominated this tournament since introduced in 1977, taking home the gold on 18 occasions, but can expect to face a stiff challenge in their bid to claim victory at home for the first time since 2015. The United States raised the trophy in last year’s edition of the tournament, and closely trail Canada as a 4.00 bet to win back-to-back titles for the first time. Canada’s top European rivals round out the front of the pack, with Russia, Sweden, and Finland each pegged as a 7.01 bet at Sports Interaction.

CanadianBettingSites has got you covered with all the odds and trends as the countdown to puck drop on this year’s edition of the World Juniors continues. Sports bettors looking to get in on NHL action for the first time can learn all they need to know about hockey betting in Canada.

IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship OddsBet99Sports Interaction
Canada2.502.50
USA4.504.00
Russia6.007.01
Sweden7.007.01
Finland9.007.01
Czech Republic15.0011.02
Switzerland50.0050.10
Germany50.0050.10
Slovakia70.0065.10
Austria150.00150.00

North American Rivalry Takes Centre Stage

Canada will be looking for more than just vengeance when they hit the ice at Rogers Place in Edmonton for this year’s edition of the World Juniors. The Canadians fell just short of a second straight tournament win with their 2-0 loss to the United States in the 2021 final. But in addition to being defeated on home ice by their rivals to the south, the Canadians are unlikely to forget the Americans’ classless on-ice celebration in the wake of the victory, which featured a trash can adorned with the Team Canada logo.

With a huge axe to grind and plenty of talent in the lineup, Canada will be a force to be reckoned with this time around. The team features 10 players that have been already been selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, including this past year’s first overall pick Owen Power and team captain Kaiden Guhle.

And while rising stars like Quinton Byfield, Dylan Cozens, and Kirby Dach have already graduated to the NHL, there is no shortage of youngsters coming up the ranks to replace them. Most notable among them is Shane Wright. The 17-year-old is enjoying a sensational campaign with the OHL Kingston Frontenacs, with 11 goals and 19 assists through 22 games, and has emerged as the front runner in the race to be taken first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.

While payback will be top of mind for Canada, knocking off the defending champion Americans will be easier said than done. The Team USA lineup also features plenty of top NHL prospects, led by two players making return trips to the World Juniors. Drafted fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2020, Jake Sanderson will anchor the American blue line, and this past year’s second overall pick Matty Beniers will try to maintain the torrid pace that has garnered him 22 points in 20 games this season with the Michigan Wolverines.

Can Russia End Championship Drought on International Stage

For fans of Russian hockey, the burning question this time around is if this will be the year the Big Red Machine finally ends their decade-long championship drought at this tournament. While the gold medal has eluded Russia since their last win back in 2011, they have remained a constant threat at this tournament. The Russians have taken home a medal in nine of the past 11 editions of the World Juniors and have finished as runners-up in four of the past 10 years.

This year is expected to be no different, thanks in large part to the return of Yaroslav Askarov. Selected 11th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators, Askarov is projected to be the top goaltender at this year’s tournament after leading Russia to a berth in the bronze medal game a year ago. The 19-year-old also demonstrated enormous class and maturity in the wake of last year’s loss to Finland, standing alone at his blue line as a sign of respect to the Finns while they celebrated their bronze medal win.

Sports Interaction

Canada

Sporting a lineup stacked with NHL first-round picks, Team Canada is the team to beat at this season's World Junior Hockey Championship

2.50

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Overachieving Finland Always a Threat

Of course, any sports bettors that have regularly watched this tournament in recent years know better than to count out Finland. Despite being one of the smallest nations represented at this event, the Finns have consistently overachieved by winning gold on three occasions since 2014, capped by a shocking 3-2 upset win over the United States in 2019 final.

The Finnish attack is led by winger Joakim Kemell, who many observers believe rivals Shane Wright as the top prospect available going into the 2022 NHL Draft. Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs will also good a close look at a pair of that team’s top prospects. Forward Roni Hirvonen is set to return to the World Juniors after tallying six points in seven appearances a year ago, while rearguard Topi Niemala will be aiming to maintain the torrid pace that has netted him 22 points through 27 games with Harpat of the Finnish Liiga.

Best Bet: Canada (2.50) at Sports Interaction