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An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

The International Ice Hockey Federation World Under 20 Championship (colloquially known as the World Junior Hockey Championship, usually abbreviated WJHC) is an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation for national under-20 teams from around the world. It is traditionally held in late December, ending in the beginning of January.

The main tournament features the top ten ranked hockey nations in the world, comprising the 'Top Division', from which a world champion is crowned. There are also three lower pools—divisions I, II and III—that each play separate tournaments playing for the right to be promoted to a higher pool, or face relegation to a lower pool.

The 2009 event took place in Ottawa, Canada with Canada winning the tournament for the fifth straight year. The 2010 championship will take place in Saskatoon, also in Canada.


First held in 1977 (1974-1976 were not official tournaments) as a relatively obscure tournament, the WJHC's have grown in prestige, particularly in Canada, where the tournament ranks as one of the most important events on the sports calendar. Canada typically hosts the tournament every three to four years, consistently selling out Team Canada games, offering large profit guarantees to Hockey Canada. Canada is, however, scheduled to host at a more frequent rate, including three of the next four tournaments (Ottawa in 2009, Saskatchewan in 2010, and in Alberta in 2012). Buffalo, New York, USA has been selected as the 2011 host.

Historically, the tournament has been dominated by the Soviet Union/Russia and Canada, together accounting for 25 of the 32 overall gold medals awarded. The Soviets won the inaugural four official tournaments, while the Canadians put together five straight championships between 1993 and 1997, and another five straight from 2004 to the most recent 2009. Canada leads the all-time gold medal count with 15, while the Soviets/Russians lead the all-time overall medal count with 27. Head-to-head matches between these two countries are always much-hyped.

The tournament offers one of the most prestigious stages for young hockey players, able to significantly boost a player's value for upcoming NHL Entry Drafts.


  • International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  • Mens National Junior U-20 Team. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  • World Juniors. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.

External links

  • - 2008 IIHF World U20 Championship - Pardubice, Liberec, Czech republic
  • Result archive - Full results for men's, women's and junior championships since 1999 and medalists for all tournaments.
  • Hockey Almanac
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at World Junior Championship. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


This article uses material from the "World Junior Championship" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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