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2022 World Junior Championship Group B preview

Luke Hughes, selected No. 4 by the brand new Jersey Devils in the 2021 NHL Draft, is getting excited about having the possibility to make history as an associate of america at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

AMERICA will attempt to win back-to-back titles for the very first time after defeating Canada 2-0 in the 2021 championship game. Canada was the final team to take action, winning five straight from 2005-09.

The 2022 WJC is Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Invest Edmonton. The tournament originally was scheduled for Dec. 26-Jan. 5 but postponed Dec. 29 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

AMERICA is scheduled to play preliminary-round games in Group B with Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Group A includes Canada, Finland, Czechia, Slovakia and Latvia.

Latvia was put into replace Russia, which includes been banned from international play due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Hughes, the youngest brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and Devils center Jack Hughes, had 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 41 games as a freshman at the University of Michigan last season. The 18-year-old defenseman was a top-10 candidate for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award presented annually to identify the very best NCAA men’s hockey player.

“It’s an honor to wear the jersey once you can,” Hughes said. “To return there and make an effort to defend that’s super very important to USA Hockey and our country. I believe it is exciting, and we will do our best. We will go game by game, and we’re really excited as a team.”

[RELATED: World Junior Championship schedule | Group A preview]

The very best four teams in each group will play the quarterfinals Aug. 17. The semifinals are Aug. 19, and the championship and third-place games are Aug. 20.

You will see no relegation round, meaning exactly the same 10 teams will play in the 2023 WJC in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

All games will undoubtedly be shown on NHL Network in the usa and TSN in Canada.

Here is a look at each Group B team, in predicted order of finish:

USA

Coach: Nate Leaman

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Charlie Stramel, F, USA U-18 (NTDP)

Schedule: Aug. 9, Germany (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 11, Switzerland (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Austria (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 14, Sweden (10 p.m. ET)

Outlook: Leaman will add a fast and supportive game in advance and on the trunk end by using returning forwards Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Brett Berard (NY Rangers) and Landon Slaggert (Chicago Blackhawks), and defensemen Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild), Tyler Kleven (Ottawa Senators) and Hughes. Goalies Andrew Oke (2023 draft eligible) and Kaidan Mbereko (2023 draft eligible) each impressed during development camp and so are the frontrunners to compete for playing time. Cooley, a freshman center at the University of Minnesota, was second on the united states Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) in 51 games last season. He was second for the second-place USA at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 World Championship with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in six games. Stramel (6-foot-3, 212 pounds), a right-shot center who’ll be considered a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, had 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games for america under-18 team last season. Faber is team captain. He was traded to the Wild with the No. 19 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by the LA Kings for forward Kevin Fiala on June 29.

Video: Jon Paul Morosi and the crew on Team USA in the WJC

Sweden

Coach: Tomas Monten

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Mans Forsfjall, D, Skelleftea (SWE)

Schedule: Aug. 10, Switzerland (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 12, Austria (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 14, USA (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Germany (10 p.m. ET)

Outlook: Sweden won’t have forwards Alexander Holtz (Devils) or William Eklund (San Jose Sharks) to lead the offense but remain solid in goal with Jesper Wallstedt (Wild), Calle Clang (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Carl Lindbom (Vegas Golden Knights), and at defenseman with Simon Edvinsson (Detroit Red Wings), Helge Grans (Kings) and William Wallinder (Red Wings). Offensively, Monten can look to Daniel Ljungman (Dallas Stars), Theodor Niederbach (Red Wings), Oskar Olausson (Colorado Avalanche) and Jonathan Lekkerimaki (Vancouver Canucks). Wallstedt will play for Iowa in the American Hockey League this year after going 12-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .918 save percentage for Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League last season. The 19-year-old was 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .962 save percentage at the 2022 WJC in December prior to the tournament was postponed.

Germany

Coach: Tobias Abstreiter

2023 NHL Draft Watch: None

Schedule: Aug. 9, USA (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 10, Austria (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Switzerland (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Sweden (10 p.m. ET)

Outlook: Germany could have trouble matching its sixth-place finish at the 2021 WJC without its best eligible players, forwards Tim Stutzle (Senators), JJ Peterka (Buffalo Sabres), and Lukas Reichel (Blackhawks). Defenseman Luca Munzenberger, who averaged 21: 41 of ice amount of time in five games at the 2021 WJC, will undoubtedly be counted on heavily. The 19-year-old, selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 3rd round (No. 90) of the 2021 draft, is a sophomore at the University of Vermont this year. Goalie Florian Bugl (2023 draft eligible eligible), who helped Germany to wins against Slovakia and Switzerland at the 2021 WJC and finished with a 2.95 GAA and .896 save percentage in three games, is returning but will undoubtedly be pushed for the starting job by Nikita Quapp (Carolina Hurricanes).

Switzerland

Coach: Marco Bayer

2023 NHL Draft Watch: Rodwin Dionicio, D, Niagara (OHL)

Schedule: Aug. 10, Sweden (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 11, USA (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, Germany (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Austria (2 p.m. ET)

Outlook: Switzerland will depend on goalies Noah Patenaude (7-2-2, 2.96 GAA, .914 save percentage) of Saint John in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Kevin Pasche (20-19-4, 2.87 GAA, .903 save percentage) of Omaha in the usa Hockey League to stay competitive. Forward Simon Knak (Nashville Predators) returns for his under-developed Juniors after he was captain for ninth-place Switzerland in 2021. Defenseman Brian Zanetti (Philadelphia Flyers) had 26 points (four goals, 22 assists) in 56 games for Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League last season and really should play a large role. Dionicio (6-2, 207) had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 57 games for Niagara in his THE UNITED STATES debut last season and is on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to view list for the 2023 draft.

Austria

Coach: Philipp Pinter

2023 NHL Draft Watch: None

Schedule: Aug. 10, Germany (10 p.m. ET); Aug. 12, Sweden (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 13, USA (2 p.m. ET); Aug. 15, Switzerland (2 p.m. ET)

Outlook: Austria finished 10th in 2021 and returns searching for its first win in its fifth tournament appearance (0-17), nonetheless it will never be easy against its preliminary-round competition. It’ll be without Marco Kasper (Red Wings), the No. 8 pick in the 2022 draft. Forward Senna Peeters, who scored Austria’s only goal and can play his third WJC, will undoubtedly be counted to provide some offense. The 20-year-old had 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 34 games for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season. Kasper, who signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Detroit on July 13, made a decision to have a break from hockey in August due to a heavy workload on a global level sufficient reason for Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League last season.

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