Skip to main content
World Juniors

2020 World Junior Championship predictions

NHL.com writers pick group winners, medalists, top players for tournament

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The United States will win the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, according to three NHL.com writers.

NHL.com deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman, NHL.com staff writer Mike G. Morreale and LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage are each predicting the U.S. to win the elite international under-20 tournament for the second time since 2017, and fifth time in event history.

Kimelman says the U.S. will defeat Finland in a championship game rematch from the 2019 WJC, which Finland won 3-2. Morreale said he believes the U.S. will win against Sweden in the championship game, and Lepage predicts the U.S. will defeat Russia.

Each writer also made his picks for best goalie, best forward, best defenseman and top 2020 NHL Draft prospect.

The 2020 WJC starts Thursday and runs through Jan. 5 in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. Group A, which will play preliminary-round games at Werk Arena in Trinec, consists of defending champion Finland, along with Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Kazakhstan. Group B, which will play at Ostravar Arena in Ostrava, includes the U.S., Canada, Russia, Czech Republic and Germany.

The preliminary round ends Dec. 31. The top four finishers in each group advance to the quarterfinals, which are on Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4., and the championship and third-place games are Jan. 5.

Many WJC games will be televised on NHL Network, including all U.S. games and each game in the medal round. A full schedule can be found here.

 

Kimelman predictions

Group A winner: Sweden

Group B winner: United States

Champion: United States

Second: Finland

Third: Russia

Surprise star: Moritz Seider, D, Germany

Best goalie: Spencer Knight, United States

Best defenseman: Ville Heinola, Finland

Best forward: Cole Caufield, United States

Top 2020 NHL Draft eligible player: Quinton Byfield, F, Canada

 

Morreale predictions

Group A winner: Sweden

Group B winner: United States

Champion: United States

Second: Sweden

Third: Russia

Surprise star: Bowen Byram, D, Canada

Best goalie: Spencer Knight, United States

Best defenseman: Ville Heinola, Finland

Best forward: Cole Caufield, United States

Top 2020 NHL Draft eligible player: Lucas Raymond, F, Sweden

 

Lepage predictions

Group A winner: Sweden

Group B winner: United States

Champion: United States

Second Russia

Third: Sweden

Surprise star: Jamie Drysdale, D, Canada

Best goalie: Spencer Knight, United States

Best defenseman: Alexander Romanov, Russia

Best forward: Cole Caufield, United States

Top 2020 NHL Draft eligible player: Alexis Lafreniere, F, Canada

 

---

Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class

 

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.