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World Juniors

2019 World Junior Championship predictions

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

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship will be won by a team from North America, NHL.com writers predict. The question is whether the gold medal will go to the United States or Canada.

NHL.com deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman and NHL.com staff writer Mike G. Morreale are picking the U.S. to win. LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage, who works at the NHL office in Montreal, believes defending champion Canada will win again.

Kimelman and Morreale predict Canada will finish second. Lepage has Russia taking silver.

Each writer also made his picks for best goaltender, best forward, best defenseman and top 2019 NHL Draft performer.

The 2019 WJC starts Wednesday and runs through Jan. 5, in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. Group A, which will play preliminary round games at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, consists of defending champion Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Switzerland. Group B, which will play at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, consists of Finland, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Sweden and the U.S.

The preliminary round ends Dec. 31. The top four finishers in each group advance to the quarterfinals Jan. 2, and then the semifinals are Jan. 4. The bronze-medal and gold-medal games are Jan. 5.

Many WJC games will be televised on NHL Network, including all U.S. games. A full schedule can be found here.

 

Kimelman predictions

Group A winner: Canada

Group B winner: United States

Gold medalist: United States

Silver medalist: Canada

Bronze medalist: Finland

Surprise star: Jay O'Brien, F, United States

Best goaltender: Cayden Primeau, United States

Best defenseman: Noah Dobson, Canada

Best forward: Max Comtois, Canada

Top 2019 NHL Draft eligible player: Jack Hughes, F, United States

 

Lepage predictions

Group A winner: Canada

Group B winner: United States

Gold medalist: Canada

Silver medalist: Russia

Bronze medalist: United States

Surprise star: Alexis Lafreniere, F, Canada

Best goaltender: Cayden Primeau, United States

Best defenseman: Erik Brannstrom, Sweden

Best forward: Cody Glass, Canada

Top 2019 NHL Draft eligible player: Kaapo Kakko, F, Finland

 

Morreale predictions

Group A winner: Canada

Group B winner: United States

Gold medalist: United States

Silver medalist: Canada

Bronze medalist: Russia

Surprise star: Mads Sogaard, G, Denmark

Best goaltender: Michael DiPietro, Canada

Best defenseman: Ty Smith, Canada

Best forward: Vitali Kravtsov, Russia

Top 2019 NHL Draft eligible player: Jack Hughes, F, United States

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