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United States to host '18 World Junior Championship @NHL

The IIHF World Junior Championship will return to the United States for the first time in seven years in 2018.

USA Hockey on Tuesday revealed the five cities being considered to host the event: Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa.

The annual tournament, which features 10 countries and many of the NHL's future stars, is traditionally held in late December and early January. This year's tournament will be held Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016, in Helsinki, Finland. The 2017 WJC will be held in Montreal and Toronto.

"We had interest of varying levels from more than a dozen entities," said Mike Bertsch, assistant executive director of marketing, communications and events for USA Hockey. "In the end, we're extremely pleased with the group of finalists. The time and effort each put into the materials that were submitted is impressive and we look forward to continued conversations with each of the finalists."

USA Hockey hopes to have the host city selected by the end of the year.

"We'll likely further narrow the field in the next 60 days and then conduct in-person visits before making a final decision," Bertsch said.

The United States has served as host of the WJC five times since the IIHF began staging the tournament in 1977: 1982 (Minneapolis/St. Paul), 1989 (Anchorage, Alaska), 1996 (Boston) 2005 (Grand Forks, N.D./Thief River Falls, Minn.) and 2011 (Buffalo/Niagara, N.Y.).

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