NHL Headlines: 2021 World Juniors announced to start Christmas Day

Hockey fans, particularly those who love to watch top NHL prospects received some good news yesterday. The IIHF has announced the start of the 2021 World Juniors is December 25.

2021 World Junior Championship

Following a very similar model to the NHL’s Return-to-Play, all ten teams will participate in a “competition bubble”. The tournament will take place in Edmonton without spectators in attendance.

According to the official IIHF website, Switzerland vs. Slovakia will be the first game on that opening day before Germany faces Finland and last year’s runner-up Russia will play Team USA. The remaining teams will start on the second day including defending champion and host Canada playing Germany.

2021 World Juniors schedule
2021 World Juniors schedule (IIHF Infographic)

Will the recently drafted top prospects play?

The current situation being what it is has left the availability of recently drafted prospects like Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield and others questionable. A lot will depend on when the NHL season is set to start.

For example, if the NHL season is slated to start in early or mid-January it is unlikely the Rangers let Lafreniere play. If the start date for the league is in February, they and the Kings will likely consider it.

Bob McKenzie put out a lengthy thread on the subject and if you have Twitter, I suggest reading it starting with the tweet below.

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