Team Canada Favored to Win Third Straight IIHF World Championship

Paris, France and Cologne, Germany are the hosting cities for this year’s IIHF world hockey championship where Team Canada, the tournament favorite, will go for its third consecutive gold medal.

Sportsbook has the odds for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s annual competition and they’ve given the Canucks a pretty good shot at getting it done once again with a price of +175. Although they won’t have their captain from last year’s golden run, Canada’s roster includes five returnees from 2016, including centers Mark Scheifele and Ryan O’Reilly, so they’ll be plenty deep up the middle with Nathan MacKinnon and Claude Giroux also committing to the tournament.

Behind Canada are the usual suspects Russia (+325) and Sweden (+325). The Ruskies are famous for historically dominating this tournament and actually hold the record for the most gold medals with 27 already in Putin’s trophy case. If Canada gets another win, however, they’ll draw even with Russia at the top of the leaderboard. Medaling out in three straight years (gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016) the Russians will be disappointed with anything other than another appearance in the gold medal game.

Team Sweden could be one of the most interesting teams to watch. Sure, they’ll be down Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson as they’re still competing against each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs but they will have the likes of the Gabriel Landeskog, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Victor Hedman and William Nylander, the Maple Leafs’ sensational rookie winger. They’ll be a fast, skilled and defensively deep team motivated to continue their historic excellence on the world stage.

Sweden hasn’t medaled since 2014 but this is a tournament in which the Swedes perennially compete for the hardware. They’ve earned nine golds in their history but what’s more impressive is that they’ve earned 20 medals (and six of those golds) in the last 30 years.

Behind the front-runners we have Finland (+800), Czech Republic (+1000) and the USA (+1000) all in the conversation as well. 10/1 would seem to be good value for the Americans but when you consider that the Star Spangled Banner hasn’t been played in celebration at the world hockey championship in 57 years, it almost feels like a long shot.

Although they’ve earned bronze two of the last four years, this is a competition the Americans could not care less about, generally speaking. You’re likely to find most of the best U.S. players on the links rather than the ice for this one.

Here’s the full list of futures odds for the 2017 IIHF world championship:

IIHF World Championship 2017 Outright Sportsbook
Czech Republic+1000

Odds as of May 4 at Sportsbook

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