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Odds to Win 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship: Canada Out in Front

Canada Leads Odds to Win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship is underway with the group stages nearing an end. The best junior hockey tournament in the world is being held at Rogers Place in Edmonton and the host Canadian team is the favorite at sportsbooks to win the hardware.

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Online sportsbook Bovada has listed Canada as the favorite in IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship odds at +140, with Russia (+400), USA (+400), Sweden (+450) and Finland (+1000) making up the rest of the top five on the oddsboard.

Odds to Win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
Czech Republic+2000

Odds as of December 30 at Bovada

Action-Packed Few Weeks on Tap

The tournament format features two groups of five teams competing in round-robin play, followed by a three-round playoff. In the round robin, three points are awarded for a regulation win and two points for an overtime or shootout victory. One point is allotted for an overtime or shootout loss.

After group play, the four highest-ranked clubs from each group advance to the quarterfinals. This year, Group A consists of Finland, Switzerland, Canada, Slovakia and Germany, while the United States, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Austria make up Group B.

Canadians Looking Good

Team Canada won its 18th world junior crown last year, going a perfect 6-0 and knocking off Russia 4-3 in the gold-medal game. They returned only six players from the team that won it all a year ago, including Dawson Mercer, who was drafted 18th overall in the recent NHL draft. The Canadians are off to a hot start, going 3-0 and scoring 29 goals over that span. Their World Junior Hockey Championship odds are at +140.

The Canadians suffered a big loss in the exhibition games when captain Kirby Dach was knocked out of the tournament by a wrist injury. In his absence, other players have stepped up, specifically Dylan Cozens and Quinton Byfield. Cozens and Byfield rank second and third in tournament scoring with nine and seven points respectively through three games.

The surprise bright spot has been Phil Tomasino. Tomasino jumped up the depth chart with Dach’s injury and he has been better than expected with four goals and six points in the three games.

This may not be the most talented Canadian roster ever assembled but they are definitely a team that up and down the lineup has very few holes. Their goaltending has also been solid, with Devon Levi getting all three starts and stopping 41 of 43 shots he’s faced. His biggest challenge will come in the Canucks’ next game when they face Finland.

Don’t Overlook The Americans

Team USA is tied for the second-best World Junior Hockey Championship odds at +400 and is looking to rebound following a disappointing finish last year. Coming into this tournament with something to prove, the Americans are 2-1 to start the tourney, posting wins against Austria and the Czech Republic with their only loss coming at the hands of the Russians by a score of 5-3.

The Americans are led by forward Trevor Zegras, who has a tournament-best five goals and 10 points. The other key player for them so far has been defenseman Cam York. York’s six points are tops among rearguards and he is tied with Zegras for the tournament high in power-play points with four.

If the Americans want to have any success, they will need strong goaltending from Spencer Knight and Dustin Wolf. The pair have split duties so far over the three games, so it will be interesting who the team wants to go once the round robin concludes. The Americans finish the group stage against Sweden on Thursday, which would determine who will win Group B.