2024 IIHF World Hockey Championship Preview – Canada Early Betting Favourite For Gold

Pierre Luc Dubois carries the puck in the 2022 World Hockey Championship. Dubois returns to Canada for 2024. (World Hockey Championship Betting)

While the Stanley Cup Playoffs are receiving the lion’s share of focus in the hockey world, they aren’t the only way to get your puck fix in the springtime. In fact, they aren’t even the only way that’s full of NHL talent! The 2024 IIHF World Hockey Championship begins in the men’s division on Friday and stretch across the next two and a half weeks.

While their timing and nature of stakes mean that the rosters aren’t at quite the same level as the Olympics or World Cup of Hockey, the top nations still show up with exciting rosters full of NHLers and other talent from across the hockey world. The tournament is also a great way to see what’s been developing in smaller hockey nations. Let’s look at Canada’s roster, their competition, and how you can catch/bet the action:

Canada Sets Roster

On Tuesday and Thursday, Hockey Canada made the final adjustments to its roster, revealing the following group as their 23-man roster for the tournament.

ForwardsNHLDefence + GoaliesNHL
Connor BedardChicagoBowen ByramBuffalo
Michael BuntingPittsburghKaiden GuhleMontreal
Dylan CozensBuffaloJamie OleksiakSeattle
Pierre-Luc DuboisLos AngelesColton ParaykoSt. Louis
Ridly GreigOttawaOwen PowerBuffalo
Dylan GuentherUtahDamon SeversonColumbus
Brandon HagelTampa BayOlen ZellwegerAnaheim
Andrew MangiapaneCalgary
Jack McBainUtah
Jared McCannSeattle
Dawson MercerNew JerseyJordan BinningtonSt. Louis
Nick PaulTampa BayNico DawsNew Jersey
Brandon TanevSeattleJoel HoferSt. Louis
John TavaresToronto

The final moves made to the group included bringing in Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, and Pierre-Luc Dubois following their first-round eliminations in the playoffs. Projected 2024 first-overall pick Macklin Celebrini and 2023 second-overall pick Adam Fantilli were the ones that dropped out in their place. John Tavares was added to the group on Friday morning.

That’s not to say that Canada is without younger talent, though, with an 18-year-old in Bedard, a 20-year-old in Zellweger, and a trio of 21-year-olds in Power, Greig, and Guenther. On the veteran end, an over-30 quadrant has come out of Seattle and St. Louis through Binnington (30), Parayko (30), Oleksiak (31), and Tanev (32).

Interestingly, only Joel Hofer returns from last year’s World Championship roster.

Representing Canadian teams, Kaiden Guhle heads over from Montreal, Greig heads over from Ottawa, and Mangiapane heads over from Calgary.

Canada to win gold at the World Hockey Championship


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CanCon Around The World

On top of Team Canada, there are several players from the five eliminated Canadian NHL teams who are extending their seasons.

  • Calgary Flames: Martin Pospisil (Slovakia),
  • Montreal: Vinzenz Rohrer (Prospect, Austria), Oliver Kapanen (Prospect, Finland), Juraj Slafkovsky (Slovakia), Cole Caufield (USA)
  • Ottawa Senators: Dominik Kubalik (Czechia), Jake Sanderson (USA), Shane Pinto (USA), Brady Tkachuk (USA)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: David Kampf (Czechia), Pontus Holmberg (Sweden), Fabrice Herzog (Extended Rights, Switzerland)
  • Winnipeg Jets: Nino Niederreiter (Switzerland)

As noted, not everyone who is representing their country is a player coming off the main roster. Montreal is sending two of their recently drafted prospects in Rohrer (Round 3, 2022) and Kapanen (Round 2, 2021), and Herzog’s association to the Leafs is basically in legalese only at this point, having not played a game in North America since 2014. Including prospects, Montreal and Ottawa are sending the most affiliated players to the tournament with five, while the Sens specifically are sending the most players straight off their roster, thanks in large part to their American wing.

World Championship Futures Odds

Here are the odds for the eight most likely teams to win the 2024 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships on our three top-ranked Canadian sportsbooks – Sports Interaction, NorthStar Bets, and bet365.

Countrysports interaction
United States+325+285+300

You can also bet on long-shot options like Latvia, Denmark, Norway, France, Kazakhstan, Austria, Great Britain, and Poland, with odds going as long as +100000 for the latter two, but I wouldn’t waste my money there. The talent gap is just too large. Latvia is the one semi-exception, as they’ve had some fun runs in the past and even won Bronze last season, but that’s about as best-case as they’ll land for the time being.

Canada opens as the favourite or co-favourites on most of the major books, which makes sense given the fact that they’re sending 23 NHLers, including some very productive talent in the likes of Bedard, Hagel, Guenther, McCann and Bunting. But they’ll have serious competition, such as Sweden’s absolutely stacked blue line (Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, Rasmus Dahlin, and Jonas Brodin leading the way), and a 21-NHLer deep USA roster with plenty of offensive firepower (Brady Tkachuk, Brock Nelson, Matt Boldy, Cole Caufield, and Johnny Gaudreau, just to name a few). You can’t go wrong picking any of the three countries to have a deep run in this tournament.

As far as value goes, if you’re looking to bet on the favourites, you’re best off going with Sports Interaction. If you’re betting on underdogs, you’ll get the most value at NorthStar Bets, which also has an option to bet on a team to medal if you don’t want to commit to gold. Bet365 doesn’t stand out, but its prices are fairly competitive here, so if that’s where you have your money already, it’s a fine option.

Canada to medal at the World Hockey Championship


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World Hockey Championship Schedule and How To Watch

The World Championships begin Friday, with two morning games between Germany and Slovakia, and Norway and Switzerland getting underway at 10:20 a.m. ET. With games being played in Czechia, expect early puck drops for Canadian viewers, with 11:20 a.m. local games starting at 6:20 a.m. in the Eastern time zone, and 3:20 a.m. in the West Coast. Better have your coffee ready!

Canada’s round-robin schedule is as follows:

Sat. May 11CanadaGreat Britain6:20 a.m. ET
Sun. May 12CanadaDenmark10:20 a.m. ET
Tue. May 14AustriaCanada2:20 p.m. ET
Thu. May 16NorwayCanada2:20 p.m. ET
Sat. May 18FinlandCanada10:20 a.m. ET
Sun. May 19CanadaSwitzerland2:20 p.m. ET
Tue. May 21CzechiaCanada10:20 a.m. ET

The top four teams in both eight-team groups will advance to the knockout stages, while the bottom team will be relegated to Division 1 A.

The schedule for the knockout stages will be as follows.

  • Quarterfinals: Thursday, May 23rd, two games at 10:20 a.m. ET, two at 2:20 p.m. ET
  • Semi-Finals: Saturday, May 25th at 8:20 a.m. ET and 12:20 p.m. ET
  • Bronze Medal: Sunday, May 26th at 9:20 a.m. ET
  • Gold Medal: Sunday, May 26th at 2:20 p.m. ET

To catch the action, Canadians will have the option of TSN in English and RDS in French, both on TV and through the networks’ streaming services. For those who have the US-focused NHL Network, you can also catch the games on there.