2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships: Canada Enters Tournament With Third-Shortest Outright Odds

The 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship is fast approaching. In just eight days, the puck will drop on this year’s edition of the Under-20 tournament, considered by many to be the peak of pre-professional hockey, at least on the international stage. With everyone from the fans to the scouts to the sportsbooks ramping up for this event, we thought we’d look at where things stand from a Canadian perspective before the teams converge on Gothenburg, Sweden, for the start of the tournament on Boxing Day.

Team Canada Announces Roster

Last Wednesday, Hockey Canada concluded its selection camp in Oakville, Ontario, and announced their roster for the tournament – at least, all but one spot, which was used on a big addition on Monday morning.

The group is a very fresh one to the tournament as just one player was part of last year’s gold medal-winning roster. Some interesting names to look out for include:

  • Owen Beck is the one returning player, and one of three players who are part of Canadian NHL organizations, as he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2022. Beck played three games in last year’s tournament, picking up a single assist. So far this year, Beck has produced 30 points in 25 games for the Peterborough Petes.
  • Fraser Minten and Easton Cowan are the two other players from Canadian NHL pipelines, both prospects of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Minten, Toronto’s 2022 second-round pick, started the year with the big club before being sent down and has split his WHL time between Kamloops and his new team, Saskatoon. He has 15 points in 13 games this year. Cowan was Toronto’s first-round pick in 2023 and also had a strong camp, and has had an electrifying start to his OHL season, putting up 39 points in 23 games with the London Knights.
  • Macklin Celebrini is going to be on everyone’s Christmas wishlist, as every scouting service that matters has him at the top of the NHL draft board for 2024. The 17-year-old has a blistering 25 points in 15 games for Boston University, proving himself to be the best player on a team that has 13 already-drafted prospects. He doesn’t need this tournament to improve his odds of going at the top, but he could sure use the bragging rights that come with it.
  • Also eligible for this year’s draft are forward Owen Allard, and goaltenders Mathis Rousseau and Samuel St-Hilaire. As 2004-born 19-year-olds, all three of these players are considered double over-agers and unlikely to be drafted this time around, but a strong tournament could turn some heads in their favour.
  • Matthew Poitras was added to the Canadian lineup on Monday, with the last remaining space. This is a huge add, as Poitras has been a legitimate difference-maker on a very good Boston Bruins roster, putting up five goals and 13 points through 27 games and positive team-relative shot metrics. Adding a legitimate NHL player to a deep roster is rocket fuel for a team looking to go for gold.
PosPlayerTeamNHL Rights
FOwen BeckPeterborough (OHL)Montreal
FMatthew PoitrasBoston (NHL)Boston
FNate DanielsonBrandon (WHL)Detroit
FFraser MintenSaskatoon (WHL)Toronto
FMacklin CelebriniBoston University (NCAA)2024 Draft
FMatthew WoodUConn (NCAA)Nashville
FCarson RehkpopfKitchener (OHL)Seattle
FOwen AllardSault St. Marie (OHL)2024 Draft
FJordan DumaisHalifax (QMJHL)Columbus
FMatthew SavoieWenatchee (WHL)Buffalo
FEaston CowanLondon (OHL)Toronto
FConor GeekieWenatchee (WHL)Arizona
FBrayden YagerMoose Jay (WHL)Pittsburgh
DTristan LuneauAnaheim (NHL)Anaheim
DJake FurlongHalifax (QMJHL)San Jose
DNoah WarrenVictoriaville (QMJHL)Anaheim
DOliver BonkLondon (OHL)Philadelphia
DTanner MolendykSaskatoon (WHL)Nashville
DMaveric LamoureuxDrummondville (QMJHL)Arizona
DDenton MateychukMoose Jaw (WHL)Columbus
GScott RatzlaffSeattle (WHL)Buffalo
GMathis RousseauHalifax (QMJHL)2024 Draft
GSamuel St-HilarieSherbrooke (QMJHL)2024 Draft

Canada Is Wherever You Want It To Be

For fans of NHL teams, sometimes it’s not even your home country that you end up focusing your attention on. After all, this tournament isn’t just one of international bragging rights, but one where teams’ top prospects converge for some of the highest-end hockey they’ll play in their formative years. So fans of Canadian NHL teams might be zeroed in on the nations that host most of their prospects. Team Sweden, for example, may as well be “Team Canada 2”, with six prospects across the Canucks, Jets, and Senators organizations.

The full list of Canadian rights-held prospects is as follows. Sorry in advance, Oilers fans.

  • Calgary Flames – Samuel Hoznek (F, Slovakia)
  • Edmonton Oilers – no prospects
  • Montreal Canadiens – Filip Mesar (F, Slovakia), Jacob Fowler (G, USA), Lane Hutson (D, USA), Owen Beck, (F, Canada)
  • Ottawa Senators – Kevin Reidler (G, Sweden), Oskar Pettersson (F, Sweden), Tomas Hamara (D, Czechia)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs – Easton Cowan (F, Canada), Fraser Minten (F, Canada)
  • Vancouver Canucks – Elias Pettersson (D, Sweden), Tom Willander (D, Sweden), Jonathan Lekkerimaki (F, Sweden)
  • Winnipeg Jets – Elias Salomonsson (D, Sweden), Fabian Wagner (F, Sweden), Rutger McGroarty (F, USA)

Canada to win gold at the 2024 World Juniors


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Futures Markets Open Ahead Of Puck Drop

Heading into the tournament, the United States are seen as the favourites to take home the gold medal, hoping to spoil Canada’s hopes for a three-peat. Their roster is overloaded with talent, with all but two players already being drafted by NHL teams and all but three currently playing college hockey, meaning they’ve spent their falls playing against older competition. Sweden shortly follows, and Canada is right behind both.

After that, the group begins to slide a bit, with Finland trailing at +500 and Czechia (listed on bet365 as Czech Republic) representing the first big fall off at +1600. After that, it becomes an underdog’s row, with odds stretching all the way to +75000 for Norway.

I don’t think there’s a wrong answer in the “Big 3”, given the amount of drafted talent all three countries have. While Canada has the last two golds to their name, their grip isn’t firm, and gold isn’t guaranteed. If you like their chances, though, it’s not often you’ll find them sitting in the bronze slot. With the add of Poitras today, though, I will say that those +275 odds aren’t going to last long, so if you like Canada – bet them quickly.

United States+175Slovakia+5000
Czech Republic+1600Norway+75000

Check Back For More WJC Coverage From CSB

This isn’t the last you’ll hear about this tournament from us! Canada Sports Betting will be following along with the action from the first whistle to the final ceremony, providing game previews for all of Canada’s games and the later knockout stages. Some key dates to remember as the tournament gets started are:

  • Canada Game 1: vs. Finland, Tuesday December 26th at 8:30 a.m. EST
  • Canada Game 2: vs. Latvia, Wednesday December 27th at 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Canada Game 3: vs. Sweden, Friday December 29th at 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Canada Game 4: vs. Germany, Sunday December 31st at 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Quarterfinals: Tuesday, January 2nd, games at 6:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m EST
  • Semifinals: Thursday, January 4th, games at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m EST
  • Bronze Medal Game: Friday, January 5th at 9:00 a.m. EST
  • Gold Medal Game: Friday, January 5th at 1:30 a.m. EST

United States to win gold at the 2024 World Juniors


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