Happy holidays and welcome to one of the most exciting weeks in junior hockey. The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship kicks off Wednesday in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
The 10-team, 11-day tournament runs through Jan. 5, 2019, and offers hockey fans a glimpse into the future with the best junior players from around the world participating.
For Flyers fans, the world juniors have been especially must-see viewing in recent years. While the past three weeks have brought major change throughout the organization, this year's tournament is no different. Flyers fans will have plenty to watch over the next 11 days.
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Carter Hart and Team Canada won the 2018 WJC. Hart, of course, is with the Flyers now. The Flyers have seven players in this year's games. Let's get you ready for the 2019 tournament.
The Americans are the team fans will want to pay most attention to as they feature four Flyers prospects - forwards Joel Farabee, Jay O'Brien, Noah Cates and defenseman Jack St. Ivany.
Cates is a 2017 fifth-round pick while Farabee, O'Brien and St. Ivany are 2018 draft picks. All four have chosen the NCAA route. The Flyers had no prospects on the 2018 U.S. team.
This season, Farabee has 11 points in 16 games; O'Brien has two points in 10 games and has dealt with injuries; Cates has seven points in 16 games; and St. Ivany, eight points in 12 games.
After not cracking the 2018 roster, Morgan Frost will represent Canada this year, and it should come as no surprise. Frost has been one of the best junior players over the past two seasons.
Frost, this season, is third in the OHL in scoring with 58 points, scoring 1.81 points per game, which is also third in the league. He has 22 points in his last 10 games with Sault Ste. Marie.
Sweden features two Flyers prospects: defenseman Adam Ginning and goaltender Samuel Ersson, both 2018 draft picks. Ginning is a 6-foot-4 stay-at-home defenseman who has four points in 25 games this season with Linköping HC of the SHL. Ersson is having a pretty solid campaign with Västerås IK of the Allsvenskan, posting a .941 save percentage in 17 games.
How to watch
The NHL Network (NHLN) in the United States and TSN in Canada will broadcast the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Here's a schedule for Teams USA, Canada and Sweden.
Dec. 26: vs. Slovakia, 6:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 28: vs. Kazakhstan, 10:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 29: vs. Sweden, 10:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 31: vs. Finland, 10:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 26: vs. Denmark, 8 p.m. - NHLN (in progress)
Dec. 27: vs. Switzerland, 8 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 29: vs. Czech Republic, 8 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 31: vs. Russia, 8 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 26: vs. Finland, 10:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 27: vs. Slovakia, 6:30 p.m. -airing Dec. 28, 8 a.m. on NHLN
Dec. 29: vs. United States, 10:30 p.m. - NHLN
Dec. 31: vs. Kazakhstan, 6:30 p.m. - airing Jan. 1, 8 a.m. on NHLN
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