World-Juniors-Preview THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

World Juniors Preview: Breaking down Team Canada in numbers

On Boxing Day, the start of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship will begin out west in Victoria and Vancouver. Canada looks to defend its title for a second straight gold medal.

This marks the 13th time Canada is hosting the tournament (14th including the 1982 joint effort between Canada and the United States). Canada will play four preliminary games before elimination action begins on January 2.

Let’s break down Canada’s performance in past tournaments in numbers:

42 official tournaments

Team Canada’s Wayne Gretzy plays against the Soviet Union during the World Junior Hockey Championships in Quebec City, Dec. 28, 1977. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ball

There have been a total of 42 official tournaments starting in 1977. Before that, there were three unofficial ones held from 1974-1976. Canada played host for the first time for the 1978 tournament, with games held in Montreal and Quebec City. At the 1977 tournament, Canada hit the podium for the first time, leaving with the silver medal.

17 titles

From left, Canada’s Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry celebrate the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Grand Forks, N.D., Jan. 4, 2005. Crosby helped spark the golden age of Canadian junior hockey. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain and his teammates ended a seven-year gold-medal drought at the world junior championship, which began a stretch of five straight titles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada has claimed the title 17 times. The first time Canada won gold came in 1982. Overall, Canada has a total of 31 medals (9 silver, 5 bronze).

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17-years-old: Canada’s youngest player this year

Team Canada’s Alexis Lafreniere moves in for the puck against Team Switzerland during third period action in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Canada won 5-3. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The youngest player on this year’s squad is Alexis Lafrenière, currently playing for the QMJHL’s Rimouski Océanic. He joins an exclusive club of players to make Canada’s roster as a 17-year-old. Former players to crack the roster at that age include Wayne Gretzky, Jay Bouwmeester, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

5 titles on home ice

Canada poses for a team photo after defeating Russia during third period gold medal hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Toronto on Monday, January 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Out of the 12 times Canada has hosted the tournament, almost half of those times have ended with Canada winning the top prize. The five gold medals won on Canadian ice were done in the 1991, 1995, 2006, 2009 and 2015 tournaments.

2 golden streaks

Team Canada’s head coach Don Hay joins teammates in singing O’ Canada at the World Junior Hockey championships in Red Deer, Jan. 4, 1995. (CP PHOTO/Dave Buston)

Canada dominated the tournament for a period of 5 years two separate times. From 1993-1997 and 2005-2009, Canada won five straight gold medals.

1 returning player

Canada forward Maxime Comtois (14) and Canada forward Alex Formenton, right, celebrate a goal against Sweden during third period gold medal final IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Buffalo, N.Y., on Friday, January 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

This year, Canada’s roster is full of fresh faces. Maxime Comtois is the lone returning player. At last year’s tournament, he played seven games, scoring three goals and three assists.

2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Roster:


Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, ON)

Ian Scott (Calgary, AB)


Evan Bouchard (Oakville, ON)

Josh Brook (Roblin, MB)

Noah Dobson (Summerside, P.E.I.)

Jared McIsaac (Truro, NS)

Ian Mitchell (Calahoo, AB)

Markus Phillips (Port Perry, ON)

Ty Smith (Lloydminster, AB)


Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Calgary, AB)

Shane Bowers (Herring Cove, NS)

Maxime Comtois ( Longueuil, QC)

MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, ON)

Morgan Frost (Aurora, ON)

Cody Glass (Winnipeg, MB)

Barrett Hayton (Peterborough, ON)

Alexis Lafrenière (Saint-Eustache, QC)

Brett Leason (Calgary, AB)

Jack Studnicka (Tecumseh, ON)

Nick Suzuki (London, ON)

Owen Tippett (Peterborough, ON)

Joe Veleno (Montréal, QC)

Canada will open the tournament on December 26 with a game against Denmark. The rest of the preliminary round is as follows:

  • December 27: SUI vs CAN
  • December 29: CAN vs CZE
  • December 31: RUS vs CAN

Canada’s preliminary games will be played in Vancouver, out of Rogers Arena. All games will start at 5pm PST. For the full schedule click here.