Saturday, December 27, 2008

World Junior Hockey Tournament in Ottawa

The annual World Juniors kicked off Dec 26 in Ottawa and features most of the best under-20 hockey players in the world... the exception being those teens already in the NHL whose teams won't release them to play.

Team Canada has won the championship four years in a row and as would be expected, is one of the favorites this year... with the U.S., Sweden and Russia also being viewed as contenders.

There's fairly significant televison coverage in the U.S. provided by the NHL Network with the broadcast schedule posted here (Sunday 12/28 linked). In terms of web coverage, TSN out of Canada has tons of information available online at their opening page on the tournament and then linked pages such as the schedule and video on demand.

Another page off the TSN site, though, illustrates what makes this such a compelling event... the chance to watch some of the future stars of the NHL. Linked here is a listing of the year by year tournament all-star selections. It's quite a list and features from just the last four years current NHL stars like Drew Doughty of the Kings (2008), Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks (2007), Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins (2006) and oh yeah... Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals (2005).

Pretty good company for the players who will emerge as the best from Ottawa over the next week and a half.

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