On the day after Christmas, hockey fans got one more present with the start of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. The tournament features the best U-20 hockey players, and is a big point in evaluating both upcoming draft picks and recent draftees.
The Buffalo Sabres will be sending three prospects to the tournament - Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov will be playing for the Russian team, while Rasmus Ristolainen will be manning the back end for Team Finland. As of this writing, the Russian squad has already finished a dominating performance against Norway, and Grigorenko earned a goal and two assists while Zadorov notched two goals in an 11-0 rout. Ristolainen will begin his tournament run tomorrow as Finland takes on Norway.
Two other prospects were slated to attend, but had to bow out due to injuries; J.T. Compher would be on Team USA were it not for a recent foot injury, while Possler was cut from hosting Team Sweden because of a season-ending knee injury.
How To Watch
For those interested in following the Sabres prospects, NHL Network will be broadcasting many of the round-robin games, and all of the playoff games in the US. If you're just interest in following the defending champs Team USA, you can not only watch their games on NHL Network, but, all of the US games will be streamed live on NHL.com.
Here's the broadcast schedule, courtesy of NHL.com:
|Germany vs. Canada||7:30 am ET|
|Czech Republic vs. USA*||11:30 am ET|
|Slovakia vs. Germany||9 am ET|
|USA vs. Slovakia*||7:30 am ET|
|Canada vs. Czech Republic||11:30 am ET|
|Germany vs. USA*||9 am ET|
|Czech Republic vs. Germany||7:30 am ET|
|Canada vs. Slovakia||11:30 am ET|
|Slovakia vs. Czech Republic||7:30 am ET|
|USA vs. Canada*||11:30 am ET|
|Quarterfinal||6 am ET|
|Quarterfinal||8:30 am ET|
|Quarterfinal||11:00 am ET|
|Quarterfinal||1:30 pm ET|
|Semifinal||9 am ET|
|Semifinal||1 pm ET|
|Bronze Medal||9 am ET|
|Gold Medal||1 pm ET|
|* also streamed live on NHL.com|
In Canada, many of the games, and all of Team Canada's games, will be broadcast on TSN - you can find their full broadcast schedule here.
For Sabres fans, I'd also recommend you bookmark our Sabres WJC Story Stream, which will be updated with all the articles we publish and news we can find on how the blue and gold prospects are doing throughout the tournament.