The World Junior Championships is always a great showcase of the young talent set to enter the NHL in the coming years and provides a competitive atmosphere that delivers loads of entertainment. Certainly over the last few years, the Flyers have been well represented at the tournament.
This year, there will be three Flyer prospects entering the tournament, set to start on Christmas Day and conclude on Jan. 5 with the Gold Medal Game. 2019 first-round pick Cam York and 2019 second-round pick Bobby Brink will play for Team USA and 2020 second-round pick Emil Andrae will be on Team Sweden’s roster.
York is in his sophomore season for Michigan University and got off to a hot start, scoring two goals and five points in eight games. Last season, he scored five goals and 16 points as a freshman and played in five games for the US in last year’s WJC, though with limited minutes. He figures to have a much larger role in this year’s tournament.
The same goes for Brink, who was on Team USA’s roster a year ago and scored a goal and added an assist in the five games that USA played. Brink has three assists in three games with the University of Denver this season. As a freshman last year, he scored 11 goals and had 24 points in 28 games.
Andrae is one of the newest members of the Flyers organization, drafted in the second round in October. Andrae is already playing professionally in Sweden, with three assists in 20 games for HV71 of the SHL. On HV71’s J20 SuperElit team last season, he scored 11 goals and had 38 points in 40 games.
Two other Flyers prospects were part of Team Canada’s cuts. 2020 first-round pick Tyson Foerster was cut on Thursday, having missed some time in Canada’s training camp with an injury and getting limited time to showcase himself with the team quarantined due to positive COVID-19 tests.
2019 fourth-round pick Mason Millman was among the first cuts from Team Canada, sent home due to a positive COVID test.
The tournament will hold Group rounds from Dec. 25 to Dec. 31. As 2021 arrives, the tournament will begin with quarterfinals being held on Jan. 2, semi-final games being held on Jan. 4, and the Gold and Bronze Medal Games being held on Jan. 5.
Team USA opens play on Christmas night with a game against Russia at 9:30 p.m., then plays Austria at 9:30 on Dec. 26 and Czech Republic on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. Sweden plays Czech Republic on Dec. 26 at 2 p.m., Austria on Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. and Russia on Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m. USA and Sweden will close Group play by facing each other on Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.
The entire World Junior Championships is taking place in Edmonton, Alberta, in a similar fashion to the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. All teams will receive daily COVID-19 testing and will remain in a bubble to allow the tournament to reach its conclusion.