For hockey fans, Boxing Day is almost like Christmas 2.0. The holidays can at times make us weary, like once you wind up spending your entire paycheck on presents and then listening to a family complain about how they did not like their present (I thought you enjoyed candles, Mom!) . Therefore, when December 26 rolls round, hockey fans know it’s time to proceed from the gift-giving and find a gift they’ll really enjoy with the yearly IIHF world junior hockey tournament. Here are the four teams that bettors must have in their radar to acquire the 42nd edition of the championship.
UNITED STATES (+125)
Favorite on BetOnline and the champion, the United States is a decent choice to take home the gold again. They’ll be returning goaltender Joseph Woll, who had been on the squad this past year and was excellent in the 2 matches he played. The main incentive for this year’s edition of the U.S. roster is they’re returning seven players from last year. At forward, they’ll be led by Buffalo Sabres draft pick Casey Mittelstadt, who will get to skate in front of his home lovers that were upcoming. Bettors should know, though, that no team has won back gold because 2009.
I’d be all over this selection from backing my brethren, but I am deterred by the history of choking in the big moment. The Canadian team dropped to the U.S. squad last year in a shootout after holding two different two-goal leads. Where the Canadians will be piled is about the blue line as all of their defensemen were drafted in the top 15 in recent NHL drafts. Though the Canucks have won this tourney 16 days, they have not won it since 2015 and at this respect, the juice likely is not worth the squeeze.
A value pick, Finland has won gold in two of the previous four championships and could be a sneaky choice for bettors looking to profit on the”each year” trend. The Finns will be put to create it out of the group point and are put in Group A with the Americans, Canadians and Slovakians. Their expected starting goaltender, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, is a Sabres draft selection and the Buffalo crowd may wish to obtain a peek at Robin Lehner’s potential replacement. Miro Heiskanen, the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, will also be back to the blue line for the Finns and their forwards thickness should carry them well with five returning forward from last year’s squad.
The last time that the world championship was at Buffalo, back in 2011, the Russians dominated and took the gold. But this year’s squad does not have the likes of Vladimir Tarasenko, Evgeni Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin out there dominating. While this season’s version has lots of skilled forwards, it may be too much of an uphill struggle to see the Russians repeat that accomplishment when they do not have generational talent hitting the ice. An NHL team has drafted one of their defensemen and nearly all of their rearguards will come from the KHL. In +650, you’d be better served to spend your Christmas money on Bitcoin.
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