This has been in discussion for quite some time now, and it finally appears that it’s happening. Tomorrow it will be announced that Edmonton is hosting the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships!
If this isn’t the most exciting news of your week, then I don’t know what to tell you. For my whole life, I’ve always wanted to watch a Canada vs USA game in the World Junior Championships, and now we may all have the opportunity again in a few years. Darryl Katz has said for quite some time that he wants to host an international tournament here in the up and coming Ice District. The last time Edmonton hosted the World Junior tournament was in 2012, and the games were split between Rexall Place and the Saddledome in Calgary.
This time, however, Red Deer will also be hosting some of the tournament games, with Rogers Place likely being the main stadium. Red Deer just opened a new arena complex this past summer, so I’m sure it’s more than capable of hosting International hockey. I’m curious to see if the tournament will hold any games in the Ice District Community Rink. The IIHF did use the Community Rink for the Hlinka-Gretzky cup earlier this year, so maybe it is in the books for the U20 tournament?
Either way, the U20 Junior Tournament is one of the most exciting Canadian hockey events of the year. Hosting it in Edmonton would be a blessing, and I’m already starting my countdown clock.