Category: IIHF (Page 1 of 3)

Luc Tardif new IIHF President

Luc Tardif reacts after being elected new IIHF President by the 2021 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress.

By Martin Merk –

Luc Tardif has been elected as new IIHF President succeeding René Fasel, who held the position for 27 years and didn’t stand for re-election. He won the presidential election in the fourth and last round against Franz Reindl.

Tardif becomes the 14th IIHF President and the second from France after founding President Louis Magnus.

Petr Briza was elected as Senior Vice-President, and the Regional Vice-Presidents elected are Bob Nicholson (Americas), Aivaz Omorkanov (Asia & Oceania) and Henrik Bach Nielsen (Europe & Africa).

Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer and Marta Zawadzka were re-elected as female Council members. In the first round for the remaining positions Heikki Hietanen, Anders Larsson, Pavel Bure, Raeto Raffainer and Andrea Gios were elected with a majority with two positions open for a second round. Franz Reindl was elected in the second round and Viesturs Koziols in the third round.

Tardif, who has citizenship of France and Canada, was elected to the IIHF Council in 2012 where he served as Treasurer. He played junior hockey in Canada and professional hockey in Belgium and France where he started his hockey career off the ice with Rouen’s youth program. He was the head of the ice hockey department at the French Ice Sports Federation from 2000 to 2006. In 2006, he was elected as first President of the newly created French Ice Hockey Federation, a position he was re-elected for in 2010, 2014 and 2018. He was also Chef de Mission of the French Olympic delegation at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics. He has worked as member of the IIHF Competition Committee (2008-2012) and as chairman of the IIHF Finance Committee (since 2016).

In his presentation the day before, Tardif underlined the importance of development and bouncing back after the Covid-19 crisis that hit hockey in many countries with a successful restart of the usual activities. He also presented an idea for a larger IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I by merging the two groups, for a “Flying Coaches” program to bring word-class coaches to countries for seminars and wants to further develop 3-on-3 hockey.

He underlined that a President should listen and try to understand the needs of the member national associations. And that’s what he did with individual sessions with almost all member countries during summer. A “Virtual World Tour” or “Co-Construction Process” as he called it during 90 hours.

Bob Nicholson (CAN) was re-elected as Regional Vice-President Americas after Dave Ogrean (USA) had withdrawn. Aivaz Omorkanov (KGZ) was elected as Regional Vice-President Asia & Oceania in a vote against Thomas Wu (HKG), who previously held the position. Among the candidates for Europe & Africa two candidates were remaining with Henrik Bach Nielsen (DEN) winning the vote against Franz Reindl (GER). Presidential candidate Sergej Gontcharov (BLR) withdrew his application as regular Council member and thus leaves the Council.

Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer (HUN) and Marta Zawadzka (POL) were re-elected as female Council members. The IIHF Council must consist of at least two female and two male members.

hat left seven open positions on the Council for twelve remaining candidates. In the first round six candidates received a majority of votes and were elected: Heikki Hietanen (FIN), Anders Larsson (SWE), Pavel Bure (RUS), Raeto Raffainer (SUI) and Andrea Gios (ITA).

Two positions were still open for the second round with six candidates still in the race as the last-ranked candidate dropped out and one withdrew. Franz Reindl (GER) was elected in the second round but since no other candidate reached a simple majority, a third round was needed for one positions with four candidates running. Viesturs Koziols (LAT) was elected as last Council member.

The election day concluded with the Internal Auditors, Disciplinary Board, Ethics Board and Appeal Board.

Outgoing IIHF President René Fasel was named Life President after serving as President for 27 years and on the Council for 35 years. Outgoing Council members Kalervo Kummola, Tony Rossi, Vladislav Tretiak and Thomas Wu as well as outgoing Internal Auditor and former Council member Christer Englund were named Life Member. Outgoing Vice-President Kummola also served a lengthy period of 23 years on the IIHF Council. Long-time Disciplinary Board chairman Gerhard Mosslang was named Honorary Member.

Bach Nielsen announces top five priorities as part of IIHF Presidency bid

By Patrick Burke – Inside The Games

Henrik Bach Nielsen has advanced his election bid for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Presidency, releasing his top five priorities for his first year should he be successful.

The current President of the Danish Ice Hockey Union since 2007 and IIHF Council member since 2012 released his ‘1st Line’, and is hoping for the sport to expand globally and grow in more countries.

The first of his top priorities is to focus on regional development in Asia and the Balkans through committees, with a view to adopting a similar approach elsewhere in the future.

Bach Nielsen also aims to increase revenue streams with an added digital emphasis to increase prize money for the IIHF’s biggest events, and enable the six leading nations in Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States to serve as ‘super mentors’, supported by the IIHF, to assist the development of other member national associations (MNA).

He also hopes to increase investment in women’s ice hockey and female representation in leadership roles, and invest in new technologies and partnerships to reduce the sport’s energy consumption.

The Presidential candidate said of his 1st Line: “I see the opportunity to make international ice hockey truly global and I have an ambitious plan to get us there.

“With innovative ideas, fresh energy, and new leadership, we will take the IIHF beyond what we ever believed possible.”

The Dane has been endorsed by Hans Natorp, the President of the Danish National Olympic Committee, Nikolaj Ehlers, a player of the Winnipeg Jets, and the women’s national team captain Josefine Jakobsen.

Denmark hosted the men’s Ice Hockey World Championship for the first time in 2018, and will do so again jointly with Sweden in 2025.

Bach Nielsen is standing against Belarus’ Sergej Gontcharov, the Czech Republic’s Petr Briza, France’s Luc Tardif and German Ice Hockey Federation President Franz Reindl.

All five candidates are currently members of the IIHF Council.

Incumbent President René Fasel, who was first elected in 1994 and is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is not standing for re-election this September – a year later than originally planned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elections are set to take place at the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress on September 25 in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.

Other positions on the 14-member IIHF Council are up for election as well, including the senior vice-president and three regional vice-president roles.

Bach Nielsen is also standing for senior vice-president and regional vice-president for Europe and Africa.

The Congress will also elect two auditors, the Disciplinary Board, Appeal Board and Ethics Board.

IIHF working to postpone women’s world hockey championship to May

The women’s world hockey championship is scheduled for April 7-17 in Halifax and Truro, N.S., replacing the 2020 tournament that was cancelled due to the pandemic

The Canadian women’s hockey team opened a camp in Halifax on Monday wondering if and when there will be a world championship there.

Nova Scotia’s government has yet to approve the world championship April 7-17 in Halifax and Truro, and the International Hockey Federation wants to postpone it until May.

“We are working now on a postponement,” IIHF president Rene Fasel told The Associated Press on Monday.

“We saw it last year with the virus as soon as the weather was warmer, maybe the restrictions will be different.”

Halifax and Truro were co-hosts of the 10-country 2020 women’s championship cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IIHF awarded Nova Scotia the tournament again.

The 35 Canadian players arriving Monday in Halifax are preparing as though they’ll compete for a world title in May.

“I think we had an inclination it would get pushed at some point,” Hockey Canada’s director of national teams Gina Kingsbury told The Canadian Press from Halifax.

“We’re moving ahead like worlds are happening in that time frame.”

14-day isolation is problematic

Kingsbury views a postponement as an indicator both Hockey Canada and IIHF are committed to making the tournament happen, instead of cancelling a second time.

“I really do feel the postponement is to make sure it happens … and to make sure we’re in a good position to be able to host and to do so in a safe manner,” she said.

“There’s definitely a process in place and I think Hockey Canada is going through the right process step by step to ensure we will have a world championship in May.”

Canada requiring travellers arriving from outside the country to isolate for 14 days is problematic in hosting international sport.

Hockey Canada obtained federal government permission to alter that restriction for December’s spectator-free world men’s junior championship in Edmonton, where players and personnel were walled off from the public in a secured zone and underwent regular testing for the virus.

Nova Scotia presents another layer of restriction requiring people arriving from outside the province to isolate for 14 days, which isn’t the case in Alberta.

Nova Scotia health authorities approved the women’s camp with several conditions.

“The players and staff will be maintaining a quarantine between the hotel and rink and will have no contact with anyone outside of their ‘camp bubble”‘, Nova Scotia Health said Monday in a statement.

25-person limit on ice at camp

All players self-isolated for seven days and were tested before arrival in Halifax, Kingsbury said.

She says she could throw a baseball from the team’s hotel and hit Scotiabank Centre across the street, but the players travel by bus to the arena so they don’t mix with the public.

Nova Scotia limited the number of people who can be on the ice at one time to 25 last Friday, so the women’s camp format had to be quickly adjusted, Kingsbury said.

Six goaltenders, 10 defenders and 19 forwards were invited camp, including captain Marie-Philip Poulin, forwards Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse, and Nova Scotia natives Blayre Turnbull and Jill Saulnier.

“Being here is a good thing in a lot of ways,” Kingsbury said. “It’s always good to get a sense and a feel of where you’re going to compete. We’re going to be skating on the same ice as worlds.

“Any time you can mimic your biggest competition is a huge advantage I would say in your preparation.”

Since Canada finished third in the 2019 world championship in Espoo, Finland, the team has played five international games against the United States.

Edmonton to host 2021 world junior hockey championship with no fans

Team Canada players reach for the trophy after defeating Russia 4-3 in the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships, Sunday, January 5, 2020 in Ostrava, Czech Republic

By The Canadian Press

Edmonton will host another major hockey event with no fans after the International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed Rogers Place will be the site of the 2021 world junior championship on Thursday.

The IIHF Council approved the Hockey Canada plan, which sees one of two planned cities for the 2021 event maintain hosting duties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event originally was scheduled to be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., from Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021.

Organizers now say the event will return to those two cities — with the hope of having fans — in 2022.

No tournament dates have been confirmed for the revamped 2021 event.

Rogers Place currently is hosting the final two rounds of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Edmonton and Toronto served as co-hosts for the entire NHL post-season.

“This is a tough decision to have to take, but ultimately we did not have a choice,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said in a statement.

“The health and safety of players, officials, and fans is our top priority. We were impressed with the presentation from the local organizing committee outlining how a potential bubble scenario would operate within Edmonton, and we are confident that we can follow the NHL’s great example in creating a safe environment for teams to compete.”

Hockey Canada approved of the decision to keep the event in Alberta for two years.

“These are extraordinary times, and we understand the world juniors will look different this year while being played in one venue with additional safety precautions,” Hockey Canada president Tom Renney said in a statement.

Gothenburg, Sweden, which was slated to host the event in 2022, will now do so in 2024.

Novosibirsk, Russia, will host the 2023 event.

The IIHF says keeping the event in Canada, where the tournament traditionally has much higher attendance, in 2022 can help cover financial losses expected to occur in 2021.

“This solution will allow for the IIHF together with Hockey Canada to reduce the overall costs associated with putting on the 2021 tournament in a bubble environment,” Fasel said.

“We asked a lot of our Swedish partners to make this adjustment in a short amount of time, but we needed their co-operation to save this tournament and make it possible for the world juniors to be delivered this year.”

Organizers of the 2021 event say a competition bubble will isolate teams and tournament officials within the same Edmonton Ice District being used for the NHL.

The IIHF says there will be no promotion or relegation following the 2021 tournament.

The IIHF Council has voted today to initiate a series of tournament cancellations for all lower division tournaments in the men’s U20 category. The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship will also be cancelled together with all other tournaments in the women’s U18 category. 

Canada won the 2020 event in the Czech Republic.

Discussions on 2021 World Championship to headline IIHF Council meeting

Inside the Games

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is set to discuss concerns surrounding Belarus and Latvia co-hosting the 2021 Men’s World Championship during its latest Council meeting tomorrow.

Next year’s World Championship is likely to be the main item on the agenda at the Council meeting, which will be held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Belarus co-hosting the IIHF’s flagship tournament outside of the Winter Olympic Games has been thrown into doubt amid widespread protests in the country following the disputed re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as President last month.

Latvia has called on the IIHF to find another co-host for the event and has threatened to withdraw if the worldwide governing body fails to do so.

Newly-appointed Belarusian Ice Hockey Association President Dmitri Baskov has claimed the nation can still jointly stage the competition and claimed there is no reason for the IIHF to strip the country of its hosting rights.

Belarus has also suggested it could host the 2021 World Championship alone if Latvia follows through with its threat to pull out.

Belarus co-hosting the 2021 IIHF World Championship has been thrown into doubt amid protests in the country

The topic is on the agenda for the IIHF Council meeting after the Latvian Government wrote an official letter to the organisation calling for Belarus to be removed as a co-host.

A final decision on the tournament is not expected to be made tomorrow, with IIHF President René Fasel recently claiming it was “too early” to make conclusions on the tournament.

Belarus is due to stage matches in 2021 at Minsk Arena, alongside co-hosts Latvia, which plans to use Arena Riga.

Both the semi-finals and the medal matches are set to be held in Minsk.

IIHF Council member and Russian Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretiak said the worldwide body was committed to staging its events over the coming season after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of all World Championships in 2020.

Tretiak told Russia’s official state news agency TASS the IIHF was looking at the National Hockey League (NHL), which has resumed its season, as an example of how its competitions can be held.

“Firstly, we are constantly monitoring the situation that exists in the world now,” he said. 

“Secondly, we have an example in the form of how the National Hockey League is currently holding the Stanley Cup, it is expensive and the NHL has invested a lot of money there. 

“But the International Federation is definitely planning to hold the youth, women’s and men’s world championships, with or without spectators – time will tell.”

IIHF decision looming on world juniors

By The Canadian Press

A decision has yet to be made on whether the 2021 world junior men’s hockey championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., will be played with or without fans.

The International Ice Hockey Federation’s council will meet later this month to review the status of all tournaments in 2020-21, according to an IIHF spokesman.

Council will hear recommendations and updates from the IIHF’s COVID-19 expert group and host cities.

The 2020 men’s world hockey championship in Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland scheduled for May, the women’s championship in Halifax in March and the men’s world under-18 championship in Michigan in April were all cancelled because of the pandemic.

The 10-country world junior tournament scheduled for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton and Westerner Park in Red Deer features the top under-20 players in the world.

“At present time, there has been no change to the traditional hosting model for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer,” Hockey Canada said Tuesday in a statement.

“Hockey Canada continues to engage in daily communication with the IIHF, the host communities of Edmonton and Red Deer, and the appropriate health authorities to examine all options for hosting the world junior championship in December and January.

“The health and safety of all participants and the community at large remains a priority for Hockey Canada, and our organization will continue to work towards hosting a safe, successful event on behalf of the IIHF.”

Edmonton and Toronto are currently hub cities for NHL playoffs. That league intends to complete the 2019-20 season interrupted for four months by the pandemic.

Players, coaches and team staff are walled off from the general public in hotels and arenas. Edmonton will host the Stanley Cup final.

No one in the “secure zones” have tested positive for the virus so far, according to the NHL.

“Given the current COVID-19 situation within Canada, together with the bubble measures that have been implemented very successfully by the NHL so far in Edmonton and Toronto, there could be discussions surrounding the feasibility of holding the world juniors in a similar environment,” the IIHF’s Adam Steiss told The Canadian Press in an email Tuesday.

“The health and safety of players, coaches, officials, arena staff, and fans remains a top priority.”

IIHF Tournaments for 2021 assigned

By Martin Merk –

The 2020 IIHF Extra-Ordinary Congress has assigned the tournaments of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program and the qualification for the 2020 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament.

The delegates also confirmed the dates of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk and Riga to 21 May to 6 June 2021. Find out more on the new website,

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship will take place in Halifax and Truro in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia where it was planned last spring before the cancellation. The proposed dates are 7-17 April 2021.

Similarly, the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will take place in Plymouth and Ann Arbor in Michigan, United States, at the same venues that were scheduled for this year before the cancellation due to the pandemic. The proposed dates are 15-25 April 2021.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship will be hosted by Sweden in the cities of Linkoping and Mjolby from 5 to 12 January 2021.

In the lower divisions most of the men’s, women’s and under-18 tournaments scheduled in the spring of 2020 will have the same hosts in 2021 including the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Katowice, Poland.

One exception to this are the two tournaments that will be used as Olympic test event. The Division II Group A in the men’s category and the Division I Group B in the women’s category will be held at the two Olympic arenas for Beijing 2022 in the upcoming spring.

Next season will also see Singapore joining the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program in the men’s senior category, Estonia will return to and Bosnia & Herzegovina join the women’s senior category and Latvia the women’s under-18 category.

Congress also approved the qualification for Beijing 2022. The Men’s Olympic Qualification has already started and the Final Olympic Qualification in Latvia, Norway and Slovakia was moved to 26-29 August 2021.

The Women’s Olympic Qualification will start in the upcoming season. A record number of 31 countries entered a team to Olympic Winter Games and Qualification. The top-6 teams of the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Ranking – USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Switzerland and Japan – as well as host China are automatically qualified for the 10-team event. The remaining three teams will be determined in the Olympic Qualification in three stages starting in December.

The hosts were determined according to the principle of the right of first refusal with the top-seeded teams getting the rights to host. The Final Olympic Qualification will be held same as the men’s tournaments from 26 to 29 August 2021 and the top-ranked non-qualified teams made use of their right to host. The Czech Republic will hold their tournament in Pribram, Germany will host in Fussen and Sweden will host its group in a city to be determined.

The Congress also approved the new format of the IIHF Continental Cup. Click here to find the clubs, groups and dates.

Find below all tournaments, teams and venues. The proposed dates are being discussed with the teams and will be published during the upcoming days under Tournament List on The schedules and tournament pages will be published during autumn.

Men’s Senior Category

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk, Belarus & Riga, Latvia
Group A in Minsk: Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Great Britain.
Group B in Riga: Canada, Finland, USA, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy, Kazakhstan.

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Participants: France, Austria, Korea, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Katowice, Poland
Participants: Lithuania, Poland, Japan, Estonia, Ukraine, Serbia

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A in Beijing, China
Participants: Netherlands, Croatia, Australia, Spain, China, Israel

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B in Reykjavik, Iceland
Participants: Belgium, Iceland, New Zealand, Georgia, Mexico, Bulgaria

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Group A in Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg
Participants: DPR Korea, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Luxembourg, Chinese Taipei, United Arab Emirates

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Group B in Cape Town, South Africa
Participants: South Africa, Hong Kong (China), Thailand, Bosnia & Herzegovina

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division IV in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Participants: Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore

Men’s U20 Category

2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton & Red Deer, Canada
Group A in Edmonton: Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany
Group B in Red Deer: Russia, Sweden, USA, Czech Republic, Austria

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A in Horsholm, Denmark
Participants: Kazakhstan, Latvia, Belarus, Norway, Denmark, Hungary

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B in Tallinn, Estonia
Participants: Slovenia, France, Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Japan

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A in Brasov, Romania
Participants: Italy, Great Britain, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, Korea

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B in Belgrade, Serbia
Participants: Serbia, Netherlands, China, Croatia, Belgium, Iceland

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division III in Mexico City, Mexico
Group A: Israel, Australia, Turkey, Mexico
Group B: Bulgaria, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, South Africa

Men’s U18 Category

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Plymouth & Ann Arbor, USA
Group A in Ann Arbor: Sweden, Canada, Belarus, Latvia, Switzerland
Group B in Plymouth: Russia, USA, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division I Group A in Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia
Participants: Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Denmark, Norway, France, Japan

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division I Group B in Asiago, Italy
Participants: Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Poland

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division II Group A in Tallinn, Estonia
Participants: Great Britain, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Korea, Serbia

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division II Group B in Sofia, Bulgaria
Participants: Spain, China, Netherlands, Croatia, Australia, Bulgaria

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group A in Istanbul, Turkey
Participants: Belgium, Israel, Iceland, Turkey, Mexico, Chinese Taipei

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group B in Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg
Participants: New Zealand, Hong Kong (China), South Africa, Luxembourg, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan

Women’s Senior Category

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Halifax & Truro, Canada
Group A in Halifax: USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Switzerland
Group B in Truro: Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Hungary

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Division I Group A in Angers, France
Participants: Sweden, France, Norway, Austria, Slovakia, Netherlands

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Division I Group B in Beijing, China
Participants: Italy, Korea, Poland, China, Kazakhstan, Slovenia

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Division II Group A in Jaca, Spain
Participants: Latvia, Great Britain, Spain, Mexico, DPR Korea, Chinese Taipei

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Division II Group B in Zagreb, Croatia
Participants: Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Turkey, Croatia, South Africa

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Division III in Kaunas, Lithuania
Participants: Ukraine, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hong Kong (China), Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Women’s U18 Category

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Linkoping & Mjolby, Sweden
Group A in Mjolby: USA, Canada, Russia, Finland
Group B in Linkoping: Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Group A in Gyor, Hungary
Participants: Slovakia, Japan, Hungary, France, Italy, Norway

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Group B in Radenthein, Austria
Participants: Denmark, Austria, China, Korea, Poland, Chinese Taipei

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II Group A in Dumfries, Great Britain
Participants: Great Britain, Netherlands, Australia, Spain

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II Group B in Kocaeli, Turkey
Participants: Kazakhstan, Turkey, Mexico, New Zealand, Latvia

Men’s Olympic Qualification

Final Olympic Qualification (26-29 August 2021)
Group D: Slovakia, Belarus, Austria, Poland. In Bratislava, Slovakia.
Group E: Latvia, France, Italy, Hungary. In Riga, Latvia.
Group F: Norway, Denmark, Korea, Slovenia. In Norway (city TBA).

Women’s Olympic Qualification

Final Olympic Qualification (26-29 August 2021)
Group C: Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Qualifier 6. In Pribram, Czech Republic.
Group D: Germany, Denmark, Austria, Qualifier 5. In Fussen, Germany.
Group E: Sweden, France, Slovakia, Qualifier 4. In Sweden (city TBA).

Olympic Qualification Round 2 (11-14 February 2021)
Group F: Korea, Great Britain, Slovenia, Qualifier 8. In Gangneung, Korea.
Group G: Italy, Kazakhstan, Spain, Chinese Taipei. In Cortina, Italy.
Group H: Netherlands, Poland, Mexico, Turkey. In Gdansk, Poland.

Olympic Qualification Round 1 (17-19 December 2020)
Group J: Iceland, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Lithuania. In Reykjavik, Iceland.

New Coaches for USA & Sweden


Nate Leaman who has led the Providence College men’s ice hockey team to six straight NCAA berths, including the 2015 NCAA championship, has been named head coach of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021, in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. Team USA is seeking its fifth medal in six years at the event.

Leaman has been a part of two previous U.S. National Junior Team coaching staffs, including as an assistant coach for the bronze medal-winning 2007 squad that competed in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2009 team that played in Ottawa, Ontario. Leaman made his USA Hockey coaching debut as an assistant coach in 2005 at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where the U.S. won gold in Ceske Budejorke and Plzen, Czech Republic.

The Swedish women’s national team players will work with a new head coach in the upcoming season

By Martin Merk –

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has signed Ulf Lundberg to a two-year contract as new head coach of the Swedish women’s national team.

Lundberg will take over as of May and replace Ylva Martinsen, who has been coaching the team during the past two seasons.

“Getting the assignment as the head coach of the women’s national team feels very exciting and stimulating. Being able to represent a Swedish national team is great. There have been a lot of good things happen in Swedish girls’ and women’s hockey now. I see great potential going forward so it feels very cool and inspiring to be with and lead and contribute to the development going forward,” says Ulf Lundberg.

Lundberg has previously worked as a player and leadership development manager at the Swedish Ice Hockey Association while coaching the U16 and U17 men’s national teams during ten years. During the past three seasons he has been the head coach of Sodertalje SK in the second-tier men’s league HockeyAllsvenskan.

The 40-year-old will have two major tasks coming up in 2021 as Sweden’s “Damkronorna” aims at getting back to the top division of the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship as well as succeeding in the Olympic Qualification for Beijing 2022.

Exotic countries joined the IIHF. The largest number of countries in 27 years.

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

The world hockey family has grown to 81 members. Today five countries from Africa, South America and Asia joined the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

Algeria, Iran, Colombia, Lebanon and Uzbekistan have become new associates of IIHF today. The decision was approved at the Half-Year Congress of the IIHF. This is the biggest number of countries joining the IIHF since 1992 when the IIHF grew by ten countries following the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. 

New members have associate status. This is the second of three levels of membership. It means that they will not have the right to vote at congresses. This is the status of countries that have no independent hockey management association in a given country or have such associations if they do not appear in World championships competitions. There are currently 24 associated members in IIHF. 56 countries, including Poland, have full membership, and there is one affiliated with IIHF, because it only competes in roller hockey competitions. This country is Chile.

In Algeria, relations with France are mainly responsible for the development of hockey. The team of players of Algerian origin have already competed in the Arab Cup. According to IIHF, there are 97 hockey players in the country. The Algerian government is supporting the creation of a hockey school in the city of Setif where a current and only indoor permanent ice rink is based. A permanent ice rink is planned in a new shopping mall in Baraki close to Algiers, which will become the largest mall in Africa.

Data from from IIHF says  Iran has 100 men and 103 women playing hockey. The country has 6 indoor ice rinks and 23 teams. The national team played the match for the first time in 2017, facing the Macao team which was supposed to appear in the Asian Games at that time, but were disqualified because many players did not meet the admission criteria.

Colombia began performing internationally in 2014 at the Pan-American Tournament. In the next two years Colombia won the tournament by beating Mexico. There are officially 47 hockey male players and 25 female hockey players in the country, however, a big problem is the lack of an ice rink in the country. Columbia ice hockey is derived from roller hockey.  Colombia is the fourth IIHF member from South America. Argentina and Brazil are also associated members and Chile affiliate.

In Lebanon there are 36 males and 40 women playing hockey. The national team debuted in 2017 by winning 7: 4 against Haiti. Like Colombia, Lebanon does not actually have a single ice rink. A per-existing facility in Beirut was closed a decade ago. Last season, only a 20×20 meter ice rink was built in the country’s capital.

Uzbekistan has quite a rich hockey tradition and interesting perspectives. During the Soviet times the capital of Tashkent had a hockey team, Binokor, in the Soviet system that made it up to the second-highest league of the Soviet Union. . Binokor no longer exist, but Humo Tashkent joined Russia’s second-tier league VHL and with a farm team the top league of neighbouring Kazakhstan.

With the opening of the first ice rinks, Uzbekistan has launched a championship that recently included four clubs – Binokor, Humo, Tashkent and Semurg – and the Uzbekistan Ice Hockey Federation was established on 28 March 2018.

There are currently 369 hockey players registered in the country, including 252 juniors.

Junior showcase ends

Finland led the round-robin tournament on the final three days with Lenni Killinen (left) and the event’s scoring leader Anttoni Honka (right)


The World Junior Summer Showcase returned to Plymouth, Michigan after a year in Victoria, British Columbia, and the 18th edition of this August congregation of U20 players produced many meaningful results for the four participating teams – United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden – all of whom hope to win gold at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.

In all, 12 games were played over the last week. The Americans started with a split squad (Blue and White), and Canada brought a healthy number of additional bodies over and above the 20 required for a game.

More than that, however, the quality of the teams was nothing short of sensational. There were 101 players who had been drafted in either 2018 (56) or 2019 (45), and an additional 19 players who are draft eligible in 2020, notably number-one ranked prospect Alexis Lafreniere of Canada.

Impressively, all 31 NHL teams had at least one player at the event while leading the way the L.A. Kings had seven and Carolina six. Of these draft choices, 29 were first rounders. Notable names included 2019 selections Kirby Dach (CAN), the 3rd overall selection this past June; Bowen Byram (CAN), 4th; Alex Turcotte (USA), 5th; Philip Broberg (SWE), 8th; and, Trevor Zegras (USA), 9th.

Scouts were aplenty in the arena, looking both at their own selections from the previous two years as well as assessing available talent for 2020. In addition to Lafreniere, many 17- and 18-year-olds made a good impression. Two of the top players who will almost certainly be playing at the 2020 U20 in anticipation of next year’s draft are Swedes Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond. Both were sensational for their team during last season’s gold-medal run at the U18, and they continued to impress coach Tomas Monten in Plymouth.

The Finns had the greatest number of draft eligible players (11) yet, despite their team youth, made a favourable impression on coach Raimo Helminen. “I’m happy with how we played here,” he offered. “The whole group played well, at a really good speed. They have a lot to learn, of course, but they all do.”

The point of this event has always been the same – to give coaches and players some experience heading into a new season, and to prepare for the upcoming World Junior Championship (being played in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic during the coming Christmas/New Year’s holiday).

To that end, it’s not about winning or losing that counts so much at this event as it is the coaches getting to know the players off ice and the players showing something of their character. The intensity level is nowhere near what it will be at the teams’ U20 camps in December, but players still have to show dedication to the team as well as some skills on ice.

What did we learn? Who can we admire from the Summer Showcase? Well, the hosts gave everyone several good performances, starting with Cole Caufield. Not the biggest player around, the Montreal Canadiens draft choice showed tremendous skill and puck sense around the net.

Teammate Arthur Kaliyev scored four goals and displayed a shot that is without question the best one-timer in the world not in the NHL. Joel Farabee (Philadelphia) and John Beecher (Boston) also impressed coach Scott Sandelin.

Sweden won twice and lost three times, scoring only 12 goals and allowing 19, but Monten was pleased with several players, including the aforementioned Holtz and Raymond. On the final day, Kings’ draft choice Samuel Fagemo had a hat trick in his team’s 6-3 win over Finland.

The Finns won three of their five games and despite their youth took many fine impressions home. Sampo Ranta scored four times in five games and was a dominating presence. At 6’2” (188cm) and 190 lbs. (86kg), he was a big body with plenty of skill, something the Colorado Avalanche liked enough to select him 78th overall in 2018. He plays for the University of Minnesota in NCAA Division I.

Lassi Thomson, 19th overall by Ottawa in 2019, was the top draft choice playing for the Finns and defenceman Anttoni Honka (Carolina, 83rd overall, 2019) was perhaps the team’s best blueliner.

A number of Canadians proved they are players to watch as their NHL dreams unfold, starting with Nolan Foote, son of Adam. Drafted by Tampa Bay in the lirst round juts a few weeks ago, he is a big and strong forward who has great skill around the goal. Defenceman Braden Schneider, draft eligible next year, also made a great impression, as did Byram and another forward, Connor McMichael (25th by Washington in 2019).

The hitting wasn’t there. The goal celebrations were muted. It was summer, when most teenagers are lying on a beach or throwing a frisbee. But for these young talents who hope to play at the upcoming World Juniors, hope to take their draft selection to an NHL career, this was an important stepping stone. Careers won’t be made or lost based on what happened in Plymouth, but any chance they can get to play world-class competition, they know they have to take it.

Overall records
USA (combined) 10 5 5 30 22
Finland 5 3 2 21 23
Canada 4 2 2 15 16
Sweden 5 2 3 12 19

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