The World Junior Hockey Championship (WJHC) or the U-20 World Hockey Championship as it is known in Europe, is one of the best international tournaments in the world. Held every year since 1974, it starts on boxing day (December 26th) and ends this year with the gold medal game on January 5th.
The tournament features most of the world's most talented 19 year old and younger hockey players, playing for their countries. This year in Buffalo group A is made up of teams from the US, Finland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany while group B features Canada, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Norway.
This tournament provides a venue for young NHL draft picks and each country's top undrafted talent to compete against each other in a high pressure international tournament. Success at this level often translates into NHL success. It's certainly a nice barometer of how well a team's prospects are doing and how they look playing against other team's young talent.
All thirty NHL teams will be ranked here according to how many players they will have playing at the WJHC this year. It's a great tournament to watch if you want to see how your NHL team's best prospects are faring.
Special thanks to hockeysfuture.com for a lot of the analysis of the young players and hockeydb.com for the minor league statistics.