Also known as the International Ice Hockey Federation's U20, the World Junior Hockey Championships feature some of the best junior-age hockey players in the world. The tournament is extremely publicized, scrutinized and heavily watched in Canada.
The tournament takes place from Dec. 26 to the beginning part of January in various locations, however, due to the attention in Canada, the IIHF will have Canada host the tournament every two to three years. Started from informal beginnings in the mid 1970s as a non-sanctioned tournament, it has grown into an event that is hosted at National Hockey League - NHL venues in Canada and the United States and mid-size venues in Europe.
Many scouts and NHL representatives attend the tournament as its often seen as the best showcase for future draft picks to see them head-to-head against the best. Scouts can also rate current past draft pick's progression and development because of the high competition and pressure.
Canada and Russia/Soviet Union have dominated the tournament, winning 28 of 34 gold medals (15 and 13 respectively), while meeting in the final against each other 14 times.