IIHF Confirms No Relegation From 2022 World Junior Championship


After a degree of uncertainty surrounding how the IIHF would handle the 2023 World Junior Championships after the bottom two division tournaments set to take place in January 2022 were cancelled due to COVID-19, today they announced no teams in the ongoing Top Division would be relegated in 2022.

As the Top Division kicked off today in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the IIHF released a statement noting that “to safeguard the sportive integrity of the competition in the light of the extraordinary COVID-related circumstances,” no team would be relegated from this year’s tournament, meaning that the same ten teams in this year’s tournament will return in 2023, marking three straight years of the same teams.

However, a wrinkle in the plans is the recent promotion of Belarus from Division IA earlier this month, which has resulted in the IIHF making a special exception for the 2023 World Juniors Top Division in Russia, which will now be played with eleven teams, with the intent to return to ten in 2024. How the logistics of this will work for all divisions is yet to be confirmed, but this news is certainly a boon to the likes of Slovakia, Switzerland and Austria, who have their return to the Top Division guaranteed for next year.

Photo Credit: 2021 World Junior ChampionshipIIHFHHOFIOC

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