This year, 2020 World Under-17 Hockey challenge was scheduled to take place during the fall season but unfortunately it has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made by Hockey Canada on Friday. This tournament is an annual, week-long tournament. This year it was scheduled to be held open on October 31 in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.
Why Hockey challenge was cancelled?
As per Hockey Canada, their priority is always the health and safety of all participants and the general public. They believe that they took the decision to cancel the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge because of the pandemic. As per the reports, Charlottetown and Summerside will still host the 2021 edition of the event as they were not able to conduct the 2020 one.
Russia is the defending champion of the tournament after it has defeated the United States last year in Saskatchewan. The U17 Challenge will continue with its virtual summer camp and they have the hope to compete in a local environment in the fall.
Other than the challenge, the remaining 2020 event is completely set to run. This includes the National Women’s U18 Championship in Dawson Creek, B.C. which will be held in November, the Para Hockey Cup in Bridgewater, N.S., and apart from that World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont., will also be held both in December. Besides that, 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., that opens Boxing Day.
About World under-17 hockey challenge
Every year Canada participates in a big international hockey event. Fans around the country look at the rosters where it competes. There is a list of players Canada who has left behind and they comment that there really multiple Canadian entries. The World Under-17 Challenge is a tournament which focus to showcase the top prospects from across the world and there are many players who are interested in the high picks in future NHL Entry Drafts.
There are three teams competing in this year’s event. Besides that, United States, Sweden, Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic will also compete and put up their talent on display. This is going to be pretty incredible to see all of them together. Team Canada Red has Maxime Comtois who is just 16 but he has already gained 21 points in 16 games while he played for Victoriaville.
He will end by skating with fellow QMJHL star Antoine Morand. He is one who is just under the point-per-game mark at this small age. Whereas Jordy Bellerive, who was believed to be second-overall pick in the 2014 WHL Draft, will also remain there.
Some sources say that the team’s most important player is lacking famous relatives, but he may remain the first defenceman drafted in 2017. Max Gildon is very different Texan hockey player because even if he has very unusual background, he takes into consideration size, speed and various offensive skill which already excited the NHL teams about his potential.
The stars of the European entries are not at all familiar to North American audiences, but that doesn’t mean that they are less talented. If you consider Sweden’s 15-year-old Isac Lundestrom then he is a top prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft, while Hugo Leufvenius is also eligible. He is currently gaining two points per game in Sweden’s U-18 Elite league. Whereas the Finnish defenceman Urho Vaakanainen has numerous qualities that are same as Gildon and that pushes him for priority.
Cancelling the 2020 World under-17 hockey challenge is the safest decision that can be taken in this ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic at a local level. Along with that this decision has international implications with this event.