The IIHF World Junior Championship is returning to the province of Alberta and a pair of Western Hockey League markets in 2021.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced Thursday it has awarded the 45th edition of the international tournament to the cities of Edmonton and Red Deer.
“To return to Alberta is an incredible opportunity for Hockey Canada and the IIHF World Junior Championship,” said Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “The province of Alberta and the cities of Edmonton and Red Deer have a history of hosting successful, world-class events, including the 1995 IIHF World Junior Championship in Red Deer, the 2012 edition of the tournament in Edmonton and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer. We are confident in this committee’s ability to successfully execute on its vision for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and we look forward to working with them to ensure we leave a lasting legacy in Alberta and across the country that helps us continue to grow and foster the game from the grassroots to elite levels.”
The 2021 World Juniors will be co-hosted at Rogers Place, the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and Oil Kings, and at the ENMAX Centrium, home of the Red Deer Rebels with regional economic impact expected to exceed $50-million.
“On behalf of the Rebels organization, the City of Red Deer, our partners at Westerner Park and all junior hockey fans across Central Alberta, we are beyond excited to bring the IIHF World Junior Championship back to our community,” said Brent Sutter, owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels. “This marquee event was a game-changer for the region in 1995, and we’re sure fans from around the world will be embraced once again.”
Thursday’s announcement adds to a strong lineup of events in both Edmonton and Red Deer. The two cities played host to the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with Edmonton hosting the medal-round games. The 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be played in Red Deer as will the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which will be played from February 15 until March 3, 2019.
The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship will also take place in a pair of WHL markets, with Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. hosting the annual tournament from December 26 to January 5 with Canada looking to win back-t0-back gold medals.