The 2015 World Juniors officially start today with four preliminary-round games, including the United States versus the defending champions from Finland, and host Canada taking on Slovakia.
From online bookmaker Bovada, here are the odds to win the tournament:
Canada — 11/10
USA — 9/4
Sweden — 5/1
Russia — 6/1
Finland — 9/1
Czech Republic — 14/1
Switzlerand — 33/1
Slovakia — 100/1
Germany — 400/1
Denmark — 500/1
No surprise that Canada is the overwhelming favorite. Playing at home and with a deep, talented lineup that includes the likes of Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart and Darnell Nurse, the Canadians will be disappointed with anything less than gold, something they haven’t won at this tourney since 2009.
But the Americans also have star power. Jack Eichel is expected to go second overall at this year’s NHL draft, after McDavid. And then there’s 17-year-old Auston Matthews, the prospective first overall pick in 2016.
The Canadians and Americans will meet at least once in this year’s tournament, on New Year’s Eve, the final day of the preliminary round.