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Buffalo to Host 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

By, 12/04/15, 1:00PM EST


Ten-nation tournament features the world's best men’s players under 20 years of age

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today it has selected the Buffalo Sabres, along with First Niagara Center, HARBORCENTER and Ralph Wilson Stadium as host for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championship (commonly referred to as the IIHF World Junior Championship). The 10-nation tournament features the world's best men’s players under 20 years of age and is a 31-game event that takes place over the course of 10 days.

Past IIHF World Junior Championships in the United States

  • Buffalo, N.Y. (2011)
  • Grand Forks, N.D./Thief River Falls, Minn. (2005)
  • Boston (1996)
  • Anchorage, Alaska (1989)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (1982)

For the first time ever, the IIHF World Junior Championship will include an outdoor game as part of the preliminary round with the likely matchup between the U.S. and Canada.

“It was an extremely difficult decision as all three finalists in contention to host the event were exceptional,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re excited to be returning to Buffalo and are most thankful for the extraordinary support of the Pegulas, and everyone involved with the Sabres and Bills organizations and Pegula Sports and Entertainment. We look forward to an outstanding event.”

“Needless to say we’re thrilled to be selected,” said Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. “USA Hockey had three terrific finalists and we are truly honored to be hosting this magnificent event. I know our community and region will be great hosts for teams and fans from around the world for what we expect to be the best World Junior Championship ever held in the U.S.”

"The World Juniors is one of the most anticipated championships on the hockey calendar each year and we look forward to having the event back in our country in 2018," said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. "We know Buffalo and Western New York will be outstanding hosts and an outdoor game will be a terrific addition to an already great event."

Ticket information will be released in the first half of 2016. Fans can keep up-to-date by visiting

The United States has earned eight medals in the event's history, claiming gold in 2004, 2010 and 2013, silver in 1997 and bronze in 1986, 1992 2007 and 2011.

Below is a sampling of some of the top American players that have competed in the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kevyn Adams (1994)
Tony Amonte (1989, 90)
Chris Chelios (1982)
Chris Drury (1996)
Jack Eichel (2014, 15)
Brian Gionta (1998, 99)
Tony Granato (1983, 84) 
Erik Johnson (2006, 07)
Patrick Kane (2007)
Chris Kreider (2010, 11)
John LeClair (1988, 89)
Brian Leetch (1985, 86, 87)
Mike Modano (1988, 89)
Zach Parise (2003, 04)
Brian Rafalski (1992, 93)
Mike Richter (1985, 86)
Jeremy Roenick (1988, 89)
Ryan Suter (2003, 04, 05)
Jacob Trouba (2012, 13)
Keith Tkachuk (1991, 92)
Don Waddell (1977, 78)


NOTES: In late July of 2015, USA Hockey announced five original finalists in contention to host the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, including Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa. In early September, the field was narrowed to Buffalo, Pittsburgh and St. Louis … Tentative dates for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship are Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018 ... The IIHF World Junior Championship was founded in 1977 ... Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey and chair of the organization’s international council, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey.

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