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S75 World Junior Championship Preview!

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It's that time again, people of the VHL, the World Junior Championship is here again! The top, young players of the VHL are gathered once again to represent their nations on the ice and battle for the gold! Last season, Team Europe captured gold against the underdog in Team World. Teams like Asia and Canada will be looking to return to medals, while USA and World will be trying to upgrade their medals and take Europe's crown as the champions. With the tournament beginning on Monday, let's take a look at each team and their players and see what they have to offer.

Manager: @Blazzer
Average TPE: 269
Highest TPE Player: Taro Tsujimoto, 489
Odds: 1-16

Blazzers' Team Asia will be looking to bounce back after a 5th place finish in the S74 World Juniors. Leading the players on the ice will be HC Davos Dynamo rookie and returning Team Asia player Taro Tsujimoto. The Japanese young gun is hoping to get to the medal games in his second go-around against the rest of the world as one of the top players in the tournament. A player to keep an eye out on defense for Asia is Matt Thunder, the Riga Reign prospect will be the centerpiece of the Asian defense core. However, the most formidable part of Team Asia is going to be their goaltending. Both Rara Rasputin and Artem Tretiak are at the 350 TPE cap for the WJC, making the Asian goaltending core one of the strongest in the tournament. Will be very curious if they can backstop Team Asia to their first medal since earning silver in S71. Although they will have some seriously stiff competition from the other teams...

Manager: @fromtheinside
Average TPE: 314
Highest TPE Player: Scotty Kaberle, 372

Another team looking to rebound after a rough couple of seasons, Team Canada this season will be led be FTI, and he has assembled the best from the frozen north to try to capture their first medal since claiming bronze in S72. Canada has an amazing squad built this season, with 11 of the 15 players having 300 TPE or more. The top player is defenseman and Toronto Legion prospect Scotty Kaberle, who is actually the only player on Team Canada to hit the 350 cap or higher. Canada's strength will be an iron wall, as each member of their defense and both goaltenders are at 300+ TPE. Don't underestimate their forward core though, as players like Robert Bouchard and Sheldon Juniper make the Canadian offense intimidating for any back-end to go up against. I'd say this is the best Canadian team we have seen in quite some time, whether that will lead to a medal though will be very fun to watch.

Manager: @Ledge_and_Dairy
Average TPE: 316
Highest TPE Player: L, 452
Odds: 1-3

Now, lets take a look at the defending World Junior Champions, who this season are led by Ledge and Dairy. Europe is looking to be just as formidable as ever, with the highest average TPE total of all teams in the tournament. Leading the way for the Euro forwards is the VHLM leading goalscorer Dolant Fertitta, along with other Top 10 scorers in Cabe McJake and Nero Endrizzi. On defense, all four players are at 300+ and two of them at the cap, including the highest TPE player on Europe L. In net, you then have Sirkants Klamasteris of the Riga Reign back again after winning gold with Europe last season. With 12 of their 15 players at 300+ TPE and a third of the team having hit the 350 TPE cap, Team Europe is looking to be likely favorites in repeating as gold medalists this season.

Manager: @thadthrasher
Average TPE: 310
Highest TPE Player: Muffbeav, 415
Odds: 1-8

Good ol' Team USA returns after claiming the bronze medal last season over rival nation Canada. Being led by Thad, the red,white, and blue brigade will be looking to win the gold with a solid group of some of the best young players the land of freedom can provide. With a forward group led by Riga Reign prospect Addison McLaren and top VHL prospect Red Lite, the top 6 of the US is absolutely stacked. On defense, their iron core is led by Warsaw Predator rookie and the meme himself Muffbeav and Toronto Legion prospect Jolly Greene Giant, making this core one of the best. For goaltending, the team boasts Markus Emerson Jr. and Thadius Sales, giving them one of the better goaltending tandems as well. Although USA is a strong group, the road ahead of them will be tough, but they could pull off an upset like the IRL Team USA.

Manager: @JigglyGumballs
Average TPE: 267
Highest TPE Player: Pistil Stamen, 445
Odds: 1-10

Last, but most certainly not least, we have Team World with returning Manger JigglyGumballs. As the reigning silver medalists, World will be looking to upgrade from silver to gold. Let's take a look at who they were able to pick up this season.  Their forward core starts off with the most recent #1 VHL Draft pick, Pistil Stamen of Brazil, who returns to try to take gold after falling just short last season. On defense they are sporting Linus Zetterstrom and Chicken Wing, giving them a solid top pair. For goaltenders, they have Kunibuni UnGuri as their starter this season and have Trent Gibson backing him up. While I do not know if this World team can repeat the same magic of last season, I don't think that will stop them from trying to surprise everyone anyways.

This seasons World Junior Championship is shaping up to be a real exciting tournament, and I hope you are all ready for the exciting action of the best young talent in the league. To all teams and players: Good Luck and Have Fun! Keep an eye out for more amazing World Junior Championship and more offseason coverage from VSN very soon!

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Just realized that Canada has been given the second best odds at winning at 1/4 so what happened to the American Hype train with only a 1/8 odds? Is this an underestimation of the Great USA?

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