We’re taking a look at the 2022 Ice Hockey World Championship odds to see which nations are expected to challenge for top honours in Finland.
Russia and Belarus have been expelled due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but all the other leading IIHF countries will be giving it their all.
Punters can check out our great infographic on the format used and how the tournament works!
Unlike at this year’s Olympics, NHL stars not involved in the playoffs will be out in full force and here are the favourites for outright glory in Helsinki and Tampere:
1. FINLAND @ 3.25
The hosts will be looking to follow up their triumph at the Olympics in Beijing with another bold showing after reaching the final of the last two renewals of this event. They lifted the trophy for the third time in 2019 and were runners-up to Canada last year. Having Sweden, Czech Republic and USA alongside them in Group B means a tough schedule awaits, but four teams do qualify for the quarter-finals.
2. CANADA @ 4.5
Former Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien will lead Canada’s defence of their title, backed up by assistants DJ Smith of Ottawa and Andre Tourigny of Arizona. CEO Tom Renney said: “This is a group that combines many years of experience at the NHL, CHL and international levels and we look forward to building a team that will wear the Maple Leaf with pride.” With 27 gold medals in the bag, big things are always expected and being drawn in the easier pool won’t hurt – Switzerland at 16.0 are rated the next best team in Group A. A good blend of youth and experience should serve them well, with Mat Barzal, Dylan Cozens, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot and Josh Anderson standing out.
3. SWEDEN @ 4.5
The Swedes took their tally of World Championship victories to 11 by prevailing in 2017 and 2018 and will head into this tournament in good spirits after reaching the Olympic semi-finals in February.
4. CZECH REPUBLIC @ 7.0
The most recent of their six triumphs came in 2010 but they always make the quarter-finals and some shrewd judges believe this is their best squad for some time. Head coach Kari Jalonen will be keen to do well in his own country.
5. USA @ 11.0
Team USA took bronze for the fourth time in eight renewals last year but a first final since they famously upset Canada in the 1960 decider, which was part of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics, continues to prove elusive. Brothers Caleb and Seth Jones are teammates with Chicago and could provide some stability at the back. General manager Ryan Martin, of the New York Rangers, said: “We’ve got a great group of players who we know will represent our country extremely well. Our goal is to bring back the gold medal and we look forward to the challenge ahead.”