List of IIHF World Under-20 Championship medalists
The IIHF World Junior Championship is an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation for national under-20 ice hockey teams from around the world. It is traditionally held from late December to the beginning of January. The main tournament features the top ten ranked hockey nations in the world, comprising the "Top Division", from which a world champion is crowned. There are also three lower pools—divisions I, II and III—that each play separate tournaments playing for the right to be promoted to a higher pool with the last place team facing relegation to a lower pool.
The first official tournament was held in 1977. Prior to that, there had been invitational tournaments in 1974, 1975 and 1976 that were not sanctioned by the IIHF.
One of the most infamous incidents in tournament history occurred in 1987 in Piestany, Czechoslovakia, where a massive bench-clearing brawl involving all players on both teams occurred between Canada and the Soviet Union, leading to the disqualification of each team. The brawl helped raise the profile of the tournament in Canada where the tournament now ranks as one of the most important events on the hockey calendar.
As of 2012, 36 official tournaments have been staged. Seven nations have won a gold medal and ten have won medals. Historically, the tournament has been dominated by the Soviet Union/Russia and Canada, together accounting for 28 of the 36 gold medals awarded. Canada leads the all-time gold medal count with 15 and have won a total of 28 medals; the Soviet Union/Russia leads by number of total medals won at 31.
|Year||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Host city (cities)||Host country|
|1974||Soviet Union||Finland||Canada||Leningrad||Soviet Union|
- (#) Number of tournaments won at the time.
These tournaments have been announced.
|Year||Host city (cities)||Host country|
|2015||Toronto and Montreal||Canada|
|2017||Montreal and Toronto||Canada|
The unofficial tournaments held prior to 1977 are not included in this table.
Countries in italics no longer compete at the World Championships.
| Czech Republic
- α During the final game of the tournament, Canada and the Soviet Union became engaged in a violent bench-clearing brawl while Canada was leading 4–2. Consequently, the game was declared null and void, and both teams were ejected from the tournament; while the Soviets were out of medal contention, Canada was playing for the gold medal and were guaranteed at least a bronze.
- β Canada will host the tournament every 3 or 4 years. In 1990, Canada decided to switch years with Finland.
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