World Junior A Challenge

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World Junior A Challenge
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 World Junior A Challenge
World Jr A Logo.png
Sport Ice hockey
Inaugural season 2006
Most recent
Most titles  United States (7)
TV partner(s) TSN
Sponsor(s) Hockey Canada
Canadian Junior Hockey League
International Ice Hockey Federation
CJHL Prospects Game
Royal Bank Cup
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Official website World Junior A Challenge

The World Junior A Challenge (WJAC) is an annual under-20 international ice hockey tournament sponsored by Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The tournament showcases Junior A level players and is modeled after the IIHF World U20 Championships, which displays the best of all junior-aged hockey players. It has been hosted by Canadian cities every year in CJAHL markets.

The tournament features six teams per year and has seen teams from Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland and Belarus. Canada is represented by two regional squads; Canada West consists of players from the British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Superior International Junior Hockey Leagues, while Canada East features players from the Northern Ontario, Ontario, Central, Quebec, and Maritime Junior Hockey Leagues. American players are chosen from the United States Hockey League. Canada West captured the first two gold medals in tournament history, while the United States won the next three. Also, Russia, who has been with the tournament since the beginning, generally sends their Under-18 Team in place of a general select squad.[1][2][3]


Canada West's Justin Gvora w/ First ever awarded WJAC Championship Trophy and Medallion (2006)

The tournament was created in 2006 through a proposal by the Canadian Junior A Hockey League (CJHL prior to 2008) to Hockey Canada. The idea behind the tournament was to showcase players from Canadian Junior "A" to Canadian Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and National Hockey League scouts, while also exposing them to an international level and style of play.

The inaugural 2006 tournament was hosted in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and featured six teams – Canada West, Canada East, Russia, Slovakia, Germany and Belarus. Both Canadian teams met in the final with Canada West defeating Slovakia 7-1 and Canada East defeating Russia 5-1 in their respective semifinals. Led by Kyle Turris, Canada West ran up a 4-0 tally against Canada East early in the game and held on for a 4-3 victory to win the first-ever WJAC championship.

The 2007 tournament was held in Trail, British Columbia. The United States joined the tournament for the first time, replacing Slovakia.[4] For the second straight year, Canada West defeated the East in the final.

Beginning in 2008, the United States began a string of dominance at the tournament. They defeated Canada West in the 2008 (Camrose, Alberta) and 2009 (Summerside, Prince Edward Island) finals before winning their third consecutive title against Canada East in 2010 (Penticton, British Columbia). The 2009 tournament featured newcomers Sweden, who sent a team in place of Germany. That year also marked the first time in tournament history that Canada East failed to medal. At the 2010 WJAC, Switzerland competed in place of Belarus.

The 2013 tournament was won by the United States, 4-1, over Russia. This instance marked the first time in tournament history that both Canada East and Canada West were shut out of the gold medal game.

In 2014, the tournament was played in late December as opposed to it usually taking place in early November.


Year Med 1.png Med 2.png Med 3.png MVP Host City
2006 Canada Canada West Canada Canada East Russia Russia Canada Kyle Turris Yorkton, Saskatchewan [5][6]
2007 Canada Canada West Canada Canada East United States United States Canada Mike Connolly Trail, British Columbia [7][8]
2008 United States United States Canada Canada West Canada Canada East United States Mike Cichy Camrose, Alberta [9]
2009 United States United States Canada Canada West Russia Russia Canada Sean Bonar Summerside, Prince Edward Island [10]
2010 United States United States Canada Canada East Switzerland Switzerland United States Scott Mayfield Penticton, British Columbia[11]
2011 Canada Canada West Canada Canada East United States United States Canada Devin Shore Langley, British Columbia[12]
2012 United States United States Canada Canada West Switzerland Switzerland United States Vince Hinostroza Yarmouth, Nova Scotia[13]
2013  United States  Russia Canada Canada West United States Nick Schmaltz Yarmouth, Nova Scotia[14]
2014  United States  Denmark  Russia Denmark Nikolaj Ehlers Kindersley, Saskatchewan
2015 Canada Canada West  Russia  United States Canada Tyson Jost Cobourg & Whitby, Ontario
2016  United States Canada Canada East  Russia Russia Andrei Svechnikov Bonnyville, Alberta
2017 Canada Canada West  United States  Czech Republic Canada Zach Rose Truro, Nova Scotia[15]
2018 Bonnyville, Alberta

All-time team records[edit]

All-time team records
Rank Team GP W-L-OTL Medals
1 United States United States 40 34-5-1 7 G, 0 S, 3 B
2 Canada Canada West 44 27-14-3 5 G, 3 S, 1 B
3 Russia Russia 43 22-19-2 0 G, 2 S, 4 B
4 Canada Canada East 44 20-20-4 0 G, 5 S, 1 B
5 Switzerland Switzerland 22 9-12-1 0 G, 0 S, 2 B
6 Czech Republic Czech Republic 17 4-12-1 0 G, 0 S, 0 B
- Belarus Belarus 17 4-12-1 0 G, 0 S, 0 B
8 Sweden Sweden 12 3-7-2 0 G, 0 S, 0 B
9 Denmark Denmark 4 3-0-1 0 G, 1 S, 0 B
10 Slovakia Slovakia 5 2-2-1 0 G, 0 S, 0 B
11 Germany Germany 12 2-10-0 0 G, 0 S, 0 B

See also[edit]


External links[edit]