World Juniors Fills Void for NHL Fans

World Juniors Fills Void for NHL Fans

The day after Christmas is always special in Canada; it's Boxing Day. Plus, it means the start of the World Junior Hockey Championships. While both annual events have their adherents on this side of the border, this year brings a greater spotlight for the tournament because the NHL lockout has left fans starved for action.

Because this year's edition of the World Juniors is being held in Ufa, Russia—about halfway between Moscow and Kazakhstan—watching live means hockey at unusual hours of the day. The tournament opens with Canada against Germany at 4:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, while Team USA opens play against the Germans on Thursday at 9 ET.

With the prospect of a lost NHL season, and a 2013 draft order decided by lottery as it was in 2005, when the Pittsburgh Penguins wound up with Sidney Crosby, there will be a lot of attention paid at the WJC to the eligible prospects, namely forward Nathan MacKinnon of Canada and defenseman Seth Jones of Team USA.

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