IIHF World Championships Preview & Betting Tips

Updated: 5006 Ice Hockey

A look at the 2025 IIHF World Championships which takes place in Denmark & Sweden in May of 2025, will Czechia make it back-to-back championships after winning their 13th gold in 2024?

IIHF World Championships Preview & Betting Tips
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

IIHF World Championships

This blog is dedicated to the IIHF World Championships, we will look back at the history of the tournament which takes place annually and also look at which countries have excelled and look ahead to the 2025 tournament.

Upcoming Tournament

History, Past Team & Player Winners

2025 IIHF World Championships

Are the 2025 IIHF World Championships taking place?

The simple answer to that is, Yes! The 2025 tournament will start on Friday the 9th of May and run through to the final on Sunday 25th of May.

Who is hosting the 2025 IIHF World Championships?

The 2025 tournament will be jointly hosted by Denmark and Sweden, Group A matches will be played at the Avicii Arena in Stockholm which can hold 16k people whilst Group B matches will be played in Herning at the Jyske Bank Boxen with a 15k capacity.

Where can I view the 2025 IIHF World Championships schedule?

Head over to the official IIHF site to view the schedule for the group stages of the 2025 IIHF World Championships once they have been decided.

Which social media hashtag will be used for the 2025 IIHF World Championships?

If you are looking to interact with other hockey fans during the tournament then use the hashtag #IIHFWorlds to make your posts easily found!

2025 IIHF World Championships Tips & Predictions

In addition to the outright market, there will be a total of sixty-four matches throughout the tournament which means plenty of betting options over the two weeks and the expert ice hockey tipsters will be sharing their thoughts on each match.

We have an Ice Hockey Best Tipsters page where only the best of the best are highlighted, this page will only include tipsters who have outstanding ice hockey tips and only those who have shown a profit for their ice hockey predictions over the past year.

Alternatively, you may wish to head to the Ice Hockey Picks page instead, on there you will see all of the upcoming matches as well as the outright market and see which outcomes are receiving the most predictions, you can click through to view each match in more detail, see the tip numbers on all three markets and read any comments left by the expert ice hockey tipsters too.

If you want to follow any certain tipsters throughout the tournament and want alerts for their tips then install the OLBG Betting App, you can also view both of the above on the App as well as many other features.

2025 IIHF World Championships Participants

Which countries are competing?

There is a total of sixteen countries that will be participating in the 2024 IIHF World Championships from the world's number one ranked Canada down to the nineteenth ranked Slovenia, those have been split into two equal groups of eight teams which are as follows.

2025 IIHF World Championships Group A

  • Canada (1)
  • Switzerland (5)
  • Sweden (7)
  • Slovakia (9)
  • Latvia (10)
  • Austria (13)
  • France (14)
  • Slovenia (19)

2025 IIHF World Championships Group B

  • Finland (2)
  • Czechia (4)
  • United States (6)
  • Germany (8)
  • Denmark (11)
  • Norway (12)
  • Kazakhstan (15)
  • Hungary (18)

2025 IIHF World Championships Format

As already touched on and highlighted above, the sixteen countries have been split into two groups of eight countries. In each group, the round-robin system is used meaning that each team will face all of the other seven in their group, once the group stage is over every country would have played seven times each, a total of twenty-eight games in each group, a total of fifty-six games during the group stages.

Group Standings Ordering

  1. Points won
  2. Head-to-head points
  3. Head-to-head goal difference
  4. Head-to-head number of goals scored
  5. Result against the closest best-ranked team outside tied teams
  6. Result against the second-best-ranked team outside tied teams
  7. Seeding before tournament

Playoffs Qualification

Using the above rules, each group will be ordered from one to eight and it is a simple process, the top four from each group advance to the playoffs and the bottom four in each group go home!

The eight teams advancing will compete in the quarter-finals, those winners will advance to the semi-finals, the losers from the semi-final will play in the third-place playoff game to decide which country gets the bronze medal whilst the two winners from the semi-finals go to the final to determine the gold and silver medalists.

IIHF World Championships History

The IIHF World Championships are the sport's highest-profile international tournament, it is a tournament that takes place annually for men's international teams. The tournament was first held back in 1920 during the Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium and up until the 1968 Olympics which were held in Mexico City, Mexico, those tournaments that took place at the Summer Olympics were considered to be the World Championships.

The first actual tournament which was held outside of the Summer Olympics was in 1930 when split between Chamonix (Germany), Berlin (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) after which the annual tournament kicked in, it was not held between 1940 & 1946 due to the Second world war.

For a lot of the early years, it was a case of do Canada or the Soviet Union win, two of the biggest countries in terms of ice hockey popularity, Canada won the gold medal fifteen times before the Soviet Union's first success in 1954 but the 1960s was a real turning point and one which saw the dominance switch, winning their third gold medal in 1963, the Soviet Union then went on to win an incredible nine consecutive gold medals winning every tournament up until 1971, they could only manage the silver medal in 1972, losing to Czechoslovakia who became their biggest rivals.

In 1973, the Soviet Union were at it again winning gold and they backed that up in both 1974 & 1975 before again being halted by Czechoslovakia who picked up their first back-to-back success in 1976 & 1977 but the Soviet Union regained the crown and went on to win the next five tournaments and also eight of the next ten with only Czechoslovakia (1985) and Sweden (1987) stopping their dominance.

Upcoming Tournaments

  • 2025 in Sweden & Denmark
  • 2026 in Switzerland
  • 2027 in Germany
  • 2028 in France

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s saw the tournament become much more open, their success in 1990 was their twenty-second and last until success under Russia in 1993. Sweden won it three times in the 1990s, Czechia's first success under their new regime was in 1996, they also went on to win it in 1999, 2000 & 2001 whilst Canada won their first gold medal since 1961 when winning it in 1994 and they had more success in 1997 too.

Since Czechia won the gold medal between 1999 & 2001, no other country has managed to win three on the spin, there have been plenty of defending title successes but not three on the bounce, Canada (2003-04), Russia (2008-09), Canada (2015-16) and Sweden (2017-18) have all won back-to-back gold medals of late and Czechia who won their thirteenth gold medal in 2024 will be looking to defend their crown in 2025.

IIHF World Championships Medal Winners

Their gold in 2023 meant Canada moved clear of Russia at the top of the gold medal charts with twenty-eight golds and overall have now won a total of fifty-three medals compared to Russia's forty-seven of which twenty-seven have been golds.

The pair are well clear of the rest who are headed by the Czechia with thirteen gold medals and Sweden with eleven gold medals, the remainder has only won eight golds between them.

Some will question if the USA are underperforming, the problem is the tournament takes place during the NHL season and more importantly usually during the Stanley Cup playoffs so unless from a team that didn't make the playoffs then most players are unavailable.

Soviet Union / Russia
Czechoslovakia / Czechia
United States29920
Great Britain1225
West Germany / Germany

IIHF World Championships Player Awards

Since 1954 to give the players a bit more recognition three awards were in place to highlight the best goaltender, the best defenceman and the best forward, in 1999 an additional fourth award was added which is the MVP, the most valuable player is chosen by the media.

Last Five Best Goaltenders

Russia and Finland have dominated this award with the pair winning six of the last teen between them, three wins apiece.

  • 2019 - Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia)
  • 2021 - Cal Peterson (USA)
  • 2022 - Juho Olkinuora (Finland)
  • 2023 - Artūrs Šilovs (Latvia)
  • 2024 - Lukáš Dostál (Czechia)

Last Five Best Defenceman

The award has gone to a Canadian in six of the last sixteen tournaments, there has not been a Russian winner since Aleksey Morozov in 2007.

  • 2019 - Filip Hronek (Czechia)
  • 2021 - Moritz Seider (Germany)
  • 2022 - Mikko Lehtonen (Finland)
  • 2023 - MacKenzie Weegar (Canada)
  • 2024 - Roman Josi (Switzerland)

Last Five Best Forwards

The award has gone to either a Russian or a Finnish player in seven of the last thirteen years.

  • 2019 - Nikita Kucherov (Russia)
  • 2021 - Peter Cehlárik (Slovakia)
  • 2022 - Roman Červenka (Czechia)
  • 2023 - JJ Peterka (Germany)
  • 2024 - Kevin Fiala (Switzerland)

Last Five MVPs

Canadian Dany Heatley (2004 & 2008) is the only player to have won the MVP award on more than one occasion.

  • 2019 - Mark Stone (Canada)
  • 2021 - Andrew Mangiapane (Canada)
  • 2022 - Juho Olkinuora (Finland)
  • 2023 - Artūrs Šilovs (Latvia)
  • 2024 - Kevin Fiala (Switzerland)

Author Information

Andy Powell manages this IIHF World Championships Preview and other hockey content in this section of the site as well as the Ice Hockey Tipsters in the OLBG tipster competition in his role in the OLBG Expert Team. Andy meticulously updates the date and results for these pieces and is an erstwhile Penguins fan in the NHL. He provides Ice Hockey betting advice in our bookmaker reviews as well as providing a huge contribution to the Best Ice Hockey Betting Sites Guide.

Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy also possesses a keen interest in American sports with a particular affinity for the NFL and the NHL. He follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, emphasizing his broad palette for diversified sporting events.

Other Hockey Blogs

If you are interested in the IIHF World Championships then you are likely to also be interested in the top hockey leagues too, we have these covered with the following blogs:

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