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, a look at which countries have excelled and look ahead to the 2022 tournament.
History, Past Team & Player Winners
- IIHF World Championships History
- IIHF World Championships Medal Winners
- IIHF World Championships Player Awards
IIHF World Championships History
The IIHF World Championships are the sports 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 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 Unions 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, the 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 Unions 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.
- 2022 in Finland
- 2023 in Russia
- 2024 in the Czech Republic
- 2025 in Sweden & Denmark
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, the Czech Republic 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 the Czech Republic won the gold medal between 1999 & 2001, no other country has managed to win three on the spin, there has 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 Canada will once again be looking to defend their crown in 2022 after winning gold in 2021.
IIHF World Championships Medal Winners
Their gold in 2021 meant Canada moved level with Russia on twenty-seven gold but overall top the table having won a total of fifty-one medals compared to Russia's forty-seven with the pair being well clear of the rest who are headed by the Czech Republic with twenty gold medals and Sweden with eleven gold medals, the remainder has only won seven 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 who didn't make the playoffs then most players are unavailable.
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 Goaltender
Russian's have won three of the last seven awards with two of those they did not win going to the Finnish goaltender.
- 2015 - Pekka Rinne (Finland)
- 2016 - Mikko Koskinen (Finland)
- 2017 - Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia)
- 2018 - Frederik Andersen (Denmark)
- 2019 - Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia)
- 2021 - Cal Peterson (USA)
Last Five Best Defenceman
The award has gone to a Canadian in five of the last thirteen tournaments, there has not been a Russian winner since Aleksey Morozov in 2007.
- 2016 - Mike Matheson (Canada)
- 2017 - Dennis Seidenberg (Germany)
- 2018 - John Klingberg (Sweden)
- 2019 - Filip Hronek (Czech Republic)
- 2021 - Moritz Seider (Germany)
Last Five Best Forwards
The award has gone to either a Russian or a Finnish player in seven of the last ten years.
- 2016 - Patrik Laine (Finland)
- 2017 - Artemi Panarin (Russia)
- 2018 - Sebastian Aho (Finland)
- 2019 - Nikita Kucherov (Russia)
- 2021 - Peter Cehlárik (Slovakia)
Last Five MVPs
Canadian Dany Heatley (2004 & 2008) is the only player to have won the MVP award on more than one occasion.
- 2016 - Patrik Laine (Finland)
- 2017 - William Nylander (Sweden)
- 2018 - Patrick Kane (USA)
- 2019 - Mark Stone (Canada)
- 2021 - Andrew Mangiapane (Canada)
2022 IIHF World Championships
Are the 2022 IIHF World Championships taking place?
The simple answer to that is, Yes! The 2022 tournament will start on Friday the 13th of May and run through to the final on Sunday 29th May. The group stages will take place up until Tuesday the 26th May, after a days rest those who qualified for the playoffs will play their quarter-final games on Thursday 26th May, the semi-finals on Saturday 28th of May and then the third-place game and the final will both be played on Sunday 29th May.
Who is hosting the 2022 IIHF World Championships?
Finland will be the sole hosts of the 2022 IIHF World Championships with all of the matches being played at one of two stadiums, the Uros Live Arena in Tampere which has a capacity of 13,455 and the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki which has a capacity of 13,349. These are both based in southern Finland with around a two-hour drive between the two stadiums. Both semi-finals, the bronze medal game and the final itself will be staged at the arena in Tampere.
Where can I view the 2022 IIHF World Championships schedule?
Head over to the official IIHF site to view the schedule for the group stages of the 2022 IIHF World Championships.
Which social media hashtag will be used for the 2022 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!
2022 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, 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 too as well as many other features.
2022 IIHF World Championships Participants
Which countries are competing?
There is a total of sixteen countries that will be participating in the 2022 IIHF World Championships from the world number one ranked Canada down to the seventeenth ranked Italy, those have been split into two equal groups of eight teams which are as follows.
2022 IIHF World Championships Group A
- Canada (1)
- ROC (3)
- Germany (5)
- Switzerland (8)
- Slovakia (9)
- Denmark (12)
- Kazakhstan (13)
- Italy (17)
2022 IIHF World Championships Group B
- Finland (2)
- United States (4)
- Czech Republic (6)
- Sweden (7)
- Latvia (10)
- Norway (11)
- Belarus (14)
- Great Britain (16)
2022 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
- Points won
- Head-to-head points
- Head-to-head goal difference
- Head-to-head number of goals scored
- Result against the closest best-ranked team outside tied teams
- Result against the second best-ranked team outside tied teams
- Seeding before tournament
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, 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.