With international tournaments being cancelled left and right, there’s finally an update on the 2021 World Junior Championship. The Montreal Canadiens loaned out a former second-round pick to Finland and the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) announced some key dates for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
IIHF Announces Plans For 2021 World Juniors
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that the 2021 World Junior Championship will be hosted in a “bubble” at Rogers Place in Edmonton. As such, it was also announced that they plan to go forward with no spectators.
“This is a tough decision to have to take, but ultimately we did not have a choice,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “The health and safety of players, officials, and fans is our top priority. We were impressed with the presentation from the local organizing committee outlining how a potential ‘bubble’ scenario would operate within Edmonton, and we are confident that we can follow the NHL’s great example in creating a safe environment for teams to compete.”2021 World Juniors taking shape – Adam Steiss – iihf.com
Clearly the success of the NHL’s hub cities has weighed heavily in the decision-making process. The IIHF Council, Hockey Canada and the Swedish Ice Hockey Association have also agreed that the 2022 World Junior Championship will stay in Canada and be hosted by Red Deer and Edmonton. Originally the 2022 tournament was to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, but that has now been pushed back to 2024. The hope is that for 2022 spectators will be allowed back in the venues.
Additionally, there will be no promotion or relegation for the 2021 World Junior Championship. The tournament schedule will be revised to account for the removal of the relegation round and the constraints of playing in one venue.
Canadiens Loan Ylönen to Finland
The Montreal Canadiens have loaned Finnish prospect Jesse Ylönen to the Lahti Pelicans in the Finnish Liiga. Originally drafted 35th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season playing with the Pelicans. He amassed 12 goals and 22 points in 53 games played. He’s yet to make the switch over to North America and join up with the Canadiens.
It’s a smart move for the 20-year-old forward, as he’ll gain some valuable playing time before the start of the 2020-21 NHL season. He is expected to return to the team when Montreal & Laval Rocket training camps open in December.
OHL Announces Key Dates
With a start date still planned for Tuesday, Dec. 1, the OHL announced several key dates for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The league also announced that plans concerning attendance at venues and travel for teams are currently being discussed. Obviously both are dependent on safety regulations and government guidelines.
The key announcements included a start day for training camps, which is slated for Nov. 15, as well as an exhibition schedule, which will take place on the weekends of Nov. 20-22 and 27-29. The OHL trade deadline will be scheduled for Feb. 10, a full month later than 2019’s deadline. The regular season is scheduled to end on April 29 with the quest for the J. Ross Robertson Cup beginning on May 2 and running until June 14. Lastly, the Memorial Cup will take place from June 17-27 with either Oshawa or Sault Ste. Marie as the hosts.
Prospect of the Day – Brandon Coe
For today’s prospect, we stick in the OHL with North Bay Battalion right winger Brandon Coe. NHL Central Scouting has Coe ranked 35th among North American skaters. In his final rankings, THW’s Larry Fisher ranked him 66th among all players. The Toronto native will be heading into his fourth OHL season in 2020-21.
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Coe’s third OHL season was his most successful one to date as he posted career highs in goals, assists and points. During the 2019-20 season, he amassed 25 goals, 32 assists and 57 points in 60 games played. He finished second on the team in scoring, trailing team captain Luka Moncada by three points. He was originally drafted third overall by North Bay in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
The first thing noticable about Coe is his size. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, it’s not easy to miss him when he’s out on the ice. He’s got good hands coupled with a powerful and accurate shot. He’s a throwback to the traditional power forward. He does everything well and plays with an edge that lends itself well to the modern game. One area you’d expect to be a weakness for Coe is his skating, but he’s actually got a quick first step and his straight line speed can surprise the opposition.
THW’s own Mark Scheig feels that Coe has an impressive set of skills that has led to his success in the 2019-20 season.
In my viewings of Coe, the first thing that stands out is his skating. For a big man, he can fly. But he also has good edge work. That helps him with his speed and balance. He’s also really good with the puck on his stick. For someone who is 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, this is impressive. His stop and turning ability thanks to his edge work make him tough to defend. The other thing that stands out is he plays with an edge. He has a mean streak about him that can help elevate his teammates when needed. He isn’t afraid to start something and has no problem getting in someone’s face when necessary. He does all that while demonstrating an ability to finish and an underrated ability to create plays.
Playing for a team as bad as North Bay was during the 2019-20 season will likely hurt his draft stock a little. However, his throwback skill-set combined with above-average skating for his size will be enticing for several teams who have multiple second-round picks. He projects to fit in on a team’s middle six and be a solid contributor in all areas at the NHL level.