The Czech Republic U-20 World Junior team are considered big underdogs behind the big favourites in Pool B, Russia and Sweden. Barring any meltdowns (think Finland in 2017), they should finish ahead of Switzerland and Belarus for 3rd place. Even then, they’ll be playing either Canada or the United States in the Quarter-finals.
The road to the medal round will be tough for the Czech team, led by the 2018 draft eligible goaltender Jakub Skarek, who at age 17 was in goal for their quarter-final loss to Canada that ended their medal hopes.
They don’t have many returning players on the backend, but the team will be led by a trio of defenders who call the Western Hockey League home, perhaps giving them a slight edge on the North American ice surface.
Let’s take a look at the goaltenders and defensemen who will be on the Czech Republic U-20 World Junior team.