2022 World Junior Championships Predictions: Russia vs. Switzerland

2022 world junior championships

The 2022 World Junior Championships have started and the first day was full of great games. On Monday, Team Russia is set to have their second matchup of the tournament, this time against Team Switzerland. It’ll be the second of four games scheduled for the second day of the World Juniors.

2022 World Junior Championships Predictions

Russia vs. Switzerland

The matchup between Russia and Switzerland is the second of a four-game Monday. Russia is coming from a 6-3 loss against Sweden and Switzerland hasn’t played yet in the tournament. The latter had its pre-tournament game against Czechia cancelled due to COVID protocols. They weren’t able to submit their roster until late Sunday due to the same reason. Now, both teams face each other on what is set to be an intriguing game.

Team Russia

Russia has been a constant powerhouse in the World Juniors, even though they haven’t won gold in a while. They’re always giving the public great matchups and amazing players to watch. This year is no different. However, that doesn’t mean this is the best team the Russians could’ve put together. Many were surprised by the fact that forwards Matvei Petrov (North Bay Battalion, OHL), Daniil Gushchin (Niagara IceDogs, OHL), defencemen Daniil Chayka (Guelph Storm, OHL), Yan Kuznetsov (Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL) and many other great Russian junior players didn’t get the call to the team. Team Russia only invited players that are currently playing in the country, leaving out players in North America. According to Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, the decision was made after the coaching staff considered the players that were already training in Russia were stronger.

That decision was, to say the least, not a smart one – and that is clear after the first game. Having only left-handed skaters in the team makes everyone’s role confusing and harder than it should be, leading to a defensive and offensive disaster. They were able to find the back of the net three times against Sweden but two of those goals were from 17-year-old Matvei Michkov. He might be the best player on the team but no team survives until a gold medal game with only one good player.

Players To Watch

Even though Team Russia is not as strong as it could be, there are a few players that are worth watching. Michkov is, of course, the star of the show, scoring two goals in 41 seconds against the strong Swedish team. He has everything that Russia needs and will continue to shine throughout the tournament. The Nashville Predators prospect Fyodor Svechkov is the owner of the other Russian goal against the Swedes and is another good name to keep an eye on.

Team Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the teams that were affected by COVID before the tournament started. Due to that, they only submitted their official roster on Sunday. Nashville prospect Simon Knak is not on the list, according to Jared Book. That probably means that Knak will not participate in the tournament.

The news of Knak’s absence is not good for Switzerland. He’s a great player with a lot of talent who was their captain in last year’s World Juniors. Not having him on the team is a big loss for them. However, they still have a decent two-way team that can produce good offence and defend well. Their biggest problem, however, is their opponents in this preliminary round. Being in a group with the current champions and two of the biggest teams in the tournament won’t be easy. But they could do well if their defence helps their goaltenders – which is the weakest part of the team.

Players To Watch

Switzerland doesn’t have a really strong team but that doesn’t mean there are no good players to keep an eye on. The first one is defenceman Brian Zanetti, the only NHL prospect on their team (if Simon Knak is in fact out). He’s a Philadelphia Flyers sixth-round pick from the 2021 draft and has been doing well in the OHL this year. He has nine points in 17 games with the Peterborough Petes. Another good player to keep an eye on forward Lorenzo Canonica, who has 27 points in 29 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.


Even though Russia is not as strong as they’ve been in past years, they’re most likely to take the game on Monday. Switzerland will have to use Russia’s unbalanced team in their favour to have a shot at taking this one home but even with that, it’ll be a tough game for them. However, the Monday matchup has everything to be a very entertaining one, with Russia winning its first of the 2022 World Junior Championships.

Prediction: Russia wins 5-4.

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