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2022 World Junior Championship Predictions: August 12th – Slovakia vs Latvia

World Junior Championship

The current iteration of the 2022 World Junior Championship Tournament has begun. All teams have played at least one game, and the tournament is in full force. Friday, Team Slovakia will face Team Latvia. This will be the second of two games that day.

2022 World Junior Championship Predictions

Slovakia vs Latvia

It seems now that the battle between Slovakia and Latvia will be a battle for last place in the block. Both teams are coming off a loss against Canada – Latvia on Wednesday losing 5-2, and Slovakia being crushed Thursday 11-1. While Latvia had a much better performance against Canada than Slovakia, the Canadians played a much more dynamic and calculated game Thursday. Slovakia is sure to be tired after being played so hard Thursday, but Latvia is only one day removed from a back-to-back.

Team Slovakia

It has been a fantastic year for Slovakia. The home country of both the first and second overall picks from the 2022 draft (Juraj Slafkovsky, and Simon Nemec), Slovakia is in the spotlight. Unfortunately, neither Slafkovsky nor Nemec will play in this tournament. Losing 5-4 against Czechia, it seemed that they could be able to hold their footing against team Canada. However, in their 11-1 loss Thursday, the team was tough to watch.

Players to Watch

While top-end Slovakian talent in Slafkovsky and Nemec won’t be there, there will be no lack of skill on the Slovakian team. 2022 draft day faller Adam Sykora is a key member of the roster, while 2023 top-eligible prospect Dalibor Dvorsky has come out of the gate with a boom, among the best players against both Canada and Czechia. Intriguing defender Maxim Strbak will also be an important member of the roster, and could be a first-rounder in 2023.

Team Latvia

Latvia has struggled in both games they’ve played thus far. A 6-1 loss to Finland and a 5-2 loss to Canada are pretty indicative of the kind of team they are. They lack true top-end talent, and they simply don’t have as competitive of a team as Slovakia. Latvia’s hope has to be that Slovakia is tired from their game against Canada Thursday.

Players to Watch

There aren’t too many names to watch on Team Latvia. A handful of NHL draft picks are on the roster, such as Dans Locmenis, drafted this past year by Boston in the fourth round, and Klavs Veinbergs. Their goalie, Bruno Bruveris hasn’t been great thus far, however, if he has a good night, Latvia could definitely still be in the game.


It’s much more difficult to predict a game between these two teams than in their prior game, where their opponent had the clear edge. Slovakia does have more top-end talent, and ultimately I think this gives them the edge. It should be a close game, although with tired goaltenders, the lamp could be lit quite a bit. Look for Dalibor Dvorsky to take advantage of a slower Latvia team and to be an impact player.

Prediction: Slovakia wins 6-3


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