Welcome to our 2023 World Junior Championship predictions. We have been taking in-depth looks at each game taking place in the Canadian Maritimes. We have been trying to give you the information you need to get an edge. Here we look at the World Juniors Bronze medal matchup between Team Sweden and Team USA. Be sure to check out the Gold medal game between Canada and Czechia today as well. Thanks for reading for reading our World Junior Championship predictions this tournament.
2023 World Junior Championship Predictions
Sweden vs USA
Both Sweden and USA had successful tournaments that were then derailed in their respective semi-final matches. Sweden, despite holding a 1-0 lead until the last minute of the game against Czechia, they were outplayed. They were outshot by Czechia 14-3 in the final frame, and in the end, lost in overtime when Jiri Kulich (Buffalo Sabres) scored. On the other hand, the USA came out firing and looking like the better team against Canada. They were up 9-0 at one point in shots, and thanks to goals from Logan Cooley and Kenny Connors (Los Angeles Kings), were up 2-0. Although in the end, Canada roared back with six unanswered, and won 6-2, knocking the US to the Bronze medal matchup.
Despite being relegated to the Bronze medal game, look for Team USA to come out hungry. They did show against the Canadians and throughout the tournament, when their offence goes on the attack, they are dynamic, nearly unstoppable, and fun to watch. They outscored opponents 32-18 in six games of the tournament. Look for their top-line to continue its success. The line of Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues), Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), and Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers) have registered 13 goals. Furthermore, with an assist in the Canadian game, Ryan Ufko (Nashville Predators) continues to lead the charge from the backend with eight assists. Team USA, similar to Sweden, has been carried by their top goaltender. Even after allowing five goals to Canada, 17-year-old, Trey Augustine of the USNDT program, still possesses a solid .915 SV% and a 2.17 GAA.
For Sweden to come away with the Bronze medal, someone other than their goalie needs to have a great game. Carl Lindbom (Vegas Golden Knights) has been outstanding for Sweden, and that includes having a shutout going for over 59 minutes against Team Czechia in the semi-finals. Lindbom is currently tops in the tournament with a remarkable .941 SV% and two shutouts. If Sweden is to be successful, their top players need to show up for this game. Filip Bystedt (San Jose Sharks) has had a big tournament recording two goals, and five assists for seven points. Potential top-three pick for this year’s draft, Leo Carlsson has had spurts of success. He has chipped in with two goals and two assists. Also, their defenceman Ludvig Jansson has had a huge tournament, compiling four goals and four assists. The American game plan will need to be aware when their big strikers are on the ice. Finally, one player who would like to end on a high, is Boston Bruins prospect, Fabian Lysell who is still pointless through six games.
Even with the strong goaltending, the US forwards are too skilled and dynamic. Look for them to rebound after a tough loss to Team Canada. When they attack, they attack in waves, and even against Canada, they are nearly impossible to slow down. They want to prove they are a dominant team. Look for them to play a game we know they are capable of playing. Sweden, they have looked good at times, but still had some difficult games. They only managed a 1-0 victory over Germany, thanks to Nikita Quapp (Carolina Hurricanes), and they lost to Canada 5-1 to end group play. Canada and USA are very similar, so look for the USA to give Sweden similar fits.
Prediction: USA wins 5-1.
Thank you for checking our World Junior Championship predictions during the entire tournament.