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A Blackhawks fan guide to the 2022 World Juniors

Chicago has five prospects playing in the tournament. Here’s who they are — and when/where to watch them play.

2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament - USA vs Slovakia Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

The NHL season is still a few months away but the pandemic-delayed World Junior Championship is hitting the ice up north this week. Five of the Chicago Blackhawks’ prospects will be playing in the upcoming games, which start on Tuesday.

Here’s a quick rundown of who’s playing, what teams they’re representing and when to watch the group stage games.

Each game from the World Juniors will be broadcast live on the NHL Network in the US and on TSN and RDS in Canada.

Team USA

Forward Landon Slaggert, 2020 third-round pick (79th overall)

Slaggert will wear an “A” for the Americans and is coming off a strong sophomore season for Notre Dame that’s helped Slaggert register more profoundly on team radars. While not billed as a future top-line guy, his well-rounded, versatile game is raising hopes that he could evolve into a solid NHL contributor in a bottom-line role. Slaggert envisions his game as that of a recent Blackhawks’ fan favorite:

“I see myself as a 200-foot player that brings some energy,” Slaggert said recently. “Honestly, I like to look up to Brandon Hagel in that aspect. I know he’s a special player, and I have a long way to go to be even mentioned in the same conversation as him. But he’s definitely someone I look up to. I’d like to get my game to his level someday.”

Forward Dominic James, 2022 sixth-round pick (173rd overall)

James may not have a massive offensive role for Team USA but he could be a key depth contributor in the lower portions of the American lineup based on his rep at Minnesota-Duluth last season.

Defenseman Wyatt Kaiser, 2020 third-round pick (81st overall)

Taken two picks after Slaggert in that 2020 draft, Kaiser could be the one Blackhawks prospect that’s most worth keeping an eye on during this tournament. Kaiser should be playing top-pairing minutes for Team USA after playing that role during his sophomore season at Minnesota-Duluth.

Kaiser fares well at both ends of the ice, playing an all-around game that has made him a rising blue-line prospect in the organization. A breakout performance at this year’s World Juniors combined with a strong junior season back at UMD this winter could springboard Kaiser into the professional career that likely awaits him next year.

United States’ games (all times central)

  • Tuesday, Aug. 9 vs. Germany, 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 11 vs. Switzerland, 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 13 vs. Austria, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 14 vs. Sweden, 9 p.m.


Defenseman Ethan del Mastro, 2021 fourth-round pick (105th overall)

Another intriguing blue-line prospect for the Blackhawks, del Mastro was a late addition to the Canadian roster after an injury. That suggests del Mastro may not see a ton of playing time — and he wasn’t in the lineup for Canada’s final pre-tournament game against Sweden on Monday night — but Chicago clearly is interested in his future after offering del Mastro an entry-level contract back in April.

At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, del Mastro already has the size of an NHL defenseman but his improved mobility and willingness to join the rush during the last OHL season with the Mississauga Steelheads is an encouraging development.

Canada’s games

  • Wednesday, Aug. 10 vs. Latvia, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 11 vs. Slovakia, 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 13 vs. Czech Republic, 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 15 vs. Finland, 5 p.m.


Forward Victor Stjernborg, 2021 fourth-round pick (108th overall)

There still isn’t a ton of information out there on the Swedish forward, who had just two assists in 15 games with the SHL’s Vaxjo Lakers last season. When Stjernborg was loaned out to Toja-Ljungby in the second tier of Swedish hockey, though, he caught fire with five goals and six assists in seven games.

Stjernborg has the familiar labels of “high-motor” and “intense” and “all-around” slapped across his scouting reports. The delay in playing the World Juniors could work out in Stjernborg’s favor, if he flashes during the tournament: he would not have played the originally scheduled games due to a lower-body injury.

Sweden’s games

  • Wednesday, Aug. 10 vs. Switzerland, 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 12 vs. Austria, 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 14 vs. United States, 9 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 15 vs. Germany, 9 p.m.

Following the group stage games, the top eight teams will finish off the tournament as follows:

Quarterfinals, Wednesday Aug. 17
Semifinals, Friday Aug. 19
Championship game, Saturday Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.