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PRESS RELEASE: NHL Network to cover World Juniors through 2018

2012 World Juniors logo

Fear not Preds fans! Thanks to NHL Network U.S.’s new deal, you can watch some of the top Nashville Predators prospects during the uber-exciting World Junior Championship tournaments through 2018.

This is really exciting news. Down here in the south, we don’t get access to nearly enough Major Junior hockey or even college hockey. The annual World Juniors is a tremendous tournament that pits all of the best hockey nations together in one two week period.

Which Preds have donned their nations’ crest on their chest during the World Juniors? How about Shea Weber (2005; Canada), Ryan Suter (2003, 2004, 2005; Team USA), Jordin Tootoo (2003; Canada), Matt Halischuk (2008; Canada), Colin Wilson (2008, 2009; Team USA), Roman Josi (2007, 2008, 2010; Switzerland) and Sergei Kostitsyn (2005,2007; Belarus), just to name a few.

This year, as of Tuesday, December 20, the Predators have two prospects scheduled to play in the 2012 tournament. 2010 first round pick Austin Watson (Team USA) and 2011 second round choice Miikka Salomaki (Finland). Both teams are favored to contend for a medal.

The full press release is below.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey and the NHL Network U.S. have agreed to a long-term extension of their broadcast deal that will keep NHL Network as the exclusive home for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in the United States through the 2018 event.

NHL Network will provide exclusive live broadcasts and NHL.com will provide live streams of all U.S. National Junior Team games at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship taking place Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 in Alberta, Canada. NHL Network will also televise all medal-round games and five additional preliminary-round match-ups, airing a total of 15 games in high definition.

“We’re extremely pleased to extend our partnership with the NHL Network,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “They’re passionate about televising the World Junior Championship and fans will notice continued enhancements in their coverage of Team USA and the tournament overall.”

“The IIHF World Junior Championship is not only a preeminent international hockey tournament, it has become known as the place to view future NHL stars,” said Bob Chesterman, NHL Network vice president of programming. “Viewers will see a high level of skill and talent and intense match-ups between rival countries. The World Junior Championship is an excellent complement to our NHL programming.”

All Team USA games will be NHL Network original broadcasts. “NHL On the Fly,” NHL Network’s signature highlight show, and NHL Live will provide intermission coverage and nightly analysis of the tournament.

The U.S. National Junior Team is coming off back-to-back medals in the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time ever, having earned a bronze medal in last year’s event in Buffalo, N.Y., and a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.

The tournament’s popularity stems from its reputation as a showcase for the game’s best up-and-coming young players from around the world. Many current American-born NHL stars have played in the tournament, including Patrick Kane, Jack Johnson, Zach Parise and Bobby Ryan, to name a few.

The U.S. National Junior Team will begin preliminary-round play against Denmark on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. EST. A full Team USA and NHL Network television schedule is below.

BROADCAST TEAM

Matt Rosen, Dave Starman and Rob Simpson will make up the broadcast team for the NHL Network’s coverage of Team USA’s games.

Rosen, who will handle play-by-play duties, has called hockey and football for the Big Ten Network in addition to his extensive broadcast and hosting experience with the Phoenix Coyotes. Rosen has served as the host for all Coyotes Radio Broadcasts as well as the team’s post-game call-in show, “Coyotes Wrap-Up,” and the weekly magazine show “Coyotes Weekly.”

Starman, who will serve as the analyst, will begin his fourth consecutive stint covering Team USA’s games at the IIHF World Junior Championship for NHL Network. He is currently in his ninth season as lead analyst for CBS College Sports’ coverage of NCAA hockey.

Simpson, who will serve as the rinkside reporter for the medal rounds, has regularly contributed to the popular NHL Live show on NHL Network, MSG Network in New York, SIRIUS XM Radio and NHL.com original broadband programming.

NOTES: For complete coverage of Team USA during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, click here… The Team USA preliminary roster can be found here… Team USA’s pre-tournament training camp is underway in Camrose, Alta., and concludes Dec. 23. The camp includes three exhibition games against Russia (tonight at 9 p.m. EST), Switzerland and Slovakia … The final U.S. National Junior Team roster is expected to be announced on Dec. 22 … The U.S. National Junior Team blog will provide daily updates with game recaps, photos and multimedia content. The blog can be found here… Follow@USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates throughout the tournament and use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation.

2012 IIHF World Junior Championship
NHL Network (U.S.) Television Schedule

Date Matchup City * Time (EST)
Dec. 26 Canada vs. Finland Edmonton, Alta. 3:30 p.m.
  USA vs. Denmark Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Dec. 27 Denmark vs. Czech Republic Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Dec. 28 Finland vs. USA Edmonton, Alta. 3:30 p.m.
  Czech Republic vs. Canada Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Dec. 29 Canada vs. Denmark Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Dec. 30 Czech Republic vs. USA Edmonton, Alta. 3:30 p.m.
  Finland vs. Denmark Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Dec. 31 USA vs. Canada Edmonton, Alta. 8 p.m.
Jan. 2 Quarterfinal #1 Calgary, Alta. 5 p.m.
  Quarterfinal #2 Calgary, Alta. 9 p.m.
Jan. 3 Semifinal #1 Calgary, Alta. 5 p.m.
  Semifinal #2 Calgary, Alta. 9 p.m.
Jan. 5 Bronze-Medal Game Calgary, Alta. 3:30 p.m.
  Gold-Medal Game Calgary, Alta. 8:00 p.m.

*All games played in Edmonton, Alta., will be played at Rextall Place, while all games in Calgary, Alta., will be held at the Saddledome.

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