Washington Capitals forward prospect Haakon Hanelt has made the final 25-man roster for Germany’s 2022 World Junior Championship team. Germany made their official roster announcement early on Sunday. Sources tell NoVa Caps that Hanelt, who is already in North America, will meet the team in Edmonton this week.
Setting The Stage
Canada, Finland, Czechia, Slovakia and Latvia will play in Group A while the United States, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Austria will compete in Group B. The top-four teams if each group will make the quarter-finals.
All games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton, with usually two or three games per day during the preliminary round that will end on 15 August. The four quarter-final games will be played on August 17 with Canada playing the third quarter-final game at 17:00 if qualified.
The semi-final games follow on 19 August. Host Canada if qualified or the team with the best preliminary-round records otherwise will play the early semi-final game at 14:00. The second semi-final game will be played at 18:00. The medal games are set for August 20.
It will be the first time since 1988 that all World Juniors games will be held at one venue with fans in attendance.
With the release of the game schedule single-game tickets have been released and can be purchased for as low as $40 while packages remain available. Click here to buy tickets.
Third Time’s A Charm
Hänelt played just seven games for the Olympiques in the 2021-22 season before being sidelined with the shoulder injury. He recorded five points, but none in his last three games when he was dealing with the injury. Hanelt had time to come to terms with the idea that an operation was inevitable and his dream of competing in the 2022 World Junior Championship was once again not to be.
“I played despite the pain in my last three games. After missing the last U20 World Championship and the U18 World Championship, I had hoped I could play despite the injury, but I had to resign myself to correcting the problem now,” said Hanelt.
“When I found out I had a third missed date (tournament) in a row, it hit me hard. It took a few weeks to recover. I wanted to show what I could do on the biggest stage in junior hockey and redeem my missed experience last year. I can’t change anything now. I have one last hope for next year,” Hanelt told LeDroit.
Hanelt returned to play the final nine games of the regular season, recording a goal and four assists, as he worked his way back into shape for the postseason. He recorded two goals in six games in the playoffs.
Hanelt spent the 2020-21 season playing for the Berlin Polar Bears in the Deutsche Eishockey League (DEL). He was scheduled to participate in the 2021 World Junior Championship, but he and a good percentage of the German team contracted the COVID-19 virus two weeks before leaving for Alberta.
“All the players who were in Berlin got the virus. We were unable to travel to Canada. When the team arrived, there was still an outbreak…I was hoping I could get my place this year, but it looks like I’m not destined to play for my national team.”
Hanelt was slated to participate in the 2021 World U-18 Championship last April in Texas, but was unable to participate. He would miss the tournament due to a shoulder injury he suffered that was similar in nature to the one that landed him on the operating table in November, 2021.
Hanelt made the move from the German league to North America to start the 2021-22 season. “The main reason for coming to Canada is to learn to play on the smaller rinks. My goal is to play in the NHL. I will have a better chance of getting there by continuing my development by playing Canadian junior hockey,” said Hanelt.
By Jon Sorensen