USA Hockey announced today that, in conjunction with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, it will host the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Frisco and Plano, Texas, from April 26-May 6. The 10-nation tournament, which features the best men’s players in the world under the age of 18, began in 1999 and will be played in the U.S. for just the third time.
“We’re excited to partner with the Stars to bring this world-class event to Texas and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “The Stars have done a remarkable job with the facilities they own and operate and furthering interest in the game, and we’re really looking forward to showcasing future stars of the NHL in Texas.”
“The Dallas Stars organization is honored to be selected as host for one of the most prestigious hockey tournaments in the world,” said Brad Alberts, president and CEO of the Dallas Stars. “We would like to thank USA Hockey for affording us the opportunity to have the next generation of hockey players showcased in North Texas. Being awarded an international event of this caliber is a testament to our local players, coaches, parents and support staff that have worked tirelessly to help grow that game of hockey in the Lone Star State. This tournament is another example of how the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has become a premier destination for major hockey events at every level because of our world-class facilities and unmatched hospitality.”
The primary venue for the tournament will be Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. It will host Group B for preliminary round play, which includes the U.S., Russia, Czech Republic, Finland and Germany. Comerica Center will also host two quarterfinal games, both semifinal contests, along with the bronze and gold-medal games. Group A preliminary round play, which includes Sweden, Canada, Belarus, Latvia and Switzerland, will be staged at the Children’s Health StarCenter in Plano, Texas. The venues are approximately 15 minutes apart.
Additional details, including the tournament schedule as well as ticket information, will be released in the coming weeks. For the latest information, click here.
“It’s not often we get to host a world championship in our country and we look forward to a great event in Texas,” said Tony Driscoll, assistant executive director of marketing, events and communication for USA Hockey. “We hope to have some limited capacity availability for fans and we’re working through those details to ensure a safe environment. I’d expect we’ll have further news later this month.”
The United States has medaled in the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship an unprecedented 16 straight times, including a record 10 gold-medal performances. The U.S. will be looking to win gold for the first time since 2017.
WHO’S PLAYED IN THE TOURNAMENT PREVIOUSLY
The IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, which began in 1999, includes a rich history of top players who have competed in the event, including the likes of NHL stars Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews, Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Phil Kessel, Mathew Barzal and William Nylander to name a few. A total of 14 players currently in the Dallas Stars organization have competed in the event, representing six different countries (USA, Russia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia).
The IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship has been held in the United States on two previous occasions – 2009 in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota; and 2016 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship was originally slated to be staged in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Previous Hosts of the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship
1999 – Fussen & Kaufbeuren, Germany
2000 – Kloten & Weinfelden, Switzerland
2001 – Heinola, Helsinki and Lahti, Finland
2002 – Trnava & Piestany, Slovakia
2003 – Jaroslavl, Russia
2004 – Minsk, Belarus
2005 – Ceske Budejovice & Plzen, Czech Republic
2006 – Angelholm & Halmstad, Sweden
2007 – Tampere & Rauma, Finland
2008 – Kazan, Russia
2009 – Fargo, North Dakota & Moorhead, Minnesota, USA
2010 – Minsk & Babruysk, Belarus
2011 – Crimmitschau & Dresden, Germany
2012 – Brn, Czech Republic
2013 – Sochi, Russia
2014 – Lappeenranta & Imatra, Finland
2015 – Zug & Lucerne, Switzerland
2016 – Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
2017 – Poprad & Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia
2018 – Chelyabinski & Magnitogorsk, Russia
2019 – Ornskoldsvik & Umea, Sweden
2020 – Tournament not held due to COVID-19 pandemic
THE GROWTH OF HOCKEY IN TEXAS AND THE STARS IMPACT
When the Stars moved from Minnesota to Texas in 1993, the Club made exposing the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to hockey an organizational priority. By constructing and operating several Children’s Health StarCenters throughout the Metroplex, the team has been able to have direct involvement with developing and growing the game of hockey in the greater Southwest region.
The Dallas Stars are one of the few teams in the NHL to design and build their own practice facility and arena, run in partnership with the City of Frisco. The team also sets the pace in the NHL among clubs that form partnerships with communities to create public skating facilities, a trend which is picking up momentum around the League. The facilities in Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco and McKinney, as well as the recently opened Children’s Health StarCenter in Mansfield, were all built in partnership with those respective cities, while there are also Children’s Health StarCenters in Plano, Richardson and Valley Ranch. Additionally, Children’s Health StarCenter in McKinney is expanding their facility to include a third ice sheet.
When the team first set foot in Texas, there were five total sheets of ice in the area (two of which were at shopping malls and didn’t host hockey). At that time, there were no high school or travel hockey teams, while only 200 local children were playing the sport and just 225 adults playing in recreational leagues.
As of the Summer of 2020, there were more than 13,000 North Texas kids and nearly 8,000 adults skating and playing recreational hockey on over 20 sheets of ice in the area, including more than 50 high school hockey teams participating in the Stars-run AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League.
Thanks to the efforts of the Stars in working with USA Hockey and the Texas Amateur Hockey Association, the Lone Star State has produced world-class hockey talent, including 12 native Texans since 2009 who have been chosen in the NHL Draft.