After months of speculation, the 2022 World Junior Championship is officially back.
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Saturday that the tournament, which was originally scheduled for late December of 2021, will now take place from Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton, Alberta, with all games being played at Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers.
It's quite likely that the IIHF will go to great lengths to ensure that protocols are put in place for this iteration of the tournament that were absent during the first, as well.
Despite being contained in a "bubble", the hotel that players stayed at in Red Deer, Alberta back in December was, in fact, open to the public, and even played host to a wedding reception that very weekend, leaving players exposed to large gatherings of people outside of the tournament personnel.
That will almost certainly not happen again.
According to the IIHF, all results and statistics from that previous attempt to hold the tournament will not carry over to this new iteration, with all teams starting fresh on an even playing field.
Additionally, all players who participated in the 2022 World Junior Championship back in December will still be eligible to take part in August, even those whose eligibility may have expired due to the postponement, giving players who were seemingly robbed of their last opportunity to represent their country on the international stage thanks to COVID-19 the last chance they deserve.
There will be no relegation in this tournament, either, with the set-up for the 2023 World Junior Championship to be determined at a later date.