The 2022 World Junior Championship might be going ahead after all.
According to IIHF President Luc Tardiff, who spoke on Tuesday morning, the tournament will "most likely" be rescheduled for August, with dates and venue details to be decided upon following the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
This is wonderful news for all parties involved -- particularly the many young players who had what was perhaps their final opportunity to represent their countries on the international stage cut unceremoniously short due to an outbreak of the COVID-19 omicron variant that forced the tournament to be canceled in December.
While not confirmed, the decision to reschedule the tournament for August is due to a few factors, namely, that it lies following the conclusion of many of the important events on the prospect calendar such as the CHL's Memorial Cup, NHL Draft Combine, World Championship, and NHL Entry Draft. Whether or not all the rosters from December will be available to return for August intact, however, remains to be seen.
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.
And while a number of details still need to be ironed out, fans can likely look forward to enjoying one of hockey's most exciting prospect showcases after all.