First release of 2021 features plenty of teams from Finland shooting up the charts
The third edition of our World Rankings were released on Monday, as World Hockey Hub’s search for the top teams in youth hockey continues into the 2021 calendar. Canada has yet to see winter season action, while Sweden and most of central Europe have been at a standstill since late November. Most states in the U.S. are allowing game competition to some extent, same goes for certain regions of Russia, as well as Finland.
The biggest movers in the January rankings were the Finns. The Land of a Thousand Islands made its impact felt across all three birth years, most significantly among the 2005-birth year.
Under-16 squad KalPa — previously unranked in the December rankings — propelled up the charts into the Top 5, settling in at No. 3 with a 12-0-0 record. Kärpät joined them as a previously unranked team to crack the Top 5, as a 9-3-0 record slotted them in the 5th spot. Three other unranked Finnish teams made the global Top 25 as well, including No. 18 Tappara, No. 23 Jokerit and No. 25 TPS.
Teams in Finland are not true 2004-birth year teams, as the youth hockey structure is designed for Under-18 teams combined of ‘03s and ‘04s on the same roster for the 2020-21 season. For that reason, WHH makes an exception to include these teams among other 2004-birth year teams around the world.
Previously ranked No. 17, Kärpät jumped into the fourth spot after going 8-2-0 in the month of January and putting together a 20-3-0 overall record. Ӓssät also benefited from a successful first month of 2021. Previously unranked, Ӓssät reached the No. 12 spot on Monday. Two other Finnish teams debuted this week on the 2004 Rankings, including No. 17 HIFK and No. 22 KalPa.
The 2006 Rankings also saw a Finnish team crack the Top 5, with unbeaten Kiekko-Espoo as the highest rated European team. KJT and KalPa both made their first appearances on the list as well, with KJT at No. 11 and KalPa at No. 23 overall.
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