2024 IIHF Men's U18 World Championship

IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship Returning To Texas In 2025

IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship Returning To Texas In 2025

The cities of Frisco and Dallas, Texas were named as the host for the 2025 IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship to be held next April.

May 25, 2024 by Chris Peters

Texas is holding the attention of the hockey world right now with the Dallas Stars among the last four teams standing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Next year, the Lone Star State won't just have the hockey world's attention, it will be welcoming them in with a major international tournament featuring some of the future stars of the game.

During the IIHF's Annual Congress Friday in Prague it was revealed by IIHF President Luc Tardif that the 2025 IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship, one of the most important events on the NHL Draft scouting calendar, will be returning to Frisco and the Dallas area in April 2025. The event was last held in the area with a modified bubble during the pandemic in 2021. 

Many details are still being sorted out, but the tournament is currently scheduled for April 23 to May 3, 2025. The Comerica Center in Frisco, which was the primary venue for the 2021 tournament is expected to be one of the tournament venues again in 2025.

The World U18s features 10 teams from around the world. The 2025 event will include defending gold-medalist Canada, Team USA, Finland, Sweden, Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway and Germany. The rosters will include dozens of candidates for selection in the 2025 and 2026 NHL Drafts.

In 2021, Canada won the gold medal behind the efforts of a 15-year-old Connor Bedard and 16-year-old Shane Wright. They defeated a Matvei Michkov-led Russia squad in the gold-medal game. 

Additionally, current Dallas Stars forwards Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven were part of that Canadian roster, offering Stars fans a preview of two of the team's most recent draft picks.

That tournament, which came amid disrupted seasons due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, had a number of safety measures in place including tournament participants essentially only able to go between the arena and the host hotel. Limited tickets were available with the public allowed to attend in addition to more than 100 NHL scouts and executives.

The 2025 event will have no such restrictions, allowing for increased fan and NHL team staff attendance and fewer restrictions on the players' mobility.

In addition to announcing the tournament site, IIHF President Luc Tardif said that the IIHF is currently working on an agreement with the NHL for support of the Men's Under-18 World Championship, stating it is "nearly there." 

Sources have indicated the agreement between the NHL and IIHF would likely mean a higher frequency of this particular tournament being played in North America in the coming years. The 2026 IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship was previously allocated to Slovakia during the 2023 IIHF Annual Congress, and appears to be on track. After that, however, we could see an alternating schedule between North America and Europe that would see the event held in a more convenient location for NHL staffs more frequently.

As a significant event on the scouting calendar, late in the draft process, it is common for most teams to send their top executives to the U18s, including general managers. However, because of the timing of this event, it often happens at the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which makes it difficult for participating teams' executive staffs to attend if the event is overseas.

Since the U18 Men's World Championship began in 1999, the U.S. has hosted this tournament three times previously including 2021 in Texas, in 2009 at Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., and 2016 in Grand Forks, N.D.