ZURICH – The IIHF has released the Pre-Championship Reports to determine the men’s and women’s 2015 IIHF World Ranking.
This year’s ranking will have major implications especially on the men’s side as the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Ranking will determine the seeding and the automatically-qualified teams for the 2018 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in PyeongChang 2018. This is following the decision of the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress to play the Olympic Qualification on the men’s side earlier than usual, between November 2015 and September 2016.
The 2015 IIHF Men's Pre-Championship Report includes the points from the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships played between 2012 and 2014 as well as the 2014 Olympics with only the points from the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to be added to get the final 2015 IIHF Men's World Ranking.
The top-8 teams from the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Ranking as well as host Korea will be directly qualified for the 2018 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament. The teams in the top-eight spots are currently: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia.
Reading the points, countries like Switzerland and Slovakia don’t have their spot in PyeongChang 2018 secured yet and will be challenged at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic by the countries ranked behind them, such as Latvia, Norway, Belarus and France.
Ninth-ranked Latvia is closest to the top-8 and could overtake Slovakia in the World Ranking by placing four positions better than the Slovaks at the 2015 Worlds. They could also catch Switzerland by placing five positions higher than the Swiss.
The 2015 IIHF Men’s World Ranking will also determine the seeding for the Olympic Qualification. The teams ranked 9-11 will have the right to host the three Final Olympic Qualification groups. Currently these countries would be Latvia, Norway and Belarus with countries such as France, Germany and Slovenia having the chance to take over these positions with a strong performance at the 2015 Worlds played in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, 1-17 May 2015.
On the women’s side the seeding of the 2018 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament and the Olympic Qualification played between August 2016 and February 2017 will be determined by the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking following the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.
The top-5 ranked nations and host Korea will get an automatic entry in PyeongChang 2018 and two more teams will be determined in the Olympic Qualification. The top-5 countries are currently: Canada, USA, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland. At the upcoming 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Malmo, Russia, Germany and Japan will have the chance to improve their ranking one year before the qualified teams and seeding will be determined. Links: 2015 IIHF Men’s Pre-Championship Report 2015 IIHF Women’s Pre-Championship Report Explanation of the IIHF World Ranking system Format and Qualification for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games