"When I was younger, I'd wake up at 3 a.m. to watch the games on TV with my father because of the time change," said the Kitchener Rangers forward. "We'd root for Slovakia together."
Part of Rickard Hugg's family Christmas tradition also involved the annual hockey showcase.
"It's a big deal in Sweden," he said. "I remember watching Mika Zibanejad score for Sweden in overtime to beat Russia in the gold-medal game in 2012."
Now, both are hoping to participate in the tournament. In fact, the Rangers could lose four players to this year's world junior championship, which runs in Buffalo from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.