The IIHF is set to reboot the World Juniors. The tournament is restarting clean with a blank slate; the prior games don’t matter and the points don’t count.
Except for the suspension to Sweden’s Leo Loof.
Defenseman Leo Loof was banned one game for boarding and and illegal check to the head of Slovakia’s Simon Nemec during their preliminary round match on December 27. He picked up a match penalty and was ejected from the game.
World Juniors: Sweden’s Loof still suspended for illegal hit in game that no longer counts as WJC restarts in August: https://t.co/qXADxi0wMr pic.twitter.com/QHPiX9bUin
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) August 7, 2022
Loof was set to miss Tre Kronor’s match against Team USA on December 29. That game never happened.
Instead, nearly eight months later, he’ll be sidelined as Sweden takes on Switzerland on August 10.
Here’s the IIHF’s complete ruling:
The IIHF Disciplinary Panel has issued a one-game suspension to Team Sweden defender Leo Loof, for a violation of IIHF Official Playing Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head or Neck) and Rule 41 (Boarding).
The incident in question occurred at 47:31 in the 3rd period of Sweden’s preliminary round game against Slovakia on 27 December.
Slovak defender Simon Nemec had the puck while skating along the boards on the right side towards the Swedish defensive zone. As Nemec approached the blue line, Loof skated toward Nemec from across the ice. Upon reaching Nemec, Loof made direct frontal contact with Nemec, elevating his arms towards his head. In following through with the hit, Loof caused Nemec to hit the boards and then fall to the ice.
The Disciplinary Panel determined that – because Loof upon reaching Nemec to make contact close to the boards, directed his arms in an upward motion towards the head and/or neck area of Nemec, and due to the force at which the contact was made – that Loof recklessly endangered Nemec, and violated IIHF Official Playing Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head or Neck) and Rule 41 (Boarding). Loof showed no regard for the puck when delivering his check, and by separating his arms from his body when doing so, he gained even more power when he made the hit on Nemec.
Loof was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. They’ll have to wait a little longer to see their prospect return to action at the World Juniors.