The 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool are set to begin tomorrow in Gangneung, where direct qualification for the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Games will be up for grabs.
Hosts South Korea already have a guaranteed slot for next year's Games, but the six other competing nations can secure their place with a top-five finish at the newly-built Gangneung Hockey Centre.
Reigning Paralympic and world champions the United States headline the field, which also includes 2015 world silver medallists Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
The World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool marks the end of a run of 28 test events for Pyeongchang 2018 prior to the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Five Paralympic test events have been staged since March.
"We are delighted to welcome all competitors to the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Gangneung and we are looking forward to an exciting week of action on the ice," Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom said.
"We are set to end our busy season of test events on a high as these seven nations are battling it out for their place at Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
"The Para-athletes always show so much passion for their sport and the Games and I am sure the people of Korea will really show their support and enjoy the experience of a World Championships."
A clash between European silver medallists Italy and Sweden, who were promoted to the A-Pool in 2015, will mark the start of action on Wednesday (April 12) following tomorrow's Opening Ceremony.
The first day of competition will also see Canada face European bronze medallists Norway and Germany go up against South Korea.
The US will begin their bid to retain their world title on Thursday (April 13), when they meet Sweden.
Josh Pauls was named best defenceman at his home World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo in 2015, when he recorded four goals and three assists in seven games.
His team has had a difficult few months after their coach Jeff Sauer, who guided them to the world title as well as Paralympic gold, passed away in February.
Sauer had been battling pancreatic cancer and lost his fight against the condition at the age of 73.
Guy Gosselin has since been named as his replacement and will be leading the Americans in Gangneung.
"Losing such a great coach in Jeff Sauer has been tough," Pauls, who has been with the national team since the 2008-09 season, said.
"It’s been tough adjusting to life without him.
"But we all know Guy Gosselin, who has worked with us the past few years, and is a great coach.
"He's going to be a great fit to finish up the year with us.
"He focuses more on the little things, such as puck retrieval off the boards, which helps us fine tune our game."
Canada, whose team includes the likes of four-time Paralympian Rolf Pedersen, will be aiming to go one better than in 2015.
Five of their players - Rob Armstrong, Dominic Cozzolini, Tyrone Henry, Liam Hickey and Corbyn Smith - will be making their World Championships debut, while the North American nation will also be fielding the youngest player at the tournament in 17-year-old forward Emil Vatne.