CANADA FINALISES WORLD JUNIOR ROSTER

2023-12-14 · 3 min read · IIHF World Juniors/Hockey
 Connor Bedard and The Canadian men's national under-20 ice hockey team

Andy Devlin/ Getty Images | The Canadian Press

Canada has announced they have finalised their roster for the upcoming 2024 World Junior Championship (which starts Dec 26th). Interestingly it seems that the biggest surprise during Hockey Canada’s roster announcement for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday wasn’t necessarily a player who made the team, but one who didn’t.
Jagger Firkus, selected by the Seattle Kraken with the No. 35 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, came into Canada’s training camp earlier this week with expectations from around the hockey world that he would be part of the group that would take to the ice for the team’s first game of the tournament against Finland on Dec. 26. With 53 points (27 goals, 26 assists) in 29 games for Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League, the 19-year-old has developed a cult following, so much so that the Warriors sell special edition “Firkus Circus” T-shirts if he scores three goals or five points in a game (I want one of these shirts). Peter Anholt, part of Canada’s Program of Excellence management group, said Firkus’ omission was based on training camp performance. “I see Jagger so much in the Western Hockey League,” Anholt, the general manager of Lethbridge of the WHL, said. “He’s such a good player. “You know, for me, it was a bit of a surprise. I thought he would have brought more. It didn’t happen for him. That’s the way it goes.”
It is important to note that Canada only named 12 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies to the team, this leaves Canada left one spot open up front for what they likely hope could be a player who’ll be released by their NHL team for the tournament. Buffalo Sabres wing Zach Benson and Boston Bruins center Matthew Poitras are the leading candidates for the final position; if they stay with their teams, one of the final cuts made Wednesday could be recalled, maybe even Firkus. A decision will come by Dec. 19, the date NHL teams must freeze their rosters. Owen Beck is the only player returning from the 2023 gold medal-winning team. The 19-year-old, selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the No. 33 pick in the 2022 Draft, had only one assist, appearing in three games for Canada in that tournament. Another notable skater is Macklin Celebrini, the 17-year-old forward with Boston University who made the team after showing versatility by playing both center and wing at training camp. He is pegged to be a top contender for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Canada will be aiming to win the gold medal for a third consecutive year, something it hasn’t done since 2009 when it captured its fifth in a row. Don't forget to keep an eye out both for our World Juniors Bracket (you could win 500 bucks) and my continued coverage of it (I'll have a preview for you soon).
Here is the full final roster
Forwards
  • Owen Beck, 19, Peterborough (OHL), MTL
  • Nate Danielson, 19, Brandon (WHL), DET
  • Fraser Minten, 19, Saskatoon (WHL), TOR
  • Macklin Celebrini, 17, Boston University (NCAA), 2024 Draft
  • Matthew Wood, 18, University of Connecticut (NCAA), NSH
  • Carson Rehkopf, 18, Kitchener (OHL), SEA
  • Owen Allard, 19, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 2024 Draft
  • Jordan Dumais, 19, Halifax (QMJHL), CBJ
  • Matthew Savoie, 19, Wenatchee (WHL), BUF
  • Easton Cowan,18, London (OHL), TOR
  • Conor Geekie, 19, Wenatchee (WHL), ARI
  • Brayden Yager, 18, Moose Jaw (WHL), PIT
Defensemen
  • Tristan Luneau, 19, Anaheim (NHL)
  • Jake Furlong, 19, Halifax (QMJHL), SJS
  • Noah Warren, 19, Victoriaville (QMJHL), ANA
  • Oliver Bonk, 18, London (OHL), PHI
  • Tanner Molendyk, 18, Saskatoon (WHL), NSH
  • Maveric Lamoureux, 19, Drummondville (QMJHL), ARI
  • Denton Mateychuk, 19, Moose Jaw (WHL), CBJ
Goalies
  • Scott Ratzlaff, 18, Seattle (WHL), BUF
  • Mathis Rousseau, 19, Halifax (QMJHL), 2024 Draft
  • Samuel St-Hilaire, 19, Sherbrooke (QMJHL), 2024 Draft
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By: Chase Howard

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