Lauren Kelly - Elite Prospects
World Juniors 2024

Hockey Canada announces final roster for 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships

Hockey Canada has announced their (almost) final roster for the 2024 World Juniors, set to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Dec. 26.

They started their World Junior Selection Camp on Sunday in Oakville, Ontario, with a 30-player roster, and they've whittled that group down to 21, one short of a full team, leaving them one additional spot for someone currently playing in the NHL, should their team release them for the tournament.

For now, this is the group of players that are slated to wear Canada's colours on Boxing Day.

Buffalo Sabres winger Zach Benson and Boston Bruins centre Matthew Poitras are the leading candidates for that final spot. Should neither of them be available to Canada, then they'll call on their last cut to round out their roster.

In the meantime, this is the group currently listed as Canada's roster for the tournament:

Forwards: Owen Allard (2024 NHL Draft), Owen Beck (Montréal Canadiens), Macklin Celebrini (2024 NHL Draft), Easton Cowan (Toronto Maple Leafs), Nate Danielson (Detroit Red Wings), Jordan Dumais (Columbus Blue Jackets),  Conor Geekie (Arizona Coyotes), Fraser Minten (Maple Leafs), Carson Rehkopf (Kraken), Matthew Savoie (Buffalo Sabres), Matthew Wood (Nashville Predators), Brayden Yager (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Defencemen: Oliver Bonk (Flyers), Jake Furlong (San Jose Sharks), Maveric Lamoureux (Coyotes), Tristan Luneau (Anaheim Ducks), Denton Mateychuk (Blue Jackets), Tanner Molendyk (Predators), Noah Warren (Ducks)

Goalies: Scott Ratzlaff (Sabres), Mathis Rousseau (2024 NHL Draft), Samuel St-Hilaire (2024 NHL Draft)

Cuts: Michael Buchinger (St. Louis Blues), Jorian Donovan (Ottawa Senators), Denver Barkey (Philadelphia Flyers), Paul Ludwinski (Chicago Blackhawks), Jagger Firkus (Seattle Kraken), Ty Nelson (Kraken), Markus Vidicek (2024 NHL Draft), Domenic DiVincentiis (Winnipeg Jets)

There aren't many surprises among the final cuts, save for the fact that Canada sent an additional forward home to accommodate the potential arrival of one of Poitras or Benson. Neither player seems especially likely to shake loose, which only adds to the intrigue.

Firkus seems like the frontrunner for that final spot on paper as a natural goalscorer for a team that's decidedly light in that department relative to those of past tournaments, but his play at selection camp has likely opened the door for Barkey to sneak onto the team in an energy role. Then again, don't discount Ludwinski either as a speedster who can play anywhere in Canada's lineup and fill in admirably in a support role.

It's also somewhat of a surprise to see Canada leave DiVincentiis behind as one of only two goalies in camp with any sort of NHL Draft pedigree. Not necessarily a poor decision by any means – all three of the goalies that remain with the team have credible cases to be there – but still an interesting part of this final roster reveal.

Otherwise, not an awful lot in the way of controversy here.

For a more thorough review of Canada's roster, though, I've tagged in Elite Prospects Dir. of North American scouting Mitchell Brown for his thoughts:

"No real surprises with the cuts, given the performances at camp. Still, cutting the dynamic, high-scoring Firkus on a Team Canada that doesn’t have the usual number of play-driving forces will raise some eyebrows.

"At first look, Team Canada’s strengths will be their versatility and team defence. From top to bottom, the blueline is filled with some of the CHL’s top rush defenders, headlined by Mateychuk and Lamoureux. Expect to see a lot of those two as well as a lot of aggression from the blue-line getting into the play.

“Up front, several players can bring value at wing or centre, in both defensive and offensive roles, and with various linemates, highlighted by Beck, Cowan, and Minten. Ideally, at least a couple of those players post some big offensive numbers to support the work of Celebrini, Geekie, Savoie, and Wood. They'll need a breakout scorer.”

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World Juniors 2024 Canada U20 WJC-20
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