Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, potentially the top two picks at the 2023 NHL Draft, are among those invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Bedard, the projected No. 1 pick, is one of 10 returning players for Canada. The 17-year-old center had eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games to help it win gold in the 2022 WJC. Fantilli is a freshman at the University of Michigan. The 18-year-old forward has 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 16 games.
The 2023 WJC will be held in Moncton and Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Group A consists of Canada, along with Sweden, Czechia, Germany and Austria at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. The United States, which finished fifth in the 2022 WJC, will participate in Group B with Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Latvia at Avenir Centre.
Canada’s camp, to be held Dec. 9-12 at the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, will include 16 forwards, nine defensemen and four goalies. Among the first-round selections at Canada camp is defenseman Kevin Korchinski, who was selected No. 7 by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2022 draft. Other first-round picks are forwards Zachary Bolduc (St. Louis Blues, No. 17, 2021), Zach Dean (Vegas Golden Knights, No. 30, 2021), Nathan Gaucher (Anaheim Ducks, No. 22, 2022), Brennan Othman (New York Rangers, No. 16, 2021), and Reid Schaefer (Edmonton Oilers, No. 32, 2022); and defensemen Carson Lambos (Minnesota Wild, No. 26, 2021) and Nolan Allan (Chicago Blackhawks, No. 32, 2021).
Seven first-round NHL Draft picks highlight the United States National Junior Team selection camp, and eight first-round NHL Draft selections were invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp to help determine the roster for each country in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The U.S. camp, which will include 18 forwards, 10 defensemen and four goalies, will be held at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, from Dec. 12-17. The roster consists of players from 15 different states, led by Minnesota (five), Michigan (four), and Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Illinois (three each).
Among the first-round selections at U.S. camp are Logan Cooley, a freshman at the University of Minnesota chosen No. 3 by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft, and defenseman Luke Hughes, selected No. 4 by the New Jersey Devils in the 2021 NHL Draft. Hughes, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, has 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in 18 games. He’s the younger brother of Devils forward Jack Hughes and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes. Other first-round selections invited to camp are forwards Tyler Boucher (Ottawa Senators, No. 10, 2021), Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers, No. 5, 2022), Chaz Lucius (Winnipeg Jets, No. 18, 2021), Rutger McGroarty (Winnipeg Jets, No. 14, 2022) and Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues, No. 23, 2022).
The U.S. will have exhibition games against Finland at QPlex in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, on Dec. 19 and against Sweden at Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Dec. 21. The 23-man roster (including three goalies) is expected to be finalized after its last exhibition game.
Forwards Stramel, Will Smith (USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team), Ryan Leonard (USA U-18) and Gavin Brindley (University of Michigan) are the only first-year draft eligible players invited to camp.
Each country plays its first tournament game Dec. 26. The U.S. will play against Latvia at 4 p.m. ET at Avenir Centre, and Canada opens against Czechia at 6:30 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Centre.
CANADA SELECT CAMP ROSTER
GOALIES: Tyler Brennan, Prince George (New Jersey Devils); Benjamin Gaudreau, Sarnia (San Jose Sharks); Thomas Milic, Seattle (2023 eligible); William Rousseau, Quebec (2023 eligible)
DEFENSEMEN: Nolan Allan, Seattle (Chicago Blackhawks); * Ethan Del Mastro, Mississauga (Blackhawks); Tyson Hinds, Sherbrooke (Anaheim Ducks); Kevin Korchinski, Seattle (Blackhawks); * Carson Lambos, Winnipeg (Minnesota Wild); Jack Matier, Ottawa (Nashville Predators); Evan Nause, Quebec (Florida Panthers); Ethan Samson, Prince George (Philadelphia Flyers); * Olen Zellweger, Everett (Ducks)
FORWARDS: Caedan Bankier, Kamloops (Wild); Owen Beck, Mississauga (Montreal Canadiens); * Connor Bedard, Regina (2023 eligible); Zachary Bolduc, Quebec (St. Louis Blues); Colton Dach, Kelowna (Blackhawks); Zach Dean, Gatineau (Vegas Golden Knights); Jordan Dumais, Halifax (Columbus Blue Jackets); Adam Fantilli, University of Michigan (2023 draft); * Nathan Gaucher, Quebec (Ducks); Ryan Greene, Boston University (Blackhawks); * Riley Kidney, Acadie-Bathurst (Canadiens); * Zach Ostapchuk, Vancouver (Ottawa Senators); * Brennan Othmann, Peterborough (New York Rangers); * Joshua Roy, Sherbrooke (Canadiens); Reid Schaefer, Seattle (Edmonton Oilers); * Logan Stankoven, Kamloops (Dallas Stars)
USA HOCKEY SELECT CAMP ROSTER
GOALIES: Trey Augustine, USA U-18, NTDP (2023 eligible); * Kaidan Mbereko, Colorado College, NCHC (2023 eligible); Tyler Muszelik, University of New Hampshire, HE (Florida Panthers); * Andrew Oke, Saginaw, OHL (2023 eligible)
DEFENSEMEN: * Sean Behrens, University of Denver (Colorado Avalanche); Shai Buium, University of Denver (Detroit Red Wings); Seamus Casey, University of Michigan (New Jersey Devils); Ryan Chesley, University of Minnesota (Washington Capitals); Aidan Hreshuk, Boston College (Columbus Blue Jackets); * Luke Hughes, University of Michigan (Devils); Lane Hutson, Boston University (Montreal Canadiens); Luke Mittelstadt, University of Minnesota (2023 eligible); * Jack Peart, St. Cloud State University (Minnesota Wild); Ryan Ufko, University of Massachusetts (Nashville Predators)
FORWARDS: Jackson Blake, University of North Dakota (Carolina Hurricanes); Gavin Brindley, University of Michigan (2023 eligible); Tyler Boucher, Ottawa (Ottawa Senators); Kenny Connors, University of Massachusetts (Los Angeles Kings); * Logan Cooley, University of Minnesota (Arizona Coyotes); Jack Devine, University of Denver (Florida Panthers); Dylan Duke, University of Michigan (Tampa Bay Lightning); Cutter Gauthier, Boston College (Philadelphia Flyers); Noah Laba, Colorado College (New York Rangers); Ryan Leonard, USA-18, NTDP (2023 eligible); Sam Lipkin, Quinnipiac University (Coyotes); Chaz Lucius, Manitoba (Winnipeg Jets); Cam Lund, Northeastern University (San Jose Sharks); Rutger McGroarty, University of Michigan (Jets); *Redmond Savage, Miami University (Detroit Red Wings); Will Smith, USA U-18, NTDP (2023 eligible); Jimmy Snuggerud, University of Minnesota (St. Louis Blues); * Charlie Stramel, University of Wisconsin (2023 eligible)
* – Denotes returning player