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Predators duo invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp



World Junior Championship
Photo of Matthew Wood, left, and Tanner Molendyk by Nashville Hockey Now

Hockey Canada has less than three weeks to whittle down its roster from 30 before the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship kicks off on Dec. 26 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Thirty players were named to Canada’s team selection camp on Tuesday, and Nashville Predators prospects Matthew Wood and Tanner Molendyk, the No. 15 and 24 overall picks in the 2023 NHL Draft, respectively, were among the initial 30.

Through 17 games, Wood has a team-high 7 goals and 12 points for the UConn Huskies. He’s played both center and wing this year after playing predominantly right wing last season.

Molendyk has been on a tear this season, nothing 4 goals and 27 points through 23 games for the Saskatoon Blade in the WHL. He’s second on the team in power-play assists (9) and fourth in points, and he leads the team in plus/minus with a +20 rating.

The Athletic’s Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler projected four Predators prospects to make the cut for the 2024 World Junior Championship: Wood, Joakim Kemell (Finland), Jesse Kiiskinen (Finland) and Kasper Kulonnumi (Finland). They did not have Molendyk making the final roster.

Although Canada did not compete in the World Junior Summer Showcase this year, it did invite 45 under-20 World Junior hopefuls to its Program of Excellence summer meetings. Wood attended the event along with fellow 2023 draft pick Austin Roest.

The selection camp will be held Dec. 10-13 at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ontario, and consist of several practices and a pair of games against U SPORTS all-stars on Dec. 12.

“Canada has an incredible talent pool of players, and there are always difficult decisions to narrow it down,” Hockey Canada’s senior VP of hockey operations Peter Anholt said in a release. “We are expecting a highly competitive camp, and we look forward to naming our final roster that will wear the Maple Leaf with pride starting on Boxing Day.”

The full team selection camp roster is below:

Forwards (16)

Owen Allard

Denver Barkey (PHI)

Owen Beck (MTL)

Macklin Celebrini

Easton Cowan (TOR)

Nate Danielson (DET)

Jordan Dumais (CBJ)

Jagger Firkus (CAR)

Conor Geekie (ARI)

Paul Ludwinski (CHI)

Fraser Minten (TOR)

Carson Rehkopf (SEA)

Matt Savoie (BUF)

Markus Vidicek

Matthew Wood (NSH)

Brayden Yager (PIT)

Defensemen (10)

Oliver Bonk (PHI)

Michael Buchinger (STL)

Jorian Donovan (OTT)

Jake Furlong (SJS)

Maveric Lamoureux (ARI)

Tristan Luneau (ANA)

Denton Mateychuk (CBJ)

Tanner Molendyk (NSH)

Ty Nelson (SEA)

Noah Warren (ANA)

Goalies (4)

Domenic Divicentis (WPG)

Scott Ratzlaff (BUF)

Mathis Rousseau

Samuel St.-Hilaire

Once Canada settles on its World Juniors roster, the team will participate in a pre-tournament camp starting on Dec. 14 with exhibition games against Denmark’s U25 team (Dec. 19), plus the national junior teams for Switzerland (Dec. 22) and the United States (Dec. 23).

Canada opens the 2024 IIHF World Juniors against Finland on Dec. 26 at 7:30 a.m. CT.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_