Canada finalizes 23-man world juniors roster
Forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx will have to take the lonely flight back home from the Czech Republic, as the Anaheim Ducks prospect was Team Canada's final cut ahead of the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Here's a look at the final 23-man roster, based on Saturday's practice lines, according to TSN's Mark Masters.
|Alexis Lafreniere||Joe Veleno||Nolan Foote|
|Quinton Byfield||Barrett Hayton||Dylan Cozens|
|Liam Foudy||Ty Dellandrea||Aidan Dudas|
|Connor McMichael||Akil Thomas||Raphael Lavoie|
Canada's two returnees up front - Lafreniere and Veleno - seem poised to anchor the team's first line. Veleno has spent the season playing professionally with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
Lafreniere and Byfield are projected to go first and second overall, respectively, in the 2020 NHL Draft. They're just two of five draft-eligible players on the roster.
Hayton, the No. 5 pick in the 2018 draft, is Canada's lone player with NHL experience. The 19-year-old has registered four points in 14 games with the Arizona Coyotes this season.
|Jared McIsaac||Ty Smith|
|Kevin Bahl||Jacob Bernard-Docker|
|Bowen Byram||Calen Addison|
The top pairing of McIsaac and Smith are Canada's lone returnees on the back end, so expect them to play big minutes.
The 6-foot-7 Bahl was recently part of the package that the New Jersey Devils received from the Coyotes in exchange for Taylor Hall.
Drysdale, a 17-year-old, is Canada's youngest defenseman. Byram, meanwhile, is the most highly touted blue-liner, as he was selected fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 2019.
Daws, who is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, has posted a .939 save percentage with the OHL's Guelph Storm this season. Whoever runs away with the starting job will have big shoes to fill after Michael DiPietro's sensational performance in last year's tournament.
Canada will begin its quest for gold on Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET against the United States.