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Hockey Canada exec: 'Not out of the question' Lafreniere joins junior team

Kevin Light / Getty Images Sport / Getty

What was once deemed off the table now appears to be a possibility.

Alexis Lafreniere could join Canada's squad for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship, though the phenom's status is still being discussed.

"There are precautions that you can put in place, in terms of that person and their quarantine responsibilities, in particular Alexis as he is in New York currently so there would be some quarantine restrictions on him to arrive into Canada," Hockey Canada's senior vice president of national teams Scott Salmond said Thursday, according to's Adam Kimelman.

"But we're going to keep that conversation going and we're going to look at all the different options still," Salmond added. "I would say it's not out of the question."

In August, Lafreniere - who the New York Rangers selected first overall in October's draft - reportedly planned to play the 2020-21 season in the NHL rather than report to camp with the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic or play overseas. However, it was also noted at the time he'd reconsider his options if the NHL season didn't start in December or January.

Hockey Canada paused its selection camp and entered a 14-day quarantine period Wednesday night after learning Tuesday that two players tested positive for COVID-19; a positive test from a non-core staff member also forced two coaches to self-isolate as a precaution Saturday.

The NHL has long targeted Jan. 1 as the start date for its 2020-21 campaign. However, talks between the league and the NHLPA have reportedly stalled since the NHL proposed a plan that forced the players to defer twice the amount of salary they agreed to in July's updated CBA.

Lafreniere starred for Canada en route to a gold medal at the previous World Junior Championship. He was named tournament MVP and best forward, ranking fourth among all skaters in both goals (four) and points (10) in five games despite suffering an injury. He was also part of the 2019 squad that finished sixth.

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