Macklin Celebrini playing for Canada at the 2024 World Juniors.
Photo credit: NHL.com

Celebrini, Fantilli return home as Canada adds to Worlds roster

Published May 7, 2024 at 4:22 PM

The 2024 IIHF World Hockey Championship is set to begin later this week in Prague and Ostrava, Czechia and it's set to be one of the best tournaments in a number of years with the amount of talent on each roster.

All 16 participating teams have to submit an initial roster this week, but can make additions into the playoff round, which begins on Thursday, May 23rd.

With more teams being knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, teams like Canada are using this opportunity to add to their roster, but it's come at the cost of losing two young stars.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Canada has added Los Angeles Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel to their World Championship roster. In addition to this, projected 2024 first overall pick Macklin Celebrini and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Adam Fantilli have decided to return home.

Dreger added that Hockey Canada informed Celebrini and Fantilli that they may not have a roster spot if more experienced players became available to play in the tournament. He added that Canada gave the two youngsters the opportunity to return home or stay in Czechia with the team.

"Team Canada has added reinforcements for the Men's World Hockey Championship. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel are joining Canada. Macklin Celebrini and Adam Fantilli have made the decision to return home. Celebrini is obviously tied to the NHL Draft Lottery." Dreger said.

He added, "Both Celebrini and Fantilli were initially accepted their invite with the understanding they may not have a roster spot if more experienced players were made available. Both were also given the option to stay in Prague or return home."

It's certainly frustrating for Canadian hockey fans who were hoping to see Celebrini and Fantilli wear the Maple Leaf at the tournament, but it's understandable that Hockey Canada wanted to ice a more experienced roster at the tournament.

Canada is set to begin their quest for back-to-back gold medals on Saturday morning at 6:20 a.m. ET as they take on former Arizona Coyotes prospect Liam Kirk and Great Britain.

May 7   |   280 answers
Celebrini, Fantilli return home as Canada adds to Worlds roster

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