Canada’s Celebrini, Fantilli to miss IIHF World Championship
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of young stars will not be playing in one of international hockey’s biggest tournaments.

On Tuesday, Hockey Canada announced that forwards Macklin Celebrini and Adam Fantilli are returning home, and will not be playing for Team Canada at the 2024 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Czechia.

According to a release, Celebrini is returning to North America to appear at the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night and prepare for the NHL Combine. Fantilli–who was returning from injury after getting hurt during the regular season with the Columbus Blue Jackets–is returning home to “focus on preparing for the 2024-25 season.”

In their place, Los Angeles Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and Tampa Bay Lightning teammates Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul will head overseas to represent their country.

It was a shame, as many were excited to see the 17-year-old Celebrini make his debut with the senior national team. The youngest Hobey Baker Award winner has built up his stock to the point where he is the consensus no. 1 pick in this year’s draft, especially after an incredible freshman season at Boston University.

Fantilli was supposedly going to be using the World Championship as an opportunity to find his game after an extended absence. He was coming off a promising rookie season that was cut short after suffering a calf laceration in late January. The former Michigan Wolverine scored a goal and three assists last year in Lativa and Finland.

There is still plenty of talent trying to help Canada defend its gold medal, including Calder Trophy finalist Connor Bedard, as well as three-time Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby.

The Canadians will begin Group A play in Prague against Great Britain on May 11.

This article first appeared on Daily Faceoff and was syndicated with permission.

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