It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Josh Mahura. The Regina Pats defenceman was cut from Team Canada for a second time on Tuesday after fellow blueliner Dante Fabbro was medically cleared to compete in the 2018 world juniors, Sportsnet has confirmed.
Mahura was one of Canada’s final cuts when the team initially named its roster on Dec. 15, but he was recalled as insurance two days later when Fabbro’s status became unclear as he dealt with a lower-body injury.
Mahura, a 2016 third-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks, played in several pre-tournament games for Canada but will once again return to the Pats where he has registered 11 goals and 29 points through 28 games this season. Mahura is 19 years old so this was his final year of eligibility to compete at the world juniors.
Fabbro, a first-round pick of the Nashville Predators from 2016 and one of seven returning players for Canada, was given the green light to play Tuesday morning after undergoing a series of medical examinations.
Fabbro and Mahura skated together as the fourth defensive pairing during the team’s practice Friday. The top six saw Kale Clague skate beside Cale Makar, Victor Mete with Conor Timmins, and Jake Bean with Cal Foote.
Team Canada’s roster is now set with 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders. Canada opens its tournament Tuesday against Finland.