Celebrini, Fantilli dropped from Canada’s roster for World Championship

Canada's Macklin Celebrini in action during the IIHF World Junior Championship group A ice hockey match between Latvia and Canada at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. (Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency via AP)

Macklin Celebrini and Adam Fantilli will not be suiting up for Canada at the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Czechia after all.

Hockey Canada announced several roster changes Tuesday, adding Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Los Angeles Kings plus Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel from the Tampa Bay Lightning after their teams were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“We are excited to add Pierre-Luc, Brandon and Nick to our roster for the 2024 IIHF World Championship, as they will be valuable pieces of our team and provide leadership to our strong roster,” said general manager Rick Nash in a statement. “All three bring previous world championship experience and over 700 games played in the NHL, and we look forward to them joining our team and helping us defend our gold medal.”

The moves meant Celebrini, expected to go No. 1 in this year’s draft, and Fantilli, who wrapped up his rookie season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, have been dropped from the lineup. Both were named to the squad when the initial 22-player roster was announced last week.

Celebrini became the youngest to win the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s player of the year. He finished second in the NCAA with 32 goals and third with 64 points for Boston University. The 17-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C., also represented Canada at the World Junior Championship and led the team in scoring with four goals and four assists.

Fantilli, who was selected third overall last year, had 12 goals and 27 points in 49 games for the Blue Jackets. The 19-year-old from Nobleton, Ont., sustained a laceration to his calf in late January and missed the final 33 games of the regular season. He was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at last year’s tournament and scored the game-winning goal in the semifinals against Latvia.

Celebrini is planning on attending the NHL Draft Lottery while Fantilli is returning home to focus on next season, Hockey Canada said.

Canada begins round-robin play Saturday against Great Britain in Prague.

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