Aaron
Vickers
December 12, 2022

Bedard, Wright to lead Canada into 2023 World Juniors

Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 pick for the 2023 NHL Draft, and Shane Wright, the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, will each represent Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Each were among the 22 players named to Team Canada for the tournament, which will be held from December 26, 2022 to January 5, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick.

Canada is the tournament’s defending champion after winning the 2022 World Juniors in August.

Bedard, No. 1 in FCHockey’s Preliminary Ranking for the 2023 draft, leads all Canadian Hockey League scorers with 64 points (27 goals, 37 assists) in 28 for Regina of the Western Hockey League. He is joined by fellow 2023 draft eligible Adam Fantilli. Fantilli has 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) as a freshman for Michigan.

“With arguably his closest rival for the No. 1 in the 2023 draft in Fantilli also on the Canadian roster as a comparison point, I expect Bedard to cement his status as the best player available with a dominant tournament, leading the team offensively and showing that extra level of precision and magic that the very best in the world possess,” FCHockey scout Donesh Mazloum said.

Wright has two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games with the Seattle Kraken this season, and had four goals in five games in a conditioning stint with the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League.

Dylan Guenther of the Arizona Coyotes and Brandt Clarke of the Los Angeles Kings were also loaned from their respective NHL clubs to participate in the tournament.

Here’s a look at the 22 players set to represent Canada at the 2023 World Juniors:

FORWARDS

Caedan Bankier, Kamloops, WHL (Minnesota Wild); Connor Bedard, Regina, WHL (2023 NHL Draft); Colton Dach, Kelowna, WHL (Chicago Blackhawks); Zach Dean, Gatineau, QMJHL (Vegas Golden Knights); Adam Fantilli, Michigan, NCAA (2023 NHL Draft); Nathan Gaucher, Quebec, QMJHL (Anaheim Ducks); Dylan Guenther, Arizona Coyotes; Zack Ostapchuk, Vancouver, WHL (Ottawa Senators); Brennan Othmann, Peterborough, OHL (New York Rangers); Joshua Roy, Sherbrooke, QMJHL (Montreal Canadiens); Reid Schaefer, Seattle, WHL (Edmonton Oilers); Logan Stankoven, Kamloops, WHL (Dallas Stars); Shane Wright, Seattle Kraken.

DEFENSEMEN

Nolan Allan, Seattle, WHL (Chicago Blackhawks); Brandt Clarke, Los Angeles Kings; Ethan Del Mastro, Mississauga, OHL (Chicago Blackhawks); Tyson Hinds, Sherbrooke, QMJHL (Anaheim Ducks); Kevin Korchinski, Seattle, WHL (Chicago Blackhawks); Jack Matier, Ottawa, OHL (Nashville Predators); Olen Zellweger, Everett, WHL (Anaheim Ducks).

GOALIES

Benjamin Gaudreau, Sarnia, OHL (San Jose Sharks); Thomas Milic, Seattle, WHL (2023 NHL Draft).

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