Nashville Predators 2023 first-round picks Matthew Wood and Tanner Molendyk will represent their home country at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship after making Team Canada’s final roster on Wednesday.
Wood, selected 15th overall by the Predators at this year’s draft, leads his University of Connecticut Huskies club in points (12) and goals (7) after 17 games.
The 18-year-old forward tallied a pair of goals in Canada’s first selection camp exhibition game before being named to the final roster on Wednesday.
The Nanaimo, British Columbia, native has worn the maple leaf on the world stage twice before with Canada’s U-18 national team, most recently posting 13 points (7g-6a) in seven games, en route to a bronze medal at the 2023 U-18 World Juniors.
Molendyk, taken 24th overall, leads all Saskatoon Blades blueliners in points, goals and assists (4g-24a-28pts) after 24 games. Additionally, Molendyk leads the Blades and is third among all WHL blueliners in plus-minus (+22).
Molendyk missed the first few days of camp with a lower body injury, but rejoined his team on Wednesday for Canada’s final exhibition game. Born Feb. 3, 2005, Molendyk is the youngest of the seven defenseman named to Canada’s final World Juniors roster.
This will be the McBride, British Columbia, native’s first appearance with Team Canada at a World Junior Championship.
From here, the pair of prospects head to Gothenburg, Sweden to compete with Team Canada at the World Juniors from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5, with a pre-tournament slate set to begin Dec. 19 in Malmo, Sweden.