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Trio of Warriors invited to Team Canada World Junior selection camp

Mateychuk, Firkus, Yager to have shot at playing for Team Canada at World Junior Hockey Championship
Jagger Firkus, Denton Mateychuk and Brayden Yager have all been invited to the Team Canada World Junior selection camp beginning next week in Oakville, Ont.

Jagger Firkus, Denton Mateychuk and Brayden Yager have received the call from Hockey Canada.

The trio of Moose Jaw Warriors were among the 30 players invited to attend Team Canada’s selection camp for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which will be hosted in Gothenburg, Sweden during the Christmas holidays.

“This is a big moment for these three players, the Warriors’ organization and the City of Moose Jaw," Warriors general manager Jason Ripplinger said in comments from the team. 

This is the first time in Warriors’ history that three of the team’s players have been invited to the camp.

The Warriors have had two players on Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship on two occasions in 1987 (Theoren Fleury and Mike Keane) and 2002 (Nathan Paetsch and Brian Sutherby).

"These players have grown up and developed in the Warriors’ organization under head coach Mark O’Leary," Ripplinger said. "Brayden, Denton and Jagger have worked hard to earn an opportunity to represent Canada at the World Juniors."

Firkus leads the Warriors in scoring this season with 24 goals and 49 points in 26 games.

He’s third in the Western Hockey League in both categories and held the scoring lead outright for the better part of November. 

The Irma, Alta. product was originally picked in the fourth round, 82nd overall, in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft. He would then be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the second round, 35th overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Mateychuk has registered a point in every game this season, setting a modern era franchise record with a 21-game point streak. His 33 points this season sit second among defenceman in the WHL.

The Winnipeg product was originally selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft and then taken with the 12th overall pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2022 NHL Draft. 

Mateychuk previously won gold with Canada at the 2021 World Under-18 Hockey Championship.

Yager has 17 goals and 39 points in 25 games this season with the Warriors after being taken with the 14th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in this summer’s NHL Draft.

He was selected by the Warriors with the third overall pick in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft.

The Saskatoon product represented Canada at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, finishing with five goals and nine points in five games while helping Canada to the gold medal.

Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp will be held from Dec. 10-13 in Oakville, Ont. 

The camp will include a pair of games against the USports All Stars on Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 11 a.m.

Canada’s National Junior Team will travel to Malmo, Sweden on Dec. 14 for a pre-tournament camp ahead of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. As part of its preparations, Canada will open its pre-tournament schedule against a U25 team from Denmark on Dec. 19 before facing Switzerland on Dec. 22 and the United States on Dec. 23.

The 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Boxing Day when Canada takes on Finland.

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