Two of the top prospects for the Columbus Blue Jackets were named to the Canadian U-20 team for the upcoming World Junior Championships yesterday.
Denton Mateychuk and Jordan Dumais will both represent the Canadians for the upcoming tournament, taking place in Sweden. The tournament kicks off on Boxing Day (December 26), and features the top U-20 players from 10 different countries.
This marks the first time since the 2014 tournament that the Blue Jackets will have two prospects playing for the Canadians. That year, both Josh Anderson and Kerby Rychel suited up for the Canadians, who had a disappointing tournament, finishing fourth. Both Anderson and Rychel played depth/physical roles for that year’s squad.
I expect Mateychuk and Dumais both to play in premier scoring situations for the Canadians this year. They are arguably the 1-2 ranked prospects in the Blue Jacket system, and both stand out in their respective junior leagues. Mateychuk started his season with a 23-game points streak, that was only snapped in his last game with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors before heading to Canada’s training camp. The 2022 12th overall pick has 6 goals and 35 points in 24 games played.
Dumais leads the QMJHL with a 2.24 points per game average (16 goals, 47 points in 21 games played). He has done nothing but dominate for the Halifax Mooseheads in that league since being picked by the Jackets in the third round (#96 overall) at the 2022 NHL Draft. In Canada’s camp and scrimmages, he played on the team’s top line and formed a dynamic duo with the 2024 Draft’s likely first overall pick, Macklin Celebrini.
This tournament doesn’t get enough coverage in the US. It’s a huge deal in Canada, usually drawing as much media and fan attention up there as any other major sporting event. If you can catch the games, I suggest you do so. They are often highly entertaining, and you can watch future NHL stars battle against the top competition in their age group.