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Canada’s Dubois, Hagel, Paul replace top NHL prospect Celebrini and Fantilli at worlds

Teen forwards Macklin Celebrini and Adam Fantilli have decided to return to North America ahead of the start of the world men’s hockey championship, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.

Hockey Canada says Celebrini planned to attend Tuesday night’s NHL draft lottery. The 17-year-old is projected as the first overall pick in this year’s NHL draft.

Fantilli, 19, is electing to focus on next season with the Columbus Blue Jackets after his rookie campaign was cut short after 49 games due to a calf laceration. He was part of Canada’s championship-winning team last year.

Forwards Pierre-Luc Dubois, Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul were added to the team.

Hagel and Paul became available when Tampa Bay was ousted by Florida in the first round of the NHL playoffs, while Dubois became free when Los Angeles fell to Edmonton.

Paul scored the overtime winner as Canada beat Finland 3-2 in overtime in the 2021 final in Riga, Latvia. Hagel was also on that team

Dubois was part of the 2022 team that lost 4-3 in overtime to Finland in the 2022 final.

Canada plays its first game at the 2024 championship Saturday against Britain in Prague.

Canada’s initial roster included three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 12 forwards.

Buffalo (defencemen Owen Power and Bowen Byram and forward Dylan Cozens), Seattle (defenceman Jamie Oleksiak and forwards Brandon Tanev and Jared McCann) and St. Louis (defenceman Colton Parayko, goaltenders Joel Hofer and Jordan Binnington) are the most represented NHL teams on the roster with three players each.

Players from Canadian NHL teams include Calgary forward Andrew Mangiapane, Montreal defenceman Kaiden Guhle and Ottawa forward Ridly Greig.

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