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Canada sets roster for World Junior Championship

NHL.com @NHL

Canada set its 23-man roster for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday after cutting four players.

Canada roster for 2016 WJC

Goalies: Mason McDonald (Calgary Flames), Mackenzie Blackwood (New Jersey Devils), Samuel Montembeault (Florida Panthers).

Defensemen:
Joe Hicketts (Detroit Red Wings), Haydn Fleury (Carolina Hurricanes), Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators), Brandon Hickey (Calgary Flames), Roland McKeown (Carolina Hurricanes), Travis Sanheim (Philadelphia Flyers), Travis Dermott (Toronto Maple Leafs).

Forwards:
Anthony Beauvillier (New York Islanders), Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning), Brendan Perlini (Arizona Coyotes), Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes), Jake Virtanen (Vancouver Canucks), John Quenneville (New Jersey Devils), Julien Gauthier, Lawson Crouse (Florida Panthers), Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders), Mitchell Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mitchell Stephens (Tampa Bay Lightning), Rourke Chartier (San Jose Sharks), Travis Konecny (Philadelphia Flyers).

Defenseman Noah Juulsen, selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 26th pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was among the cuts. Defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (Boston Bruins), and forwards Jayce Hawryluk (Florida Panthers) and Nicholas Merkley (Arizona Coyotes) were also released.

Four players from the goal-medal winning team of 2015 will compete for Canada: forwards Lawson Crouse (Panthers), Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning), Jake Virtanen (Vancouver Canucks) and defenseman Joe Hicketts.

The Canucks loaned Virtanen to Canada on Dec. 13.

"Our goal is always to assemble the best possible team to represent Canada. We had a really good evaluation period in Toronto and Imatra, and were able to see how the players responded to different situations – from practices to games," Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada, told Hockey Canada's website. "These are never easy decisions, but we feel confident in the team we have and their ability to make the nation proud and give us all something to get behind this holiday season."

The 2016 World Junior Championship will be held in Helsinki, Finland, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Canada opens the tournament against the United States on Dec. 26 at 2 p.m. ET.

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