Boston Bruins

2024 WJC tracker: How Bruins' Matthew Poitras performed for Canada

Canada is aiming for a third straight gold medal.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Boston Bruins fans should pay plenty of attention to the 2024 World Junior Championships in Sweden over the next two weeks.

B's rookie center Matthew Poitras was assigned to Team Canada last week, and he will likely play a prominent role for his home country. Poitras is expected to be a top-six center and contribute to special teams.

Canada is aiming for its third consecutive gold medal at this tournament, which begins Dec. 26. Each team plays four preliminary round games. There are two groups of five teams. The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals. The winners of the semifinals play for the gold medal. The losers of the semifinals play for the bronze medal.

Here's a handy tracker for Poitras' performance in Sweden. It will be updated each time he plays for Canada. The gold medal game is scheduled for Jan. 5 -- if Canada makes it that far.

Preliminary Round

vs. Finland on Dec. 26

Final score: 5-2 Canada

Poitras stats: One goal, three shots, 4-of-9 on faceoffs, two PIM, 15:27 time on ice


Analysis: Poitras started the game as Canada's second-line center playing alongside Easton Cowan (Leafs, '23 first-rounder) and Matthew Savoie (Sabres, '22 first-rounder). He generated a couple quality scoring chances but didn't capitalize until late in the third period when he scored on an empty net. He tallied 18:05 of ice time, which ranked fourth among Canadian forwards. He was penalized once -- a tripping minor -- in the third period.

Overall, it was a solid outing for Poitras. Canada led 2-1 after two periods and opened up the game in the third period with three goals.

vs. Latvia on Dec. 27

Final score: 10-0 Canada

Poitras stats: One goal, one shot, two PIM, 8-of-16 on faceoffs, 16:49 TOI


Analysis: Poitras didn't play particularly well in this game. He wasn't as dangerous with the puck as he was Tuesday, he took another penalty and he generated only one shot on net in a game that Canada absolutely dominated offensively. However, Poitras did score Canada's 10th and final goal, giving him goals in back-to-back games to begin the tournament. Poitras also helped set up Owen Allard's power-play goal in the second period, although he was not credited with an assist. It's hard to take much from this game -- good or bad -- given the lopsided result. Latvia is one of the tournament's worst teams. The true tests will come against Sweden on Friday and the knockout rounds next week.

vs. Sweden on Dec. 29

Final score: 2-0 Sweden

Poitras stats: Zero goals, zero assists, zero shots, 6-of-11 on faceoffs, 14:31 TOI


Analysis: This is Poitras' worst game of the World Juniors thus far. He made very little impact offensively with zero points and zero shots in just 14:31 of ice time. He also wasn't able to clear the zone just before Sweden struck first in early in the second period (see tweet above). Sweden is one of the best teams at this tournament and is feeding off the home crowd. It'll be interesting to see how Poitras rebounds if these teams meet in the semifinal or gold medal game next week.

vs. Germany on Dec. 31

Final score: 6-3 Canada

Poitras stats: Zero goals, one assist, four shots, 2-of-7 on faceoffs, 19:21 TOI


Analysis: Poitras was much more engaged offensively vs. Germany and could have had a power play goal but was robbed by a great save from the German netminder in the second period. He did pick up an assist a few second later when Jason Dumais buried the rebound for the go-ahead goal. He also set a personal high for ice time at this tournament with 19:21.

Playoff Rounds

vs. Czech Republic on Jan. 2 (Quarterfinals)

Final score: 3-2 Czech Republic

Poitras stats: Zero goals, one assist, two shots, 8-of-13 on faceoffs, 16:02 TOI


Analysis: Canada's run at a third consecutive World Juniors gold medal is over after a surprising 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic, who scored the winning goal with 11 seconds remaining in the third period. Poitras' best shift came in the second period when he set up Canada' tying goal (in the tweet above). The B's center finishes the tournament with four points (two goals, two assists) in five games. He didn't dominate at the level some people predicted, but overall it was a decent showing for him.

On the team level, a quarterfinals exit is pretty disappointing for Canada, especially against an inferior opponent. Poitras was understandably upset after Tuesday's defeat.

It remains to be seen whether this tournament will have a positive or negative impact on the rest of Poitras' rookie campaign for the Bruins. Will Canada's exit motivate him to be even better, or will the failure to meet expectations hurt his confidence? Poitras has been pretty good at bouncing back from lackluster performances during his brief NHL career, so there's reason to believe he'll be fine.

When will Poitras be back in the Bruins' lineup? Maybe on Thursday against the Penguins, but because of the long flight from Sweden back to the United States, Saturday versus the Lightning at TD Garden makes much more sense.

Contact Us