Boston Bruins

Bruins assign Poitras to Team Canada for 2024 World Junior Championship

Poitras is taking his talents to Sweden for the 2024 WJC.

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Matthew Poitras will be taking a short hiatus from the Boston Bruins to represent his country at the 2024 World Junior Championships in Sweden later this month.

The Bruins announced Monday they have assigned the rookie center to Team Canada for the tournament. He will return to the Bruins after WJC, general manager Don Sweeney told reporters. Poitras will join his Canadian teammates in Sweden on Tuesday, per Hockey Canada.

“This is kind of what I had in the back of my mind all summer when I was in the gym, working hard,” Poitras told reporters after Monday's practice. “Go to Guelph, have a good start, hopefully have the opportunity to play for my country. It didn’t exactly work out that way. But I still get the opportunity to go. I’m excited.”

The tournament begins Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 5. The gold medal game is Jan. 5, so if Canada makes it that far -- which is very possible -- Poitras could be back with the Bruins for their game Jan. 6 versus the Lightning or Jan. 8 at the Colorado Avalanche. The Jan. 8 game seems more likely if Canada reaches the gold medal matchup.

Why send Poitras to the World Juniors?

It will give him a little more ice time and an opportunity to play against high-level competition among players his own age. If Canada makes it far in the tournament, Poitras will play in high-pressure situations, which is always good experience for a young player. The international game, especially at the junior level, is less physically demanding than the NHL. A strong showing at the tournament could also build some more confidence for Poitras upon his return to the B's.

Poitras has tallied 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 27 games this season. The 19-year-old center made the Bruins' roster in October after a stellar showing in training camp and the preseason.

“Obviously, you never want to leave the NHL,” Poitras said. “But I’m excited to get over there and play for my country. You’re never going to complain about that. It’s a dream come true.”

Bruins center Pavel Zacha returned to practice wearing a regular jersey Monday, which indicates he could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Boston hosts the Minnesota Wild. Zacha has missed the last three games due to injury.

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