Toffoli, Fantilli highlight Canada roster for upcoming world hockey championship
Calgary Flames veteran forward Tyler Toffoli and top prospect Adam Fantilli were among 20 players named Friday to Canada's roster for the upcoming world hockey championship.
Toffoli had the best offensive NHL season of the players named, with 34 goals and 39 assists in 82 games.
He is one of three Flames named to the roster along with defenceman MacKenzie Weegar and veteran forward Milan Lucic.
Fantilli had an NCAA-leading 30 goals and 65 points for the Michigan Wolverines last season en route to winning the Hobey Baker Award as the best male player in U.S. university hockey.
He is expected to be a top-three pick in the upcoming NHL draft.
Connor Bedard, the projected No. 1 pick, was not named to the roster, though his Regina Pats were eliminated in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.
The world championship starts next Friday in Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia, with Canada facing Latvia in its tournament opener.
Hockey Canada faces an annual challenge filling its world championship roster, with top Canadian talent committed to NHL clubs participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The pickings are even slimmer this year, as players from Canada's 2018 world junior team are currently ineligible to represent the country pending investigations into allegations of sexual assault involving members of the team.
The Buffalo Sabres also have three players on the roster, while the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings each have two.
Nashville, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have one player each.
“This is a group that combines international experience with veteran leadership and young talent,” Canada general manager Doug Armstrong said in a release. “We know these players will represent our country with pride in Tampere and Riga, and we look forward to competing for a gold medal this month.”
Hockey Canada says more players will join the roster "in the coming weeks" as players whose teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs become available as late additions.
Forwards — Jack McBain, Toronto, Arizona Coyotes; Sammy Blais, Montmagny, Que., St. Louis Blues; Lawson Crouse, Mount Brydges, Ont., Arizona Coyotes; Adam Fantilli, Nobleton, Ont., Michigan (NCAA); Cody Glass, Winnipeg, Nashville Predators; Peyton Krebs, Okotoks, Alta., Buffalo Sabres; Scott Laughton, Oakville, Ont.; Philadelphia Flyers; Milan Lucic, Vancouver, Calgary Flames; Jake Neighbours, Airdrie, Alta., St. Louis Blues; Jack Quinn, Ottawa, Buffalo Sabres; Tyler Toffoli, Toronto, Calgary Flames; Joe Veleno, Kirkland, Que., Detroit Red Wings.
Defence — Justin Barron, Halifax, Montreal Canadiens; Ethan Bear, Ochapowace, Sask., Vancouver Canucks; Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Chambly, Que., Tyler Myers, Calgary, Vancouver Canucks; Pittsburgh Penguins; Jake Walman, Toronto, Detroit Red Wings; MacKenzie Weegar, Ottawa, Calgary Flames.
Goaltenders — Devon Levi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., Buffalo Sabres; Sam Montembeault, Becancour, Que., Montreal Canadiens.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2023.
The Canadian Press