Both Matthew Wood and Tanner Molendyk have been invited to Team Canada's selection camp in the hopes of starring for the squad during the World Juniors Tournament. The annual event collects the best players in the world aged 20 and under and brings them together to represent their countries in some of the most exciting hockey you can see played. The camp will run from December 10th through the 13th.
Wood was the Predators 1st pick and the 15th overall selection in this year's draft. He is currently starring at the University of Connecticut. He is the leading scorer on the Huskies, with 12 points (7 goals 5 assists) in 17 games.
Last season he recorded 11 goals with 23 assists for 34 points across 35 games. He has also previously represented Canada, being a member of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup team. and the 2023 U-18 World Juniors team.
Molendyk was taken 24 overall by the Predators. He is currently skating for the Saskatoon Blades. He leads the team's defensmen in goals, assists, and points, (4g-23a-27pts) after 23 games, and is the team leader in plus/minus. He has not previously represented Canada in international competition.
The Predators pair is set to compete to make the squad over a series of rigorous practices and a two-game set against U-SPORTS All Stars. U-SPORTS is Canada's NCAA. Both games - Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. CT and Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 11 a.m. CT - can be streamed on HockeyCanada.ca. It will be interesting to watch and see how they compete, as the pair of players are often projected as extras for the tournament and outside of the starting lineup.
If either player or the pair makes the team, they'll be headed internationally for this year's tournament. It will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from December 26th to January 5th, with pre-tournament play scheduled to begin in Malmo, Sweden on December 19th.