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North Vancouver’s Macklin Celebrini confirmed for IIHF World Championship

He’s the only non-NHL player on Team Canada, and will join fellow North Van hockey phenom Connor Bedard
Macklin Celebrini fires a shot for Team Canada at the World Juniors selection camp in December. | Thomas Skrlj / Hockey Canada Images

After nearly a decade apart, the most dynamic hockey duo to ever emerge from North Vancouver will reunite on the ice.

Connor Bedard and Macklin Celebrini will skate together in the IIHF World Championship, running May 10 to 26 in Czechia. Team Canada announced its official roster on Friday, confirming speculation that Celebrini would make the team.

At 17 years old, he’s the only player on the team who’s not currently in the NHL. The rising star is coming off the heels of winning the Hobey Baker Award in April, awarded to the best player in NCAA Div. 1 college hockey. Celebrini is the youngest skater in history to receive the honour.

He’s also widely anticipated to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

If Celebrini is in fact picked first, it’ll be an unprecedented back-to-back occurrence for North Van hockey products, with Bedard being the top choice in the 2023 event.

Bedard revealed he’d be playing at the World Championships at an end-of-season media event on April 20. While his Chicago Blackhawks didn’t make the NHL playoffs, the 18-year-old centre had a standout season and is a favourite to win the Calder Trophy, awarded to the best rookie in the league.

The World Championship will be something of a fated reunion for the pair, who used to play hockey together at age six or seven. Both are alumni of the North Shore Winter Club.

There’s also a longshot chance that the two could both be playing for the same team in the NHL next season, if the Blackhawks – who finished second-last in the league – secure the first pick for the second year in a row.

Canada will open the IIHF tourney, facing off against Britian on May 11 in Prague.