(Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Matt Poitras led the post-practice stretch at Warrior Ice Arena following Monday’s Boston Bruins morning skate. Usually, the player at the center of the spoked-B leading the stretch after practice is returning from injury or coming off a big game. That’s not the case for Poitras. The Bruins announced Poitras would join Team Canada in the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, and his teammates were giving him the proper send-off.

Held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the event will begin on December 26th, 2023, and conclude on January 5th, 2024. Depending on how long Team Canada stays alive will determine the length of Poitras’ absence for the Black and Gold. If Canada advances to the gold medal game on January 5th, Poitras could be back in the Boston lineup as soon as a January 8th matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The tournament features ten countries with the world’s best players under 20. Last winter, Connor Bedard propelled Team Canada to the finish line, capturing gold in a 3-2 overtime win over Czechia. Poitras, who has totaled 13 points with the Bruins this season, hopes to defend Canada’s crown. The 19-year-old is set to take on Finland on Tuesday, December 26th.

The center has suited up for 27 games this season with Boston, recording five goals and eight assists. However, after enduring recent struggles in usage under head coach Jim Montgomery, Poitras could use this opportunity as a massive confidence booster for his young NHL career. The Ajax, Ontario native will skate alongside notable players such as Boston University’s Macklin Celebrini, hoping to showcase his talent on the world stage.