Team Canada players lift the trophy after winning the 2021 IIHF World Championship.AP Photo/Sergei Grits
AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Team Canada looking to get back on top of the podium at IIHF World Championship

A mix of youth and experience will wear the maple leaf at the 2023 IIHF World Championship in Finland and Latvia.

Team Canada begins the men’s hockey worlds this Friday, May 12 when they take on host Latvia in what’s sure to be an electric atmosphere at Arena Riga. The Canadians enter the tournament as the reigning silver medalists after falling to Finland in the gold medal game last year.

READ: Team Canada takes silver at IIHF World Championship

Canada, whose roster is mostly filled with NHL players not participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, has been enjoying a good run of success at the world championship. The country won gold in 2021 a few years after back-to-back championships in 2015 and 2016. Canada has appeared in six of the past seven gold medal games, including each of the past three.

Calgary Flames forward Tyler Toffoli will serve as Team Canada’s captain. The 31-year-old, who helped Canada capture gold at the 2015 World Championship, will be joined in the leadership group by alternate captains Lawson Crouse, Scott Laughton, Milan Lucic and¬†MacKenzie Weegar.

Toffoli and 33-year-old defenseman Tyler Myers of the Vancouver Canucks are the only two players on this year’s squad who have suited up previously for Canada at the world championship. Myers played in the 2010 and 2014 events.

In terms of Olympic Games experience, forward Jack McBain of the Arizona Coyotes and goaltender Devon Levi of the Buffalo Sabres both suited up for Team Canada at Beijing 2022. McBain was playing for Boston College at the time while Levi was at Northeastern University. Levi, 21, also spent this past season at Northeastern before joining the Sabres for the final few weeks of the regular season.

Devon Levi watches teammates during a team practice at Beijing 2022
Team Canada goalkeeper Devon Levi watches teammates during a team practice at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Saturday, February 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

McBain and Levi are two of the 10 players on Team Canada who are aged 23 or younger. The youngest is 18-year-old forward Adam Fantilli, who is projected to be the No. 2 pick in this year’s NHL Draft after Canadian forward Connor Bedard. Fantilli, who helped Canada win gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship this past January, won the Hobey Baker Award last month as the best player in men’s college hockey after posting 65 points in 36 games with the University of Michigan.

Fantilli played alongside McBain and Michael Carcone during Canada’s 5-2 pre-tournament victory over Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday. The top line consisted of Lucic, Joe Veleno and Sammy Blais. Nashville Predators forward Cody Glass recorded a hat trick for the Canadians while Levi and Sam Montembeault split the win in net.

Team Canada schedule at the 2023 IIHF World Championship

Based in Riga, Latvia, Canada will play in Group B alongside Czechia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Group A, which is based in Tampere, Finland, will consist of Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, and the United States.

Following Canada’s tournament opener against Latvia on May 12, the team will have a day off before facing Slovenia on May 14. Team Canada will then take on Slovakia (May 15), Kazakhstan (May 17), Switzerland (May 20), Norway (May 22) and Czechia (May 23). The quarterfinals take place May 25, with the semifinals on May 27 followed by the gold and bronze medal games on May 28. The semis and medal matches will all be contested in Tampere.

All of Team Canada’s games will be broadcast by TSN.

Team Canada roster for 2023 IIHF World Championship

Goaltenders (3)
Devon Levi (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC)
Joel Hofer (Winnipeg, MB)
Sam Montembeault (Becancour, QC)

Defence (7)
Jake Middleton (Stratford, ON)
Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Chambly, QC)
Justin Barron (Halifax, NS)
Mackenzie Weegar (Nepean, ON)
Tyler Myers (Calgary, AB)
Ethan Bear (Ochapowace, SK)
Brad Hunt (Maple Ridge, BC)

Forwards (13)
Cody Glass (Winnipeg, MB)
Jack McBain (Toronto, ON)
Milan Lucic (Vancouver, BC)
Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, AB)
Scott Laughton (Oakville, ON)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa, ON)
Michael Carcone (Ajax, ON)
Jake Neighbours (Airdrie, AB)
Lawson Crouse (Mount Brydges, ON)
Tyler Toffoli (Scarborough, ON)
Sammy Blais (Montmagny, QC)
Joe Veleno (Kirkland, QC)
Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, ON)