Gothenburg, Sweden is the host of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championships, where junior players gather to represent their countries in a battle for the gold medal. NHL prospects litter WJC rosters, with Matt Poitras and Dans Locmelis representing the spoked B in Sweden this year.
So far, both Poitras and Locmelis have a game under their belt after the first day of group play, with Poitras representing Canada and Locmelis suiting up for Latvia. After one game, how do they look?
One game in, how are Matt Poitras and Dans Locmelis performing in the World Juniors?
Poitras, and Team Canada, the two-time defending champions of the World Juniors and winners of 20 overall had the second game of the day in Sweden as they took on Finland. In a 5-2 victory for the Canadians, Poitras had two penalty minutes, a +1 rating, 15:27 of ice time, and one goal on an empty net.
A strong tournament for Poitras would go a long way in the 19 year old's developing NHL career and make him a better player in the long run for both the Bruins and Jim Montgomery.
While Poitras and Canada had a good day, things didn't go so well for Locmelis and Latvia. Taking on Sweden in their opener, the Latvians fell short in a game that wasn't close, losing in a 6-0 shutout to the host country.
The freshman UMass forward and fourth round pick of the Bruins in 2022 had a quiet day in a tough game for Latvia. Locmelis had one shot on goal over 18:05 of ice time and 36 shifts over the course of the game.
There's no time off for Poitras to celebrate the win or for Locmelis to dwell on the loss. At 1:30 eastern time on December 27, Canada and Latvia square off in Group A play as Bruins fans get the chance to watch both Poitras and Locmelis in action. The game can be seen on NHL Network.