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Matt Dumba assigned to Canada for world juniors

12/11/2013 01:36 EST | Updated 02/10/2014 05:59 EST
The Minnesota Wild on Wednesday officially announced they have loaned defenceman Matt Dumba to the Canadian national junior team for the upcoming world junior hockey championship.

Dumba, 19, was the only teenaged NHL player invited recently to Canada’s selection camp, to be held Thursday through Sunday at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto.

Forwards Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado), Sean Monahan (Calgary) and Tom Wilson (Washington) along with defenceman Morgan Rielly (Toronto) are also eligible to play in the 2014 world junior tournament in Malmo, Sweden, which runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.

Dumba, who has two points and a minus-5 rating in 13 games for the Wild this season, was Canada’s final cut in each of the last two years.

“It’s been tough on me the last two times,” he told the Wild’s website. “Being the last cut last year, it hurt. It sucked not being able to represent my country last year so I’m looking forward to the opportunity that they’re giving me this year.”

While Canada’s 22-man roster isn’t due until Dec. 25, many hockey observers expect Dumba to be one of the club’s cornerstones.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to just go out there and experience everything about that,” said Dumba, a Regina native whom the Wild drafted seventh overall in 2012. “I haven’t had the chance to play at the world junior level thus far, so … I can’t wait to get started.”

Only one defenceman and two forwards will be cut from the 25-man selection camp roster, allowing Canadian head coach Brent Sutter to get down to business quicker. He guided the Canadian squad to world junior gold in 2005 and 2006.

Dumba’s competition at the camp includes Ontario Hockey League blue-liners Chris Bigras, Aaron Ekblad and Adam Pelech along with Western Hockey League rearguards Griffin Reinhart, Josh Morrissey, Derrick Pouliot and Damon Severson.

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