Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins on Monday assigned Matthew Poitras to Team Canada for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. 

The organization is hoping the assignment will give Poitras the opportunity to live out a “dream come true” and also give the 19-year-old a rookie-season reset. Poitras has played 27 of 29 games for the Black and Gold thus far.

“This is quite an accomplishment for all young hockey players to take a chance to represent their country at one of the biggest stages,” Sweeney told reporters, per a team-provided transcript. “It’s unique in the fact he’s playing in the NHL, so that’s the first thing that probably goes through anybody’s mind as ‘What’s the trade off?’

“But there’s really no downside for him to go and represent and be a leader on that team, and hopefully accomplish the ultimate goal as all young players playing hockey have a chance to try and accomplish,” Sweeney continued. “So we’re excited for Matty and he’ll represent the Boston Bruins, himself and his family and continue to do very well.”

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Poitras, a native of Ajax, Ontario, has 13 points on five goals and eight assists this season.

The reset comes after a few up-and-down weeks for Poitras. Poitras was a healthy scratch Dec. 7, which Bruins bench boss Jim Montgomery called a planned absence. Poitras then watched the third period of Boston’s next game from the bench due to game management.

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Sweeney previously confirmed the team has paid attention to Poitras’ workload given it’s his first season in the league. The decision to allow him to play at the junior level hopefully will further help the reset, Sweeney said.

“I think what gets him a chance mentally and physically to have a little bit of a reset, go and play against your peer group,” Sweeney said. “Now again, it’s high expectations and high leverage pressured situations that he’s now been thrust into at the highest level you can possibly play at.

“He should handle that well, he should take those things that happen in our locker room and impart them on his new teammates, and lead from the front, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Sweeney confirmed Poitras will return to Boston after Team Canada’s run in the tournament. Poitras has earned that after an “outstanding” start to his NHL journey, Sweeney said. Poitras is more comfortable with the decision given the assurances he’s received about his return.

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The 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. 

Featured image via Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports Images