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Quinton Byfield to stay with Team Canada if World Juniors overlaps Kings camp

The Kings’ top forward prospect won’t join their camp if the NHL manages a Jan. 1 start.

Quinton Byfield #55 of the Sudbury Wolves celebrates with his teammate Matej Pekar #12 after scoring in the first period during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Centre on February 7, 2020 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

Quinton Byfield is committed to this year’s World Juniors Championship. With the tournament set to begin on Dec. 25, 2020 and the NHL eyeing a Jan. 1, 2021 start date, there will be overlap between the Los Angeles Kings’ preseason camp and World Juniors. Per Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, Byfield will remain with Team Canada until the conclusion of the tournament on Jan. 5, 2021.

The 18-year-old center was part of last year’s Gold Medal winning Team Canada Team and has been invited to an extended roster selection camp with Team Canada ahead of this year’s tournament. Team Canada’s selection camp is being held in Red Deer, Alberta. It began on Monday and will run through Dec. 13. Kings prospect Jordan Spence is also attending.

World Juniors is going to be held “bubble style” in Edmonton, Alberta, with just the top-tier boys level competing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament will begin with a preliminary round on Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2020) through Dec. 31. The quarterfinals will be on Jan. 2, 2021, followed by the semifinals on Jan. 4. The Bronze and Gold Medal games will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

As for the NHL’s plan to begin on Jan. 1, it’s getting closer to go time, and things are still a bit complicated. Not only must they contend with the logistics of many places going back into some state of lockdown due to a third-wave of coronavirus in the United States, but there are reports that players aren’t happy about being asked to bear the financial strain of a shortened season without or with limited fans.