It appears as though the Canadian Junior squad will have to do without Matt Duchene, as it appears the 18-year-old will remain with the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the season.
The Denver Post is reporting that the Avs plan on keeping their prized rookie in the NHL for the entire season and informed Duchene's junior coach with the Brampton Battalion, Stan Butler on Sunday of their decision.
The first year of Duchene's pro contract will become valid once he plays in his tenth NHL game. While the Avalanche could return him to the OHL at any point this season, it would be very unlikely due to the status of his contract as well as the fact that they would not be able to recall him for the remainder of the regular season.
In eight games so far this season, Duchene has one goal and three assists and has been seeing time on the Avalanche's power play.
According to the Post, Duchene would not comment until the Avalanche make a formal announcement.
The Avs' gain is the Canadian junior squad's loss as the Haliburton, Ontario native would have been a shoo-in to headline Canada's team for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon and Regina.