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Jiricek will play for the Czech team at the World Junior Championship, beginning Dec. 26 in Halifax, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.

The sixth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, Jiricek has had a strong start to his pro career this season with four goals and 16 points in 16 games for AHL Cleveland, in addition to going without a point in his first two NHL contests. The 19-year-old is expected to be one of the top players on a Czech team that also includes fellow Columbus prospects Stanislav Svozil (third round in 2021) and Martin Rysavy (seventh round in 2021). With the Blue Jackets playing for little beyond better lottery odds of landing Connor Bedard in next year's draft, Jiricek could see more action at the top level later in the season.

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