At first glance, when Team Finland announced its host roster for the 2016 World Junior Championships, it appeared Kasperi Kapanen's name had been left off.
But fear not. The roster, which includes several top prospects and top eligible draftees for 2016, will not feature Kapanen for the mini-camp because he and fellow professional prospect Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche) will both remain with their teams until the start of the tournament.
After getting ill to start the season, Kapanen has bounced back with nine points in 15 games with the Marlies. He will be joined by a pair of young prospects, Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine, expected to go inside the top 5 at the 2016 NHL Draft.
At last year's tournament, Kapanen struggled to produce offensively despite being used as one of the team's go-to weapons. Finland was ousted in a 6-3 quarter final loss to Sweden. This season, on home turf in his final year of eligibility, Kapanen will be expected once again to carry the offensive load.
Finland will play in a division with Russia and the Czech Republic, where they will be expected to contend for first place.
The roster will gather in Finland on for two exhibition games on December 21 and 22 before the tournament officially gets going on Boxing Day. You can find it below (minus Kapanen and Rantanen):
Kaapo Kahkonen, Blues Espoo (Liiga)
Emil Larmi, Peliitat Heinola (Mestis)
Veini Vehvilainen, JYP Jyvaskyla (Liiga)
Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL)
Miro Keskitalo, TPS Turku (Liiga)
Jesper Mattila, Ilves Tampere (Liiga)
Niko Mikkola, KalPa Kuopio (Liiga)
Sami Niku, JYP Jyvaskyla (Liiga)
Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Robin Salo, Vaasan Sport (Liiga)
Eetu Sopanen, Peliitat Heinola (Mestis)
Joni Tuulola, HPK Hameenlinna (Liiga)
Urho Vaakanainen, Espoo Blues (Liiga)
Sebastian Aho, Karpat Oulu (Liiga)
Kasper Bjorkqvist, Espoo Blues (Liiga)
Roope Hintz, HIFK Helsinki (Liiga)
Antti Kalapudas, Karpat Oulu (Liiga)
Patrik Laine, Tappara Tampere (Liiga)
Juho Lammikko, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Miro Makinen, Jukurit Mikkeli (Mestis)
Julius Nattinen, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat Oulu (Liiga)
Sebastian Repo, Pelicans Lahti (Liiga)
Aleksi Saarela, Assat Pori (Liiga)
Miska Siikonen, Pelicans Lahti (Liiga)
Jonne Tammela, KalPa Kuopio (Liiga)
Patrik Virta, TPS Turku (Liiga)