Canada’s first selection

Connor McDavid and Ryan O'Reilly, who were part of the gold-winning Canadian team at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, are among the 18 initial players selected for 2018. Photo: Minas Panagiotakis / HHOF-IIHF Images

18 NHL players named for Worlds

Hockey Canada confirmed its initial 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship roster. The first 18 players named to compete with Team Canada.

The initial roster was confirmed following the close of the NHL regular season, and includes:

Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper (Arizona)

Defencemen: Thomas Chabot (Ottawa), Vince Dunn (St. Louis), Joel Edmundson (St. Louis), Aaron Ekblad (Florida), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton), Colton Parayko (St. Louis) and Ryan Pulock (New York Islanders)

Forwards: Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders), Anthony Beauvillier (New York Islanders), Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders), Bo Horvat (Vancouver), Connor McDavid (Edmonton), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton), Brayden Schenn (St. Louis), Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis), Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Ottawa)

The player selections were made by the management group for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship – co-general managers Sean Burke (Montreal, NHL) and Martin Brodeur (St. Louis, NHL), along with Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada – in consultation with the coaching staff consisting of head coach Bill Peters (Carolina), associate coach Mike Yeo (St. Louis), and assistant coach Bob Boughner (Florida).

“It’s always very special to represent your country and wear the Maple Leaf, and as a management group, we feel very fortunate to be working with a talented group of coaches and a strong depth of player talent at this year’s worlds,” said Brodeur.

“We have a mix of youth, experience, and strong leadership qualities among these players as they have represented Canada on the international stage previously from the World Juniors up to last year’s championship. Their previous success and experience can only help us in our ultimate goal of bringing home a gold medal,” added Burke.

Five of the players announced for this year’s team earned gold medals with Team Canada in either 2015 (Eberle, Ekblad, Schenn) or 2016 (McDavid, O’Reilly), while three skated to a silver medal in 2017 (O’Reilly, Parayko, Schenn).

Canada opens the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Friday, May 4, against the United States in Herning, Denmark. Preliminary-round games wrap up on May 15 and during that time, Canada will also face off against the host Danes, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia, and Norway. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 20.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will carry 64 and 31 games, respectively. TSN Radio will also broadcast all of Canada’s games; check your local listings for schedule and network details.

Team Canada has won gold at two of the last three IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the gold-medal game in 2016 in Russia. Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game in Cologne, Germany.

Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when the Olympic Winter Games gold medallist was also considered world champion. Canada has also collected 12 silver and six bronze medals in that timespan.

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