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Top prospect Jonathan Toews among six players named to Team Canada

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Top prospect Jonathan Toews among six players named to Team Canada

The Canadian Press
By:

The highly touted Chicago Blackhawks prospect is one of six players who have accepted invitations to join Team Canada, bringing the total number of players to 22. Canada opens the tournament in Moscow on Saturday with a preliminary round game against Germany.

Toews, an 18-year-old forward, has spent the last two years playing for the University of North Dakota. The Winnipeg native was selected third overall by the Blackhawks in last year's draft.

He was one of a group of players sent to fill in during exhibition play until the roster could be rounded out after the first round of NHL playoffs. Toews played on a line with Rick Nash and Shane Doan.

"He's going to be, or rather he is, a very good player," Doan said of Toews after an exhibition loss to Finland on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Colby Armstrong, Calgary Flames centre Matthew Lombardi, Minnesota Wild defenceman Nick Schultz, Nashville Predators goalie Chris Mason and defenceman Cory Murphy will also be suiting up for Canada.

Armstrong, a 24-year-old from Lloydminster, Sask., joins Penguins teammate Jordan Staal on the team. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby will miss the event because of a broken bone in his left foot.

A Memorial Cup champion with Red Deer in 2001, Armstrong had 12 goals and 34 points in 81 games for the Penguins this year.

Lombardi is the lone member of the Flames to accept an invitation thus far. The 25-year-old Montreal native had a career-high 20 goals and 46 points for Calgary this year.

Schultz, 24, had two goals in 10 assists while playing in all 82 games for the Wild this season. He has 17 goals and 45 assists in 367 career NHL games.

Mason posted a 2.38 goals-against average en route to a 24-11-4 season with Nashville this year. The 31-year-old started all five Predators playoff games, racking up a 3.45 GAA.

Murphy spent last season playing with HIFK Helsinki in Finland, where he collected 13 goals and 37 assists in 45 games.

The Canadian team now has 12 forwards, seven defencemen and three goalies. They have room to add one more player and then can choose to add two more players after the preliminary round.

The first group of players to join the team finished up a quick training camp in Finland on Wednesday. They'll travel to Russia on Thursday in preparation for the event.

Canada finished fourth at the world championship in Latvia last year. It has won gold three times in the past 10 years.

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Top prospect Jonathan Toews among six players named to Team Canada