The Ontario Hockey League will be well represented when Team Canada opens the 2008 World Junior Championships this Christmas in the Czech Republic.
Canadian coach Craig Hartsburg of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds included 10 OHL stars when he announced his 22 player lineup on Thursday in Calgary.
OHL scoring leader John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals made the team after missing the cut last year as a 16 year old. Top draft prospects Steven Stamkos of the Sarnia Sting and Drew Doughty of the Guelph Storm were also named to the roster.
Forwards Stefan Legein of the Niagara IceDogs, Shawn Matthias of the Belleville Bulls, Matt Halischuk of the Kitchener Rangers and Wayne Simmonds of the Greyhounds were named to the roster, along with defencemen Josh Godfrey of the Greyhounds and P.K. Subban of the Belleville Bulls and goalie Steve Mason of the London Knights.
“Congratulations to the twenty-two young men that were named today to Canada’s National Junior Team roster,” Hartsburg said. “As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to working with this group over the coming days and building these players into a cohesive unit that will make Canada proud in the Czech Republic.”
Brett MacLean of the Generals was among the final cuts made on Thursday while Nick Spaling of the Kitchener Rangers and Cory Emmerton of the Brampton Battalion left camp early after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Canada has won three straight gold medals and begin their quest for their fourth on Boxing Day (2:00 p.m. Eastern on TSN and the Fan radio network) against the host Czech Recpublic.
Hockey Canada’s World Junior Site