Bound for Belarus

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced last Sunday the 22 players that will represent the country at the 2009 IIHF World U-18 Championship.

The tournament runs April 13-23 in Minsk and Bobruisk in Belarus and seven Western Hockey Leaguers will be making the trip.

The all-WHL goaltending tandem includes Seattle’s Calvin Pickard backed by Everett’s Kent Simpson.

The defensive corps includes Silvertips blueliner Ryan Murray.

Prince George’s Brett Connolly headlines the forwards, joined by Kootenay’s Max Reinhart, Regina’s Jordan Weal and Moose Jaw’s Quinton Howden.

The roster is comprised of players born in 1992 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs.

Many of Canada’s players will be among the top selections at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, which is scheduled to be held June 25-26 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

In the past five World U-18 Men’s Hockey Championships, 36 WHL players have helped Team Canada capture three Gold medals.

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