Seven NHL first-round draft picks will help the Ontario Hockey League when it faces Team Russia in two games as part of the 2010 Subway SuperSeries.
Team OHL will face Team Russia in two games -- Nov. 11 in London, Ont., and Nov. 15 in Sudbury, Ont.
Five skaters will take part in both games, including a pair of first-round picks from the 2010 Entry Draft -- Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Owen Sound Attack center Joey Hishon. Gudbranson was taken by the Florida Panthers with the third pick, while Hishon was taken No. 17 by the Colorado Avalanche.
The other players set to play in both games are Owen Sound defenseman Jesse Blacker, a 2009 second-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Kingston defenseman Taylor Doherty, a 2009 second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks; and Kingston center Ethan Werek, a 2009 second-round pick of the New York Rangers.
Besides Gudbranson and Hishon, there are four other first-round NHL picks set for the games. Oshawa Generals defenseman Calvin de Haan, who the New York Islanders took with the 12th pick of the 2009 Entry Draft; Windsor Spitfires defenseman Ryan Ellis, who the Nashville Predators selected with the 11th pick of the 2009 Draft; Guelph Storm center Peter Holland, who the Anaheim Ducks took at No. 15 in the 2009 Draft; Windsor right wing Zack Kassian, taken at No. 13 in the 2009 Draft by the Buffalo Sabres; and Niagara IceDogs goaltender Mark Visentin, the 27th pick of the 2010 Draft, by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Sixteen NHL teams will have at least one prospect playing in the two games, led by the Predators, Maple Leafs and Panthers, who will have three each.
There also will be a number of players that should be top picks at the 2011 Entry Draft taking part in the games. Among them are Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy, Oshawa Generals forwards Boone Jenner and Lucas Lessio, Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton, London Knights defenseman Scott Harrington, and Peterborough Petes forward Matthew Puempel.
The team is put together by the OHL, with consultation from Hockey Canada and head scout Kevin Prendergast, which will use the games to help pick the team Canada will send to the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.
"The Subway Super Series provides these players with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that they can compete amongst the best players eligible for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship," said Dave Cameron of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, who will coach Team OHL for both games, as well as Canada at the WJC. "The OHL has had a lot of success against the Russians in this event and I am confident that we have assembled another strong group of players in all positions that will make us competitive in these games, and with players who will make a strong push to represent the OHL on Team Canada in Buffalo this December."
Assisting Cameron for both games will be Belleville Bulls coach George Burnett, who will serve in the same role for Canada at the WJC. London Knights coach Dale Hunter will be an assistant coach for the game in London, and Sudbury Wolves coach Trent Cull will serve as an assistant for the game in Sudbury.
The OHL-Russia games are the middle set of the six-game SuperSeries. Team Russia will face Team QMJHL on Nov. 8 in Saint John, N.B., and Nov. 10 in Drummondville, Que. Team Russia also will play Team WHL on Nov. 17 in Kamloops, B.C., and Nov. 18 in Prince George, B.C.
Rosters for the WHL team will be released at a later date.
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