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Esposito, Perron, Giroux to lead QMJHL against Russian juniors

NHL.com @NHL

First-round draft picks Angelo Esposito, Claude Giroux and David Perron will lead the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League squad at this year's ADT Canada-Russia Challenge.

Clement Jodoin, who jumped from the league champion Lewiston Maineiacs to the Rimouski Oceanic this season, will be head coach for a third straight year.

His assistants will be Benoit Groulx of the Gatineau Olympiques and Richard Martel of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, the league announced at news conferences in Gatineau and Chicoutimi on Tuesday.

Games against a team of top Russian juniors are scheduled for Nov. 19 in Chicoutimi and Nov. 21 in Gatineau. The Russians will also play two games each against teams from the Ontario Hockey league and the Western Hockey League.

"The event represents a great opportunity for the players to showcase their skills," Jodoin said in a statement.

The 27-man Quebec team's stars are the forwards, including Esposito, the Quebec Remparts centre drafted 20th overall by Pittsburgh in June. Giroux, of the Olympiques, was picked 22nd overall by Philadelphia and the Maineiacs' Perron went 26th overall to St. Louis.

They also have highly regarded Brad Marchant, a Boston draft pick in 2006, and Keven Veilleux, taken in the second round this year by Pittsburgh.

Lewiston goalie Jonathan Bernier is also on the squad, backed up by Raffaele d'Orso of Val-d'Or and Nicola Riopel of Moncton.

Saint John sends three defencemen - Simon Despres, Yann Sauve and Alex Grant - and forward Christopher DiDomenico.

Other defencemen are Mark Barberio of Moncton, Kevin Marshall of Lewiston, Andrew Bodnarchuk of Halifax, Steven Delisle of Gatineau, Mathieu Bolduc of Chicoutimi and Sebastien Piche of Shawinigan.

The remaining forwards are Baie Comeau's Francois Bouchard and Benjamin Breault, Logan McMillan and Ryan Hillier of Halifax, Mathieu Perreault of Acadie-Bathurst, James Sheppard of Cape Breton, Philippe Cornet of Rimouski, Kelsey Tessier of Quebec and Joel Champagne of Chicoutimi.

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