TORONTO - Niagara IceDogs goaltender Mark Visentin will lead the Ontario Hockey League against Russia in the annual Subway Super Series.
The OHL hosts a team of Russian selects in Ottawa on Nov. 10 and in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 14.
The players chosen for the major junior teams are all eligible (born in 1992 or later) to play for Canada at the upcoming 2012 world junior hockey championship in Alberta. They will be evaluated during the series by Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast for a possible invitation to December's selection camp in Calgary.
But the starting job in goal is Visentin's to lose. The first-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes has the experience of playing for Canada in the 2011 junior tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.
Visentin wants another chance at playing in the gold-medal game. Canada blew a 3-0 lead and Russia scored five goals on Visentin in the third period to win the title.
The OHL's 37-player roster for the Super Series includes seven players taken in the first-round of this year's NHL draft. They are Niagara IceDogs forward Ryan Strome and defenceman Dougie Hamilton, Barrie Colts centre Mark Scheifele, Kitchener Rangers defenceman Ryan Murphy, Saginaw Spirit defenceman Jamie Oleksiak, Peterborough Petes forward Matt Puempel and Mississauga St. Michael's Majors defenceman Stuart Percy.
The players were chosen by Prendergast, Brampton Battalion coach and general manager Stan Butler and London Knights GM Mark Hunter.
Guelph Storm head coach Scott Walker will coach the OHL squad. He'll be an assistant to Canadian head coach Don Hay at the world junior tournament starting Dec. 26 in Edmonton and Calgary.
The WHL will name its roster Thursday in Moose Jaw, Sask. Russia's roster is expected to be announced next week.
The CHL won every series from 2003 to 2009 before the Russians won four of the six games last year. The OHL is the only one of the three leagues still undefeated versus Russia at 16-0.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League faces Russia on Nov. 7 in Victoriaville and Nov. 9 in Quebec City. The Western Hockey League concludes the six-game series Nov. 16 in Regina and Nov. 17 in Moose Jaw, Sask.
All six games will be televised on Sportsnet and the QMJHL games will also be shown on TVA.