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World Championship

Tavares of Maple Leafs to play for Canada at World Championship

Twenty-two players named for tournament to be held May 10-26 in Slovakia

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs was one of 22 players named to Canada's roster for the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia from May 10-26.

The center set NHL career highs in goals (47) and points (88) in the first season of a seven-year, $77 million contract (average annual value $11 million) he signed with the Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games in the Maple Leafs' loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Other forwards named to the team were Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit Red Wings), Anthony Cirelli (Tampa Bay Lightning), Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers), Adam Henrique (Anaheim Ducks), Mathieu Joseph (Lightning), Anthony Mantha (Red Wings), Jonathan Marchessault (Vegas Golden Knights), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Mark Stone (Golden Knights), Dylan Strome (Chicago Blackhawks) and Kyle Turris (Nashville Predators).

The defensemen named to the team were Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators), Dante Fabbro (Predators), Brandon Montour (Sabres), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers), Damon Severson (New Jersey Devils), Troy Stecher (Vancouver Canucks), and Shea Theodore (Golden Knights).

Mackenzie Blackwood (Devils), Carter Hart (Flyers) and Matt Murray (Pittsburgh Penguins) are the goalies for Canada.

Turris, Nurse and Chabot played at the 2018 World Championship, when Canada lost 4-1 to the United States in the bronze medal game and finished fourth.

"It's always a special opportunity when you get the call to represent your country on the international stage," said Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, who is part of Canada's management team along with former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall and former Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis. "This roster is a mix of youth and veterans who will help lead the way in this short-term competition. Our coaching staff is excited to work with these players as we get set for a competitive tournament in Slovakia starting May 10."

Alain Vigneault of the Flyers will coach the team, with former Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, Montreal Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller and New York Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff the assistants.

Canada will open preliminary-round play against Finland at Steel Arena in Kosice on May 10. Joining them in Group A are Slovakia, the U.S., Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain.

Group B consists of Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.

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