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Pickard leads Canada?s World Under-18 entry

by Adam Kimelman / NHL.com
Goaltender Calvin Pickard, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goalie for the 2010 Entry Draft, will lead Canada's entry for the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
 
The tournament will be played April 13-23 in Belarus.
 
Twenty of the 22 players selected for the team are eligible for the League's June 25-26 selection extravaganza, including a number who will hear their names called early in the draft.
 
Erik Gudbranson of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, Central Scouting's No. 6-ranked skater (No. 2 defenseman) will anchor a blue line that also will feature Sault Ste. Marie's Brock Beukeboom, son of long-time NHL defenseman Jeff Beukeboom. Also making the team is the Everett Silvertips' Ryan Murray, who had 27 points and a plus-33 rating, but who won't be Entry Draft-eligible until 2012.
 
Leading the forward group is Prince George Cougars right wing Brett Connolly, who is Central Scouting's No. 5-ranked skater. This tournament in particular will be important for Connolly, who was limited to just 16 games due to a persistent hip injury. Connolly was Canadian Hockey League rookie of the year last season after scoring 30 goals in 65 games, and he had 10 goals and 19 points in his limited action this season.
 
Also making the team was Sudbury Wolves center John McFarland, No. 10 on Central Scouting's list, and Moose Jaw Warriors center Quinton Howden, No. 29.
 
McFarland captained Canada's summer elite-level under-18 team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He led the team with 5 goals and was third with 7 points.
 
Halifax Mooseheads left wing Gabriel Desjardins, who had 11 goals and 32 points in 62 games, but isn't draft-eligible until 2011.
 
Former Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau will coach the team, assisted by Belleville Bulls coach George Burnett and Seattle Thunderbirds coach Rob Sumner.
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com
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