Oilers’ McDavid to lead Team Canada at World Hockey Championship in Russia

CALGARY – Connor McDavid will lead a young Canadian team in its quest for a second straight world hockey championship title.

The 19-year-old Edmonton Oilers star was among the first 18 players named to the national team in a Hockey Canada release on Monday.

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    Taylor Hall, McDavid’s Edmonton teammate, is one of three returning forwards form last year’s championship team, along with Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly.

    Joining the attack are Arizona’s Max Domi, Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, Columbus’s Boone Jenner, Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele, Ottawa’s Mark Stone and Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart, all 23 years old or younger.

    Boston’s Brad Marchand is the grizzled veteran of the forward lines at 27.

    Canada’s defence features Ottawa’s Cody Ceci, Vancouver’s Ben Hutton, Columbus’s Ryan Murray, Toronto’s Morgan Rielly and Vancouver’s Chris Tanev. All but Tanev are under 24.

    Edmonton’s Cam Talbot and Colorado’s Calvin Pickard were named as the team’s goaltenders.

    “The opportunity to represent your country in international competition is something that never gets old, as we’ve seen in the enthusiasm of this first group of players to join the squad, and the others we’re still in discussion with as we move through the process of building our roster,” co-general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement.

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    Canada can name up to 25 players to its roster, and will continue to make additions as players and teams progress through the 2016 NHL playoffs.

    The tournament starts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 6.