There will be a heavy Blues representation on the Team Canada squad at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
Namely, two of the Blues' top three scorers and three of their top six defensemen. Forwards Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz, as well as defensemen Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko are among the initial 18 players named to Canada's squad.
The World Championship is scheduled for May 4-20 in Denmark, with Blues coach Mike Yeo serving as associate coach and Blues assistant general manager Martin Brodeur serving as co-general manager.
With the Blues out of the playoffs for the first time in seven years, the group has time on their hands.
Here's the rest of the initial roster announced Thursday afternoon by Hockey Canada, with NHL affiliation in parenthesis:
Goaltender • Darcy Kuemper (Arizona)
Defensemen •Thomas Chabot (Ottawa), Aaron Ekblad (Florida), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton), Ryan Pulock (New York Islanders)
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Forwards • Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders), Anthony Beauvillier (New York Islanders), Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders), Bo Horvat (Vancouver), Connor McDavid (Edmonton), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton), Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Ottawa).
Canada opens the 2018 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 4, against the United States in Herning, Denmark. Preliminary-round games wrap up May 15, and during that time Canada will also face off against host Denmark, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia, and Norway. The bronze- and gold-medal games take place May 20.