Canucks’ forward Bo Horvat (white) will be ready to play for Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark next month (via @BoHorvat/Twitter)

Team Canada releases roster for 2018 IIHF World Championship

Vancouver Canuck Bo Horvat, Coquitlam-born Mathew Barzal and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Burnaby selected

Vancouver Canuck’s forward Bo Horvat will be hitting the ice for Team Canada in this year’s IIHF World Championships.

Hockey Canada announced its official 2018 IIHF World Championship roster Thursday, naming the first 18 players set to compete in Copenhagen and Herning in Denmark from May 4 to 20.

This will be Horvat’s first time in the championship game after playing for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, born in Coquitlam, B.C., along with Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, from Burnaby, B.C. were also selected.

Other WHL alumni with B.C. ties include former Kamloops Blazer Joel Edmundson and former Spokane Chiefs goaltender Darcy Kuempe.

The team will be led by former Spokane Chiefs head coach Bill Peters.

The management group responsible for the selection process of Team Canada was co-general managers Martin Brodeur and Sean Burke along with Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada, who hails from Creston, B.C.

The roster is expected to grow in coming days as Hockey Canada finalizes the team.

Team Canada has won gold at two of the last three world championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the gold-medal game in 2016 in Russia.

Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game in Cologne, Germany.

Canada’s first game at the 2018 IIHF World Championship is set for Friday, May 4 against the United States in Herning.

Preliminary-round games wrap up on May 15. Canada will also face off against the host Danes, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia and Norway. The bronze and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 20.

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