The team that will represent Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship is beginning to take shape.
Team Canada general manager Mark Messier announced the first group of 15 players that will don the red and white in Cologne and Mannheim, Germany, from May 7-23.
Canada's preliminary roster includes one goaltender, five defencemen and nine forwards. In addition, forward Jordan Eberle has been invited to attend the team's pre-competition camp.
The roster is highlighted by Corey Perry of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and 12 players with international experience. Only Francois Beauchemin, Rene Bourque and Rich Peverley will be representing Canada in international competition for the first time.
''Our philosophy going into the World Championship this year was to build a young talented team that is excited to have a chance to represent their country,'' said Messier. ''We are very proud of the enthusiasm and excitement that the players have shown when informed of their selection. The World Championship is a tremendous opportunity for these young players to gain experience at the international level.''
Eric Staal and Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes are both not on the list, and according to general manager Jim Rutherford, neither will be playing for Canada.
Ward is coming off a significant injury and Rutherford told TSN's Darren Dreger that his star goaltender will be spending his time focusing on "preventative exercises" during the offseason.
Canada can register up to 25 players on its final roster at the world championship, but only 22 players, including two goaltenders, can be dressed for each game. Messier is expected to fill out the roster once the first round of the NHL playoffs comes to an end.
The first group of 15 players named to Team Canada:
P NAME CLUB TEAM
G Chris Mason St. Louis Blues
D Francois Beauchemin Toronto Maple Leafs
D Brent Burns Minnesota Wild
D Mark Giordano Calgary Flames
D Kris Russell Columbus Blue Jackets
D Marc Staal New York Rangers
F Rene Bourque Calgary Flames
F Steve Downie Tampa Bay Lightning
F Evander Kane Atlanta Thrashers
F Steve Ott Dallas Stars
F Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks
F Rich Peverley Atlanta Thrashers
F Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
F John Tavares New York Islanders
F Ray Whitney Carolina Hurricanes