'Pegger pegged to wear 'C'

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Jonathan Toews will be sporting an important letter on the leaft breast of his Team Canada jersey.

Toews, a Winnipegger who is considered one of the top prospects for the 2006 NHL entry draft in Vancouver, was named captain of Canada's Under-18 team which will begin play at the 2005 Under 18 Junior World Cup in Breclav, Czech Republic today.

"Obviously, as you can imagine I was unbelievably happy," Toews told The Sun from the Czech Republic yesterday. "It's just one honour after another, to make the team and to slip on that Canadian jersey. As far as being considered a leader with so many great players here, it's a great honour as well. I'm disciplined, committed and I'm not afraid to speak up and say a few words in the dressing room. I'm always out there trying to go out there lead by example. What's most important is what you do out there on the ice."

Toews was the first overall selection in the Western Hockey League's bantam draft by the Tri-City Americans in 2004, but rather than play Tier I junior hockey he chose to attend Shattuck-St. Mary's Academy in Faribault, Minn., the same prep school that Sidney Crosby played at.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward scored 44 goals and had 101 points in 58 games and led Shattuck-St. Mary's to the national midget championship.

Toews, who is heading to the University of North Dakota to play for the Fighting Sioux in the fall, was also one of the biggest reasons Team Western came home with a gold medal from the World Under-17 championship from Lethbridge, Alta. in January. Toews was captain of Team Western, was named the tournament MVP and was the leading scorer with eight goals and 12 points in six games.

"Jonathan cares about his teammates, he mixes well with all the players and he's one of our best leaders on-ice as well," said Canadian head coach Shawn Camp.

"He sets an excellent example, he's a very skilful player and hard worker. He's really developing into an elite player."


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