Toews earns spot on Team Canada

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Winnipegger Jonathan Toews will wear the Maple Leaf, yet again.

The two-time world junior champion, who turns 19 next weekend, has earned a spot with Team Canada for the World Hockey Championship, beginning tomorrow, in Russia.

"For us, it's like, wow!" Toews' dad, Brian, told Sun Media yesterday. "He's pretty excited. Pretty pumped. It's quite amazing for him and us."

Toews becomes the sixth-youngest player ever to suit up for Team Canada at the world men's championship, joining previous 18-year-old stars such as Paul Kariya, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal.

Canada's roster consists mainly of NHL players whose teams are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Toews, fresh off his second season at the University of North Dakota, was invited to a brief training camp and exhibition game in Finland this week, scoring a goal in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Finns.

"He had a great exhibition game," Team Canada spokesman Andre Brin said from Finland. "He scored the second goal, and won the faceoff that led to the first goal. He might have been the best faceoff man in the game."

As recently as three weeks ago, Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman suggested Toews was in tough to crack the roster.

Bryan Toews says his son never ceases to amaze.

"He always sets the bar high," Toews said. "His expectations were to make it."


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