(Reuters) - Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid, the NHL's leading scorer, headlined a list of players named in Canada's team for the ice hockey world championships, Hockey Canada said on Thursday.
The reigning NHL most valuable player, McDavid is once again rated a strong contender for the Hart Memorial Trophy after collecting 41 goals and a league best 108 points for the Oilers who failed to qualify for the post-season.
McDavid, who helped Canada to the gold medal at the 2016 worlds, will be joined in Denmark by Oilers team mate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, New York Islanders Mathew Brazal, who finished 14th in league scoring with 85 points, and Brayden Schenn, a 28-goal scorer for the St Louis Blues.
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The management team headed by Sean Burke and Martin Brodeur, who led Team Canada at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, named a total of 18 players, with the rest of the list to be announced at a later dates as teams drop out of the NHL playoffs.
Team Canada won gold at two of the last three worlds, going undefeated in the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the 2016 gold-medal game in Russia.
Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the final.
The world championships will be staged from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Ken Ferris)