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NHL Network to air Memorial Cup

Pens prospect Simon Despres playing in event, which begins May 21

The NHL Network U.S. will broadcast the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament for the national championship title between four Canadian Hockey League teams.

Penguins’ 2009 first-round pick (30th overall) Simon Despres and the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions, will compete in the tournament, which runs from May 19-29, against the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League champions), Owen Sound Attack (Ontario Hockey League champions) and host team Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (OHL).

Tournament coverage, which will be a combination of live and tape delayed games, begins May 21, at 9 a.m. ET with a rebroadcast of Saint John-Mississauga from the previous night.

Despres (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) helped the Sea Dogs earn their first-ever President’s Trophy as QMJHL champions after besting the Gatineau Olympiques in six games. The 19-year-old blueliner scored 12 points (4G-8A) in 19 postseason games for Saint John. Despres earned the Emile “Butch” Bouchard Award as the QMJHL’s Best Defenseman after posting 41 points (13G-28A) and a plus-29 in 47 games in 2010-11.

The tournament will also feature top prospects from the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which takes place in St. Paul, Minn. June 24-25. Top-ranked players participating are Jonathan Huberdeau (ranked No. 3 by Central Scouting), Nathan Beaulieau (No. 5), Zack Phillips (No. 15), Tomas Jurco (No. 20) and Jordan Binnington (No. 3 goalie).

For a complete Memorial Cup schedule and coverage details, visit www.nhlnetwork.com and www.mastercardmemorialcup.com.

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