While people around the world celebrate the festivities of Christmas, 10 nations prepare for the World Juniors that begin in Finland the day after while the Swedish team has finalized its roster.
Swedish defenceman Sebastian Aho suffered an injury in the Swedes pre-tournament game against Canada which ruled him out of the competition which meant only two-players were left to be cut before Sweden begin their tournament on boxing day against Switzerland.
Aho took a puck to the Larynx in Sweden’s 7 – 6 loss to Canada and was taken to hospital with an expected recovery time of four to six weeks.
Sweden have also cut forwards Fredrik Olofsson, a 2014 draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, while Lukas Vejdemo who was selected in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
Of the remaining 23-players, defenseman Andreas Englund of Djurgardens in the SHL has been named team captain, the Ottawa Senators prospect made 7 appearances in last-years tournament and will be a huge assest on the Swedish blueline with his great defensive play.
Joining Englund with a letter on their shirt are forwards Axel Holmstrom and William Nylander who were both big factors for the Swedes last time around. Nylander is having a fantastic year in the American Hockey League for the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs prospect has put up 34 points in 27 games before leaving for the competition, and after posting 10 points in the World Juniors last year, Sweden will be relying on one of their alternate captains as they try to navigate a tricky group A.
Holmstrom had a good tournament last year with 7 points in as many games, in the SHL for Skelleftea this season Holmstrom has produced 16 points in 27 games as well as posting 5 points in the Champions Hockey League.
Between the pipes, Sweden take three goaltenders with them including Islanders prospect Linus Soderstrom who had a solid performance last year with a 2.31 GAA in 7 games for the Swedes. Along with Soderstrom, Sweden take Flyers prospect Felix Sandstrom who won gold with the Under 18 side last year while Erik Kallgren will likely pick up the reserve duties.
Along the blue line, Sweden carry 7 players while Blackhawks prospect Gustav Forsling could miss the first game with a lower-body injury that lists him as day-to-day, originally a draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, Forsling was named to the All-Star team last year after posting 8 points in 7 games, the most of any defenceman in the tournament.
The youngest player on team Sweden is draft eligible forward and brother of alternatate captain William Nylander, Alex Nylander who plays for the OHL’S Mississauga Steelheads. The younger Nylander is having a great year for the Steelheads with 49 points in 33 games and is expected to be a top 10 selection in the summers NHL Draft, much like his brother who was the 8th pick by the Maple Leafs in 2014.
Sweden play in a tricky group A against Canada, Denmark, Switzerland and the United States, it’s a tough task of any team to navigate their way through that group while Sweden will be looking to avoid making it two-years on the trot without a medal after a fourth place finish last year.
11 of the 23-man squad represented Sweden last year with William Nylander, Adrian Kempe and Oskar Lindblom looking to improve on their impressive performances that saw them finish in the top 10 for points.
|Player||Position||Age||Current team||NHL Draft Rights|
|Erik Kallgren||G||19||IK Oskarshamn||Phoenix Coyotes (2015)|
|Felix Sandstrom||G||18||Brynas IF||Philadelphia Flyers (2015)|
|Linus Soderstrom||G||19||Djurgarden Stockholm||New York Islanders (2014)|
|Gabriel Carlsson||D||18||Linkopings HC||Columbus Blue Jackets (2015)|
|Andreas Englund||D||19||Djurgarden Stockholm||Ottawa Senators (2014)|
|Gustav Forsling||D||19||Linkopings HC||Vancouver Canucks (2014)|
|William Lagesson||D||19||UMass Amherst||Edmonton Oilers (2014)|
|Jacob Larsson||D||18||Frolunda Gothenburg||Anaheim Ducks (2015)|
|Adam Ollas Mattsson||D||19||Djurgarden Stockholm||Calgary Flames (2014)|
|Marcus Pettersson||D||19||Skelleftea AIK||Anaheim Ducks (2014)|
|Rasmus Asplund||F||18||Farjestad Karlstad||2016 Draft Eligible|
|Christoffer Ehn||F||19||Frolunda Gothenburg||Detroit Red Wings (2014)|
|Joel Eriksson Ek||F||18||Farjestad Karlstad||Minnesota Wild (2015)|
|Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson||F||19||Boston University||Boston Bruins (2015)|
|Carl Grundstrom||F||18||MODO||2016 Draft Eligible|
|Axel Holmstrom||F||19||Skelleftea AIK||Detroit Red Wings (2014)|
|Anton Karlsson||F||19||Frolunda Gothenburg||Arizona Coyotes (2014)|
|Adrian Kempe||F||19||Ontario Reign||Los Angeles Kings (2014)|
|Oskar Lindblom||F||19||Brynas IF||Philadelphia Flyers (2014)|
|Jens Looke||F||18||Brynas IF||(Arizona Coyotes (2015)|
|William Nylander||F||19||Toronto Marlies||Toronto Maple Leafs (2014)|
|Alexander Nylander||F||17||Mississauga Steelheads||2016 Draft Eligible|
|Dmytro Timashov||F||19||Dmytro Timashov||Toronto Maple Leafs (2015)|