The thing with Swedish national players is that they’re likely to be good, no matter who they choose to put on their World Cup of Hockey team. Heck, they could even ice a better than halfway decent secondary team with the players they left off the roster.
Here’s who the Swedes will be bringing to Toronto in September.
(Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.)
G Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres *
G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
G Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks
D Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators *
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
D Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
D Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
F Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
F Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
F Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins *
F Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins *
F Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks *
F Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks *
F Carl Soderberg, Colorado Avalanche *
F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
– The positive playoff performances for Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist have served them well as far as cementing their place on the roster. Hornqvist can play with pretty much anyone. How will Hagelin do without his teammates on the HBK Line?
– As a third goaltender, the Swedes added the embodiment of Rage Against the Machine in Robin Lehner. He probably won’t see much – if any – playing time. Lehner was injured in the first game of the season and came back in January for 21 games before being shelved in mid-March. According to Swedish Coach Gronborg, “20 out of Robin’s 21 games were really good.”
– Mattias Ekholm has quietly impressed hockey fans, especially in the playoffs. His addition to the roster comes at as a surprise as many had wunderkind defenseman John Klingberg pegged for the final spot. The Swedish brass were very unhappy with the players who decided to opt out of playing in Worlds, but Ekholm came over after Nashville was eliminated. As Coach Gronborg told Uffe Bodin, “Has taken amazing strides the past years. Has shown commitment by showing up in the World Championships.”
– A couple notable absences of guys who showed up for Worlds but didn’t make the World Cup roster: Gustav Nyquist (the man, not the horse), Andre Burakovsky, and Mikael Backlund.