Every team involved in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey had to announce the first 16 players of their roster, including two goaltenders, on Mar. 2. Here’s the first 16 players of the Team Sweden World Cup roster.
Sweden’s team is unsurprisingly strong, but they took an interesting approach here. They named six of seven defensemen to their roster in this first release.
That makes some sense, with most of the questions for their roster coming at goaltender and forward. It preserves roster flexibility elsewhere, while dropping in one of the tournament’s best and most well-rounded blue lines now.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
John Klingberg can’t catch a break. He’s left off the All Star Game, and was left off this announcement. No breaks at all… except a nice contract extension and lots of ice time with two of the most electrifying offensive weapons in the NHL.
If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, he could be a part of Sweden’s next roster announcement. His exclusion is surprising, but really just a product of Sweden’s defensive depth.
Another name missing that could find his way onto the roster in the next announcement is Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. But, like with Klingberg, his exclusion isn’t a referendum on his talent as much as the depth of the Swedish blue line.
Oh… and Hampus Lindholm. How did the Swedish blue line get so deep?
With six defensemen announced announced already, the choice for that final slot is going to be very difficult.
There aren’t many odd inclusions really, unless you count the national team taking Hjalmarsson or Kronwall over Brodin and Klingberg, but that’s not all that shocking.
Forsberg’s inclusion in the first 16 might come as a surprise, but he’s been on fire lately and there’s little doubt that he’d be on the team in the end either way.
Their weaknesses are few, though depth is a concern in net and at forward.
In net, if Lundqvist gets hurt, it could seriously hamper Sweden’s chances. At forward, there’s a ton of talent, but there’s a pretty significant drop off with the next group of forwards to be announced. That’s a group whose frontrunners include Patric Hornqvist, Gustav Nyqvist, Marcus Kruger, Carl Hagelin, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg.
This defensive group is definitely in the top three in the tournament and may be the best, as evidenced by the exclusions from this initial roster. Seriously. Look at that blue line. Put that group in front of Lundqvist and you should have a very stingy team.
More World Cup Roster Announcements:
Team Canada Roster Announcement
Team Czech Republic World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Europe World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Finland World Cup Roster Announcement
Team North America World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Russia World Cup Roster Announcement
Team USA World Cup Roster Announcement
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.