Projecting Sweden’s 2022 Olympic Roster

With NHL players heading to the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sweden could have one of the deepest teams in the tournament, especially on defense.

Mainstays Victor Hedman and Erik Karlsson will be joined by an elite cast of blueliners ready to defend Tre Kronor. Overall, Sweden will be able to field a roster full of two-way players to compete on a structured game.

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL
Victor Hedman may be Sweden’s best defenseman. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But don’t let the word “structure” box you in, there will be plenty of offense to go around. Remember Elias Pettersson and William Nylander? They’ll be hitting their prime when the next Olympic Games roll around.

With that being said, let’s dive into which NHLers could make up Sweden’s roster.

Sweden’s Projected 2022 Olympic Roster

Here’s how Sweden’s roster could look when the world gathers in Beijing for the 2022 Olympic Games:

Elias Pettersson Mika Zibanejad William Nylander
Gabriel Landeskog Nicklas Backstrom Gustav Nyquist
Filip Forsberg William Karlsson Viktor Arvidsson
Rickard Rakell Elias Lindholm Jakob Silfverberg
Lucas Raymond   Victor Olofsson
Victor Hedman John Klingberg Jacob Markstrom
Rasmus Dahlin Erik Karlsson Robin Lehner
Hampus Lindholm Oliver Ekman-Larsson Linus Ullmark
Mattias Ekholm Rasmus Andersson  

Olympic Roster Breakdown

Oddly enough, four of the five starting skaters (Pettersson, Nylander, Mika Zibanejad, and John Klingberg) have not participated in any prior Olympic Games or the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. On the other hand, Rasmus Dahlin played for Sweden in the 2018 Olympics a few months before he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres.

  • Players from 2014 Olympic Games: 6
  • Players from 2016 World Cup of Hockey: 12
  • Players from 2018 Olympic Games: 1
  • Players with no international experience*: 11

*Excluding World Junior Championships and World Championships.

Sweden’s 2022 Forward Group

Up front, Sweden boasts four lines (plus a couple scratches) that can score. The top line of Pettersson, Nylander, and Zibanejad, in particular, could be extremely dangerous all over the ice. The trio have excellent playmaking and finishing skills. If they can form some chemistry early on in the tournament, watch out.

Mika Zibanejad New York Rangers
Can Mika Zibanejad be a true 1C for Sweden? (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Sweden also has quite a bit of flexibility with their forwards. Pettersson and Filip Forsberg can both play center if called upon. In addition, Victor Olofsson can slot in as an extra skater to be a power play specialist with his lightning-quick snap shot.

Speaking of special teams, all nine forwards in Sweden’s top three lines could factor into their power play. Having Pettersson, Nylander, and Nicklas Backstrom’s vision on one power play unit could be deadly. Their penalty kill should be effective as well, with a combination of Backstrom, Gustav Nyquist (who is actually a sneaky good penalty killer), Elias Lindholm, and Viktor Arvidsson on the ice in shorthanded situations.

Finally, Lucas Raymond could draw into a few games for Sweden. Even a little bit of Olympic experience will bode well for the up-and-coming winger. Raymond and Alexander Holtz represent Sweden’s future in international showcases and the former should get some games under his belt in 2022.

Sweden’s Elite Blue Line

As I mentioned above, Sweden’s defense could be the best of any country at the Olympics. Hedman and Klingberg will dominate possession at both ends of the ice and Rasmus Dahlin should be entering elite territory by 2022. 

Rasmus Dahlin
BUFFALO, NY – JANUARY 5: Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Sweden in play against Canada during the Gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Canada beat Sweden 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

The fact that Mattias Ekholm and Rasmus Andersson are outside the top-six really shows Sweden’s depth. Both are go-to defensemen for their respective NHL teams. Sweden shouldn’t be worried if one of their blueliners has to miss a game – there’s plenty of depth in case of emergency.

As far as special teams go, you can plug in just about anyone to man the top power play unit. Klingberg, Hedman, Karlsson, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are all good choices. Hedman and Hampus Lindholm would be great anchors for the penalty kill as well.

In net, Jacob Markstrom and Robin Lehner figure to compete for the starting spot vacated by Henrik Lundqvist. The former has finally developed into a premier NHL netminder and would be a solid choice to inherit King Henrik’s crease, though Lehner’s play with the Vegas Golden Knights as also been impressive.

Just Missed

Jonas Brodin, Mikael Backlund, Alexander Holtz, Carl Soderberg, Oscar Klefbom, Andre Burakovsky.