With just a couple weeks until all teams have to announce the first members of their roster, the Team Sweden World Cup roster projects to be a solid group with lots of talent up front, some speed and one of the best defensive groups in the World Cup.
The below roster projection also ntoes the first 16 players who should be announced. On Mar. 2 every team will have to announce the first 16 players on their roster, including two goaltenders. Those players are marked in bold.
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Patric Hornqvist
Gabriel Landeskog – Nicklas Backstrom – Loui Eriksson
Filip Forsberg – Henrik Zetterberg – Gustav Nyqvist
Alexander Steen – Marcus Kruger – Carl Hagelin
Potentials: Mikael Backlund, Patrik Berglund, Andre Burakovsky, Jesper Fast, Marcus Johansson, Elias Lindholm, William Nylander, Jakob Silfverberg, Carl Soderberg, Alexander Wennberg, Mika Zibanejad
The Swedish forward group has a nice infusion of youth with some elite vets, creating a nice balance and giving the coaching staff quite a few options with regards to line construction. While guys like the Sedins and Henrik Zetterberg may not be winning fastest skater competitions any longer, their talent is complimented by speedy young wingers.
In terms of depth, the addition of Marcus Kruger is big. He’s one of the best young defensive centers in the league and will create a great shutdown line to compliment their strong defensive group.
One of the big surprises this season is that Oscar Lindberg has come out of nowhere to play himself into roster contention. He’s got plenty of competition though. Andre Burakovsky (Austrian born, but plays for Sweden internationally), Carl Soderberg and Elias Lindholm are all candidates to grab that last spot or even Carl Hagelin‘s spot.
Jakob Silfverberg is another forwad who could easily play himself onto the roster. He’s left off after struggling through the early portion of the season, but with the Ducks turning things around, he has time to be a part of the second roster announcement in the summer with a strong stretch run and playoff performance.
The wild card here is 19-year-old William Nylander. He still hasn’t made his NHL debut, but on almost any team but the rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs he’d have been called up by now. Despite playing just 32 of 50+ AHL games, he’s 13th in league scoring with 15 and 40 points. He’s an elite player and is on the radar of World Cup management for sure. But will his lack of pro experience keep him off the roster?
Victor Hedman – Anton Stralman
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Erik Karlsson
Hampus Lindholm – John Klingberg
Potentials: Jonas Brodin, Alexander Edler, Toby Enstrom, Carl Gunnarsson, Niklas Kronwall, Johnny Oduya.
As per usual, the Swedish defense in best-on-best tournaments is stellar. It’s a great combination of size, speed, defensive ability and offensive talent. It sports what may be the two best offensive defensemen in the NHL right now in John Klingberg and Erik Karlsson (all due respect to Brent Burns and P.K. Subban).
Five of those top six are a lock and Anton Stralman probably should be too. He and Niklas Hjalmarsson are the two who may be the most vulnerable to getting left off the roster. However, Jonas Brodin and Niklas Kronwall may be the two most likely to push for a roster spot, but are both injured at the moment. That will make it tough for them to make their case.
Potentials: Viktor Fasth, Jonas Gustavsson, Eddie Lack, Anders Nilsson.
Henrik Lundqvist is a lock and despite some depth questions for Sweden, gives them one of the world’s best goaltenders as their starter.
Jhonas Enroth — though his numbers are certainly aided by backstopping a strong defensive team — has done enough this season to earn himself a backing role and Robin Lehner may have as well, despite missing half the season with an injury. If he continues his hot play, he seems likely to get the job.
Their biggest competition will come from Carolina’s Eddie Lack. He’ll need to steal more work from Cam Ward if he’s going to prove he’s the man for the job though.
More World Cup Roster Projections:
Team Canada World Cup Roster Projection
Team Czech Republic Roster Projection
Team Europe World Cup Roster Projection
Team Finland World Cup Roster Projection
Team North America World Cup Roster Projection
Team Russia World Cup Roster Projection
Team USA World Cup Roster Projection
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.