Sweden was sailing through the preliminary round of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship until they ran into a brick wall in the form of Team Canada in the final game of the opening round. Canada blanked the Swedes, 6-0, marring what had otherwise been a good showing for Sweden at this U18.
This Swedish squad is a talented team, however, so they should have a solid chance of returning to the gold medal game for the fourth consecutive year.
Although he was not an integral part of last year's U18 squad, forward Andre Burakovsky returns to this year's tournament as one of Sweden's top players. Burakovsky has lived up to his lofty billing so far as he is that country's leading scorer to this point of the tournament with four goals and one assist in four games.
Burakovsky is also one of Sweden's top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft. He is ranked sixth overall among European prospects by Central Scouting, and is one of five Swedish prospects ranked among the top eight Europeans by the NHL's scouting arm.
Burakovsky spoke with Hockey's Future following the completion of the U18's preliminary round.
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