Photo: Djurgarden forward Alexander Wennberg has seen his 2013 NHL Draft stock rise steadily this season, to the point where he has an outside chance of being chosen among the top 10 picks (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In recent years, the number of Swedish born-and-raised players picked by NHL teams during the NHL Draft has continued to serve as proof that the nation of Sweden is currently one of the top developers of hockey talent on the planet.
Photo: Denver University forward Quentin Shore, shown here competing at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game, hopes to join brothers Drew and Nick as an NHL prospect (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Colorado College’s Gustav Olofsson watched on from his Broomfield, CO, home as Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks began taking their rounds hoisting the Stanley Cup following the Blackhawks wild, come-from-behind 3-2 Game 6 victory.
Photo: Defenseman Mattias Norstebo of Brynas IF is ranked 86th among European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Brynas IF)
When a kid grows up playing ice hockey in either Norway or Denmark and shows above-average abilities or an innate understanding of the game, he’ll often find his way to one of the many excellent junior programs that dot the Swedish ice hockey landscape. This is exactly what has taken place for the currently 5’10”, 170-pound Norwegian defenseman Mattias Norstebo (written Nørstebø in Norwegian and Nörstebö in Swedish).
Photo: Czech forward Jakub Vrana currently plays hockey in Sweden, but could receive attention at the 2013 CHL Import Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Adler, a small, rather nameless coastal resort just south of Sochi that is receiving worldwide attention as one of the hosting places of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, recently was packed with hockey scouts, journalists and the top players born in 1995 or later for the IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Photo: Swedish forward Elias Lindholm, shown here during the testing portion of the 2013 NHL Combine, is one of several forwards that are expected to be chosen in the top 10 of the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Keith Hamilton/Icon SMI)
Although the crop of Swedish prospects is not as deep as in recent years, there is still some good talent from that country at the top of the 2013 NHL Draft class. The best of this year's lot is forward Elias Lindholm of the Brynas organization.