Photo: Plymouth Whalers forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Rickard Rakell didn't tickle the twine at the 2013 WJC, but he did contribute to Sweden's cause with his playmaking ability and physical presence (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Coming into the 2013 World Junior Championship as the reigning gold medal champions, Sweden knew right from the beginning that a repeat performance would be no easy task. Not only could a number one goalie not be determined before the tournament began, but not a team in the tournament came in missing what was possibly its four most recognizable and important U-20 pieces, a situation Sweden had to deal with right off the bat.
Photo: Swedish forward Alexander Wennberg is having a good season with Djurgarden of the Allsvenskan league, and turned in a good performance at the 2013 World Juniors, as well (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Although Sweden put forth a game effort in their gold medal showdown with the USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship, Team USA proved to be a worthy opponent as they dethroned the Swedes as tournament champions with a 3-1 victory in Ufa, Russia.
Photo: Swedish forward Viktor Arvidsson, shown here celebrating a goal in a game at the U.S. Evaluation Camp, hopes to celebrate a bit more as Sweden faces the USA for gold at the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sweden's roster at the 2013 World Junior Championship features several players that have been drafted by NHL teams. But one 1993-born player that was passed over in the previous two drafts is having a good showing at this WJC, perhaps making himself more of a commodity once the 2012-13 season has ended.
Photo: Swedish forward Jacob de la Rose has not been offensively productive at the 2013 World Junior Championship but has still managed to get his name on the scoresheet (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Sweden's roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship features a handful of players that are eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time. While blue-chip prospects like Elias Lindholm and Robert Hagg have been given enough ice time to show off their skills, a highly regarded prospect like Jacob de la Rose has had to fill a more limited role that may not be a perfect fit for his abilities.
Photo: Swedish defenseman Robert Hagg is receiving some good exposure at the 2013 WJC in a year where he is considered one of the better defenders available for the NHL Draft (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
While Team Sweden is short a few top names at the 2013 World Juniors, their roster still sports some top, young prospects of the hockey world. Players like Filip Forsberg, Victor Rask, and Rickard Rakell should one day be skating in the NHL, probably sooner rather than later.