2014 WJC Preview: For Sweden, nothing less than gold will suffice

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Elias Lindholm - Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: Carolina Hurricanes forward Elias Lindholm is one of several NHL prospects to be a part of Sweden’s roster taking part in the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

After the heroics provided by current Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad at the 2012 World Junior Championship, when he broke in alone on Team Russia’s net in overtime and deked out Russian goalie Andrey Makarov to decide the tournament in Sweden’s favor, Team Sweden faced a pre-tournament rash of injuries on its way to Ufa in 2013. The team nonetheless went about gaining a silver medal against a USA squad that has become somewhat of a nemesis at various international levels in recent years. Now, Sweden's 2014 WJC entry is entering the tournament, hosted by the country’s third largest city of Malmö, with only one goal on its mind: taking gold on its home turf.

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Pastrnak making his mark in Sweden’s Allsvenskan

by Radoslav Vavrina
on

David Pastrnak - Sodertalje

Photo: Sodertalje forward and 2014 prospect David Pastrnak is currently tied for the team scoring lead with six goals and nine assists in 24 games (courtesy of HC Trinec)

Unable to create many opportunities for young players, Czech youth hockey is slowly losing influence. The system has been collapsing, with the main problems being economics and training methods. It's no wonder that talented Czech players try their luck abroad, not just in Canada or the United States, but also in Sweden, a country that has recently produced loads of big-time NHL prospects.

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Otters’ Dansk feeling comfortable in his home away from home

by Jason Menard
on
Oscar Dansk - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk has bounced between Sweden and North America in recent years, including a stint in the Shattuck St. Mary’s program (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

Oscar Dansk’s journey in life has taken him from Sweden to the U.S., back to Sweden, and now finds him holding down the fort in between the pipes in Erie, PA. And the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospect is hoping that his next journey will be with his Otters’ teammates deep into the OHL playoffs.

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Sweden’s Fall proving as fruitful as ever for NHL prospects with an eye on the 2014 WJC

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Mattias Janmark-Nylen - Team Sweden

Photo: Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Mattias Janmark-Nylen (#24), shown here in action with Sweden at the 2013 Karjala Cup, has been scoring a a point-per-game clip for AIK this season (courtesy of Janerik Henriksson/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.

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Canadian-born Nylander honing his craft over in Sweden

by Radoslav Vavrina
on
William Nylander - Sodertalje

Photo: 2014 prospect William Nylander will again play in the same organization as his father Michael, moving over from Sodertalje to Rogle for the 2013-14 season (courtesy of EliteProspects)

 

In recent years, Sweden has sent several prospects to the NHL Draft, with a few of them being chosen in the first round. After producing such potentially great prospects as Mka Zibanejad, Filip Forsberg and Elias Lindholm in the past couple of drafts, Calgary-born son of Michael Nylander, William Nylander, is heading this year's Swedish draft class. The next big Swedish gun is not Swedish-born, but he definitely has a lot of Sweden in his veins.

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