The Swedes went with an older group last year, and that helped them make it all the way to the final, where they lost in a controversial finish to Canada. The flip side is this year’s team won’t have much experience at this level, especially since No. 1 overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin is busy in the NHL.
Isac Lundestrom (Anaheim) is a perfect candidate to lead the team up front, but overall the forward group doesn’t have a lot of “wow” factor going for it. Emil Bemstrom (Columbus) has been hot, as has Filip Sveningsson (Calgary), but Lundestrom is the only first-rounder among the forwards. This group had trouble scoring at both the World Junior Summer Showcase and a Four Nations tune-up in November.
On defense, Sweden will rule. Erik Brannstrom (Vegas), Timothy Liljegren (Toronto) and A...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.