2018 Team Sweden Olympic roster with NHLers
The Bruins are getting a well-deserved bye week. We here at Bruins Daily, however, don’t have that luxury. So, to make the most of the next few days, your’s truly and Anthony Travalgia came up with an idea to project the men’s hockey rosters for this year’s Winter Olympics if they included the talented players from the National Hockey League.
Yesterday, we gave you the best of the rest. Today, we reveal the rosters for Sweden and Czech Republic. Come back tomorrow for Russia and Finland.
An intriguing pick to medal for every major international tournament, Sweden is well-known for its rich history of talent. From Peter Forsberg to Niklas Lidstrom, the Swedes always have their share of elite players on display in the NHL.
This year is no different. After a silver medal in Sochi and a third-place showing at the World Cup of Hockey two years later, the professional Swedes would’ve come into the 2018 Olympics looking to climb one final hurdle for gold.
Sweden’s roster would look quite different from 2014, however. Gone are mainstays like Loui Eriksson, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Daniel Alfredsson. A decent veteran core remains in the likes of the Sedins, Niklas Kronwall and Erik Karlsson, but several new faces would’ve been front and center in Pyeongchang.
Without further ado, let’s get to the Swedes roster.
Forwards: Nicklas Backstrom, William Karlsson, Filip Forsberg, Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Gabriel Landeskog, Richard Rakell, William Nylander, Patric Hornqvist, Mika Zibenajad, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Gustav Nyquist
Rationale: We have a few forwards past their primes here in the Sedin twins and Zetterberg, but their presence is well-earned. The trio can still be effective in a two-week tournament and they wouldn’t push anyone out that deserves a spot. Arguably, this would’ve been their last Olympics together.
Lots of forwards would get their first Olympic experience, most notably Forsberg and William Karlsson. The former is fresh off a run to the Stanley Cup with the Nashville Predators, while the latter is thriving in a top-six role for the surprising Vegas Golden Knights.
The forward depth may not be as strong as year’s past, but it has its upsides in Forsberg, Karlsson, Rakell, Landeskog and Zibenajad to name a few.
Defensemen: Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, John Klingberg, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Mattias Ekholm, Hampus Lindholm, Anton Stralman, Niklas Kronwall
Rationale: Sweden’s top-four blueliners is a coach’s dream. A top pairing of Karlsson and Hedman would give any team fits during an 82-game season, let alone a two-week tournament. The second pair of Klingberg and Ekman-Larsson isn’t too shabby either.
Pair Ekholm with either Stralman, Kronwall or Hampus Lindholm to round out the six D. This, without question, would’ve been Sweden’s strength during its two weeks in South Korea.
Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Jacob Markstrom, Robin Lehner
Rationale: Jonas Gustavsson and Jhonas Ehnroth backed up Lundqvist in 2014. The journeymen goalies are now overseas. We replaced them with two starters in Markstrom and Lehner.
This would’ve been Lundqvist’s fourth Olympic go-around. He’ll be 39 when the games head to Bejing in 2022.
D. Sedin-H. Sedin-Landeskog
E. Lindholm, Backlund