Projecting Sweden's 2022 Olympic roster
With Olympic participation reportedly included in the NHL and NHLPA's modified collective bargaining agreement, it's time for hockey fans to think about what the tournament may look like. This edition forecasts Team Sweden's roster.
The Swedes have performed relatively well in Olympic Games involving NHL players. Canada has won three of the last four gold medals (2014, 2010, 2002), but Sweden was victorious in 2006 and grabbed silver in 2014.
Head coach: Rikard Gronborg
Gronborg led Tre Kronor to back-to-back gold medals at the 2017 and 2018 World Championships. He's even made some noise about becoming the NHL's first European head coach in nearly 20 years.
|Gabriel Landeskog (29)||Mika Zibanejad (28)||William Nylander (25)|
|Filip Forsberg (27)||Elias Pettersson (23)||Viktor Arvidsson (28)|
|Victor Olofsson (26)||Nicklas Backstrom (34)||Elias Lindholm (27)|
|Andre Burakovsky (27)||William Karlsson (29)||Rickard Rakell (28)|
|Joel Eriksson Ek (25)|
(All ages as of February 2022)
Extra: Adrian Kempe (25)
This would arguably be Sweden's deepest group of forwards since the 2006 team. The timing is excellent, too, as the majority of these players will be in their primes in 2022. Backstrom is an exception, but the intelligent playmaker should age gracefully, and Zibanejad and Pettersson would be able to shoulder the load down the middle of the ice.
The last three spots were tough decisions. Burakovsky's combination of size and speed - along with his breakout season with the Colorado Avalanche - earned him a position. Wanting to take a defensive center, we project Eriksson Ek will be more effective in that role than Mikael Backlund in 2022. Continuing with the youth movement, Kempe earned a job over veteran wingers like Jakob Silfverberg and Gustav Nyquist.
Just missed the cut: Backlund (32), Silfverberg (31), Nyquist (32), Jesper Bratt (23), Calle Jarnkrok (30)
|Victor Hedman (31)||Erik Karlsson (31)|
|Rasmus Dahlin (21)||John Klingberg (29)|
|Hampus Lindholm (28)||Jonas Brodin (28)|
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson (30)|
Extra: Oscar Klefbom (28)
While the forwards are impressive, Sweden's blue line remains its bread and butter. It's arguably the best group of any nation. Injuries have slowed down Karlsson, but he can still be a difference-maker if healthy. Hedman, Klingberg, and Dahlin were all locks, but we could've gone in many directions for the last four spots.
Chicago Blackhawks phenom Adam Boqvist could force his way on this team with a hot start next season - and it helps that he's right-handed - but he came up just short with so much experience available elsewhere.
Just missed the cut: Boqvist (21), Mattias Ekholm (31), Niklas Hjalmarsson (34), Adam Larsson (29)
|Robin Lehner (30)|
|Jacob Markstrom (32)|
Extra: Linus Ullmark (28)
It's a passing of the torch in Sweden's goal. Henrik Lundqvist will be 39 for this tournament, so he wasn't a legitimate consideration. But the Swedes are still in good shape. Lehner is one of the best goalies in the NHL, and Markstrom, who just had his best season, isn't too far behind.
Ullmark is coming off a breakout year and could contend for the backup role.
Just missed the cut: None