STOCKHOLM – Defending gold medallist Sweden announced their 25-man roster for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World U20 Championship in Ufa, Russia. Coach Roger Rönnberg brings six returnees from Calgary 2012, but the three biggest stars are missing.
After 31 years without a World Junior gold medal, Rönnberg finally led Sweden to a win last year in Canada. In an epic final, Mika Zibanejad scored the only goal of the game in overtime and ended the streak of more than three decades of failure.
In his last World Juniors as the coach of the Swedish team, Rönnberg has named six returnees from 2012, all forwards: Jeremy Boyce Rotevall, Sebastian Collberg, Filip Forsberg, William Karlsson, Victor Rask and Rickard Rakell.
The 25-man roster (will have to be trimmed down to 20 skaters and 3 goalies come Ufa) includes six players who represent North American clubs. Apart from Rakell (OHL Plymouth Whalers) and Rask (WHL Calgary Hitmen), the roster includes goalie Oscar Dansk (OHL Erie Otters), defencemen Rasmus Bengtsson (USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Hampus Lindholm (AHL Norfolk Admirals), and forward Nick Sörensen (QMJHL Quebec Remparts).
In all, the roster includes three goalies, eight defencemen and 14 forwards.
At the press conference in Stockholm, Rönnberg regretted the absence of three players who most likely would have had major roles on the team. The 2012 World Junior All-Star defenceman Oscar Klefbom (Färjestad) is done for the season with a shoulder injury, while Jonas Brodin (Minnesota/NHL-Houston/AHL) has a broken clavicle and is out indefinitely.
There is an outside chance of golden-goal scorer Mika Zibanejad returning, but that would be the decision of the Ottawa/Binghamton Senators, who have declared that the Swedish forward will remain in the AHL or in the NHL if the league resumes play.
“It is a big disappointment that Ottawa does not want to release Mika to join the team for the World Juniors,” said Rönnberg. “I have asked our federation to intervene and I am confident they will. Having said that, I must focus on the players I have and I can’t let that [Ottawa not releasing Zibanejad] steal energy from my work.”
Sweden will open training camp on December 15 in Norrtälje, Sweden and will continue with camp and preparation games in Finland until December 22. They will open the 2013 World Junior Championship against the Czech Republic on December 26.
Click here for the schedule of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship.
1. Joel Lassinantti, Luleå HF
30. Niklas Lundström, AIK Stockholm
35. Oscar Dansk, Erie Otters (OHL)
2. Emil Djuse, Södertälje SK
3. Jesper Pettersson, Linköpings HC
4. Christian Djoos, Brynäs Gävle
5. Rasmus Bengtsson, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
7. Tom Nilsson, Mora IK
8. Linus Arnesson, Djurgården Stockholm
9. Mikael Vikstrand, Mora IK
12. Hampus Lindholm, Norfolk Admirals (AHL)
10. Alexander Wennberg, Djurgården Stockholm
11. Jeremy Boyce Rotevall, Timrå IK
13. Viktor Arvidsson, Skellefteå AIK
15. Sebastian Collberg, Frölunda Gothenburg
16. Filip Forsberg, Leksands IF
17. William Karlsson, HV71 Jönköping
19. Elias Lindholm, Brynäs Gävle
21. Max Görtz, Färjestad Karlstad
22. Linus Fröberg, Färjestad Karlstad
23. Victor Rask, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
24. Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
25. Jacob de la Rose, Leksands IF
26. Nick Sörensen, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
29. Emil Molin, Brynäs Gävle