The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced that 10 NHL players have committed to join the national team for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
With host Denmark having selected Herning as its home base, who will be the fans’ favourite at the preliminary round in Copenhagen? Sweden, a stone’s throw away across the Oresund Strait between the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the third-largest Swedish city of Malmo, is definitely a strong candidate and shows its ambitions.
Not only is Sweden the defending World Champion, the Swedes also have strong commitment from its players from overseas. 10 NHL players committed to join the men’s national team for the Worlds in their country’s neighbourhood when the largest annual winter-sport event will come to Denmark for the first time ever. Among them are also returnees Oliver Ekman-Larsson and John Klingberg.
Goaltender: Anders Nilsson (Vancouver Canucks).
Defencemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes), John Klingberg (Dallas Stars), Erik Gustafsson (Chicago Blackhawks), Adam Larsson (Edmonton Oilers).
Forwards: Mika Zibanejad (New York Rangers), Mikael Backlund (Calgary Flames), Jacob de la Rose (Montreal Canadiens), Johan Larsson (Buffalo Sabres), Magnus Paajarvi (Ottawa Senators).
The roster will be completed with Swedish players from European clubs and with potential other NHL players the team management is in discussion.
Sweden will play the preliminary round in Copenhagen in a group that includes Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Slovakia, France and Austria.