It’s the same story as ever for Sweden at the World Juniors, with another team set up to medal at this year’s tournament in Halifax and Moncton.
That’s the default for Sweden. Anything less is a disappointment. Still, this year’s group is going to be in tough to top the bronze that their country captured in the summer World Juniors just a few short months ago. This is easily one of the weaker rosters they’ve fielded in recent memory.
So, what’s missing? In my estimation, star power. Game-breaking talents who can lead this group to the promised land. Sweden has many first-round picks upfront with the potential to have a good tournament but none with experience taking on a leadership role for their club team.
Still, anything can happen in a short tournament like this one, and it’s hardly like the Swedes are a have-not in the talent department. Even a relatively weak team by their lofty standards would be the envy of most of the hockey world.
Let’s look at just who they’re bringing to this tournament, tasked with bringing hardware back to Sweden for the second straight tournament.