Sweden doesn’t touch Canada in terms of overall talent or depth, but this is one team that at least has a chance of upsetting the Maple giants. Reading up and down the Swedish roster features players you’ve actually seen play before — and play quite well, at that. If Sweden is to pull off an upset, it’ll be in large part thanks to its forwards (okay, and goaltending).
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins
Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks
Carl Soderberg, Colorado Avalanche
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks
PLAYERS TO WATCH
One of the best scorers in the NHL, Eriksson brings a certain experience and consistency to Sweden. He has scored more than 20 goals in six of his 10 NHL seasons and has scored 40 points in 43 games with the Swedish national team.
Another talented forward, Landeskog will get the unique opportunity to ply his trade with a relatively competent team. In addition to having great hair, Landeskog is a great scorer and possession driver.
Backstrom has tallied more than 70 points in three-straight seasons and the center is slightly above average in the faceoff circle. He scores the vast majority of his goals at even strength but creates plenty of chances for others while playing with the extra man.
First Game: Sept. 18, Team Sweden vs. Team Russia, 12 p.m. PT, ESPN