The Blackhawks will send four more representatives to the 2012 IIHF World Championship, held in Helsinki and Stockholm from May 4-20. Niklas Hjalmarsson
, Viktor Stalberg
and Marcus Kruger
will join Team Sweden, while Michael Frolik
will play for the Czech Republic.
Hjalmarsson last played for his country at the 2007 World Junior Championships, when Sweden hosted the tournament. The defenseman logged two goals and an assist in seven games. Hjalmarsson recorded 15 points (1G, 14A) in 69 appearances for the Blackhawks this season and played in all six Stanley Cup playoff games against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Stalberg will don his country's colors for the first time after putting up career highs in goals (22), assists (21) and points (43) in 79 regular-season games for the Blackhawks. He added two helpers in six Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances against the Coyotes.
Kruger will represent Sweden for the third time in his career and second at the World Championship. The center played for the 2011 squad that claimed silver in Slovakia, scoring twice and adding an assist in nine tournament games. He also featured at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Kruger just completed his rookie campaign with Chicago, recording 26 points (9G, 17A) in 71 regular-season games and appearing in all six conference quarterfinal contests.
Sweden's first tilt is on May 4 against Norway on home ice in Stockholm.
Frolik will make his fifth appearance for the Czech Republic since the 2004-05 season, when he played at the Under-18 World Championship. As a member of the national team that competed in 2011, Frolik registered three goals and two assists in nine games as the Czechs took home the bronze medal. He finished the 2011-12 season with 15 points (5G, 10A) in 63 regular-season games and matched a career high with two playoff goals in four postseason tilts against Phoenix.
The Czech Republic will take on Denmark on May 4 in their first game of the preliminary round.Patrick Sharp
and Duncan Keith
accepted invitations to play for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship, bringing the Blackhawks contingent to six players.