CALGARY - A look at the players to watch in the world junior hockey final Thursday between Sweden and Russia:
Max Friberg: Leads tournament in goals with nine, including the shoot-out winner in Sweden?s 3-2 semifinal win over Finland. The Anaheim Ducks prospect has been the event's feel-good story so far.
Sebastien Collberg: Draft-eligible forward has definitely made an impression with his play. He has four goals and three assists through five games and has added two impressive shootout tallies.
Johan Gustafsson: Hasn't been spectacular, but has made the big save when called on. Swedish coach Roger Ronnberg has full confidence in his starting goaltender.
Yevgeni Kuznetsov: Had three goals and an assist in 6-5 semifinal win over Canada on Tuesday. The Washington Capitals prospect is the tournament scoring leader with six goals and seven assists through six games.
Nail Yakupov: Tied with Finnish captain Mikael Granlund for most assists (nine) in the tournament. The highly-touted draft prospect has yet to score but seems to be a factor every time he's on the ice.
Nikita Nesterov: Team's top-scoring defenceman with five points and a plus-seven rating in six games. With defenceman Ildar Isangulov unable to play in the final due to a suspension, expect Nesterov to log a lot of icetime and play in key situations against Sweden.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Sweden: There's no doubt the Swedes will have support from the crowd so they must build on that energy and have a quick start, something they didn't do the last time these two teams met. If Sweden falls behind, it must maintain that never-say-die attitude that has served it so well thus far.
Russia: Like they did against Canada, the Russians must score early to take the crowd out of the game. The Russian team can't afford to have another third-period collapse because Max Friberg and his Swedish teammates WILL make the Russians pay.