Center Joel Eriksson Ek and defenseman Jacob Larsson, first-round picks at the 2015 NHL Draft, are among the 24 players who will take part in a summer evaluation camp for Sweden. It's one of the first steps toward picking the team that will represent Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The camp will be held Aug. 2-8 in Lake Placid, N.Y., as part of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. Sweden will practice and play games against the United States and Finland.
Joel Eriksson Ek will try to make Sweden's roster for the 2015 WJC. (Photo: Getty Images)
Eriksson Ek, selected by the Minnesota Wild at No. 20, had 21 goals and 32 points in 25 games with Farjestad's team in Sweden's under-20 league, and four goals and six points in 20 games with Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League. NHL Central Scouting ranked the 6-foot-2, 180-pound forward fourth on its final list of the top European skaters for the 2015 draft.
"He is a very competitive, powerful center with great speed, a good strong shot and excellent puck-handling," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. "He is creative on offense while reliable on defense. Likes to go to the net to create scoring chances."
Larsson, selected at No. 27 by the Anaheim Ducks, had eight goals and 19 points in 30 games with Frolunda's team in Sweden's under-20 league and one goal and two assists in 20 games with Frolunda in the SHL. The 6-foot-2, 191-pound defender was No. 3 on Central Scouting's final ranking of the top European skaters.
"He plays a surprisingly mature game with good decisions both on offense and defense," Stubb said. "Good size and strength, and a smooth, mobile skater. Very quick first pass, makes smart plays and finds the open man well."
Also invited to camp is Adrian Kempe, a first-round pick (No. 30) of the Los Angeles King at the 2014 draft. He had four goals and eight points for Sweden at the 2014 WJC. After he had 17 points in 50 games with Modo in the SHL, he had eight goals and nine points in 17 games with the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate, in the AHL playoffs.
SWEDEN WJC CAMP ROSTER
GOALTENDERS: Erik Kallgren (Arizona Coyotes), Felix Sandstrom (Philadelphia Flyers), Linus Soderstrom (New York Islanders)
DEFENSEMEN: Sebastian Aho (2016 draft eligible), Rasmus Andersson (Calgary Flames), Gustav Bouramman (Minnesota Wild), Andreas Englund (Ottawa Senators), Gustav Forsling (Chicago Blackhawks), William Lagesson (Edmonton Oilers), Jacob Larsson (Anaheim Ducks), Marcus Pettersson (Anaheim Ducks)
FORWARDS: Rasmus Asplund (2016 draft eligible), Christoffer Ehn (Detroit Red Wings), Joel Eriksson Ek (Minnesota Wild), Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (Boston Bruins), Axel Holmstrom (Detroit Red Wings), Anton Karlsson (Arizona Coyotes), Adrian Kempe (Los Angeles Kings), Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers), Jens Looke (Arizona Coyotes), Fredrik Olofsson (Chicago Blackhawks), Robin Kovacs (New York Rangers), Dmytro Timashov (Toronto Maple Leafs), Henrik Tornqvist (2016 draft eligible)