Eight players from Sweden's entry at the 2011 World Junior Championship are part of the 23-man group that will take the first steps in making the team for the 2012 tournament during a junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The camp, which runs Aug. 6-13, will feature exhibition games against prospects competing for WJC spots from the United States and Finland.
Among the returning players for Sweden from last year's fourth-place team is a pair of top-five picks in last month's Entry Draft -- left wing Gabriel Landeskog
and defenseman Adam Larsson
Landeskog, taken second by the Colorado Avalanche
, was limited to just one game at last year's tournament, but had a goal and an assist. An assistant captain on last year's team, he'll have the chance to captain this year's team if he isn't in the NHL with the Avalanche.
Larsson, a defenseman taken by the New Jersey Devils
, has a chance to play in his third WJC if he doesn't make the NHL. He had a goal, 3 assists and a plus-4 rating in six games last year in Buffalo.
Other players from last year's team that will be at the camp are defensemen John Klingberg
and Patrik Nemeth
, and forwards Johan Larsson
, Johan Sundstrom
, Max Friberg
and Rickard Rakell
Twenty of the 23 players attending the camp have been drafted by an NHL team, including six taken in the first round of last month's draft -- defensemen Larsson, Jonas Brodin
(No. 10, Wild), and Oscar Klefbom
(No. 19, Oilers), and forwards Landeskog, Mika Zibanejad
(No. 6, Senators) and Rakell (No. 30, Ducks).
Twelve NHL teams will have at least one prospect there, led by three each from the Minnesota Wild
and Chicago Blackhawks
. Representing the Wild will be Brodin, goaltender Johan Gustafsson
and forward Johan Larsson
. Blackhawks prospects in attendance will be goaltender Johan Mattsson
, and forwards Joakim Nordstrom
and Ludvig Rensfeldt
The Ottawa Senators
, Dallas Stars
, Anaheim Ducks
and Colorado Avalanche
will have two prospects each at the camp.
Eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft after going unselected last month are defenseman Joakim Ryan
and forwards Erik Thorell
and Ponthus Westerholm.
GOALKEEPERS - Johan Gustafsson
(Wild), Johan Mattsson
DEFENSEMEN - Mattias Backman
(Red Wings), Jonas Brodin
(Wild), Fredrik Claesson
(Senators), Oscar Klefbom
(Oilers), John Klingberg
(Stars), Adam Larsson
(Devils), Patrik Nemeth
(Stars), Joakim Ryan
(2012 Draft eligible)
FORWARDS - Max Friberg
(Ducks), Gabriel Landeskog
(Avalanche), Johan Larsson
(Wild), Joachim Nermark
(Avalanche), Joakim Nordstrom
(Blackhawks), Rickard Rakell
(Ducks), Victor Rask
(Hurricanes), Ludvig Rensfeldt
(Blackhawks), Johan Sundstrom
(Islanders), Erik Thorell
(2012 Draft eligible), Pathrik Westerholm
(Canucks), Ponthus Westerholm (2012 Draft eligible), Mika Zibanejad
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK