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World Cup

World Cup: Projected Sweden roster

Nyquist, Hagelin highlight possible final seven players added

by Janne Bengtsson / NHL.com Correspondent

It's close to decision time for Team Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg.

Gronborg, assistant coaches Johan Garpenlov and Peter Popovic, and Nicklas Lidstrom, Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson on the advisory board have spent weeks and months crisscrossing North America scouting players. On Friday, they'll need to add the seven final players to Sweden's roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

"Basically we scouted every available player and also made contact with them to explain our thoughts and our views," Garpenlov told NHL.com/sv.

One of the players they scouted is Pittsburgh Penguins wing Carl Hagelin.

"Obviously we can see what everybody else can see," Garpenlov said. "Hagelin contributes with speed and explosiveness. He pulls the opposing team apart and their players have a hard time keeping track of him.

"Carl is a very useful player. He can play everywhere, high up and deep down. He has a good understanding of the game and he takes on a big responsibility."

Gronborg spent two weeks in Moscow watching Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist play at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. Nyquist's seven goals tied Finland's Patrik Laine for the tournament lead. 

Sweden needs to add one goaltender, one defenseman and five forwards to the initial group of 16 players named in March.

"We want role players, players that are happy with the role we give them, and accepts that role without any hesitation," Garpenlov said.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Nyquist buries Sheahan's feed

Here's NHL.com's projection of the final seven players on the roster:

THE FINAL 7

F: Marcus Kruger (Chicago Blackhawks), Carl Hagelin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Patric Hornqvist (Pittsburgh Penguins), Gustav Nyquist (Detroit Red Wings), Marcus Johansson (Washington Capitals)

D: Mattias Ekholm (Nashville Predators)

G: Jhonas Enroth (Los Angeles Kings)

Kruger, 25, knows defensive play better than any other Swedish player in the NHL. A two-time Stanley Cup champion and a loyal role player, Kruger is the perfect choice to be the middle man on a checking line. Hagelin improved since being traded to Pittsburgh from the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 16.

Hornqvist is one of the best scorers on a team loaded with good scorers. Nyquist had 17 goals in 82 games during the regular season, and found his groove during the World Championship with seven goals in eight games.

Johansson is a good choice for the last spot on the roster. He had 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 74 games during the regular season and added seven points in 12 playoff games for the Capitals. Johansson is a speedy player who isn't afraid to mix it up in front of the goal.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg might seem to be an obvious choice, but when Klingberg was left out of the first 16, Gronborg said he wanted to see him in hard traffic, in a playoff-type situation. Now he has. Klingberg had 58 points in 76 regular-season games, but had four points in 13 playoff games and was a minus-5.
In goal, Enroth is the easiest pick of them all. Henrik Lundqvist will likely play every World Cup game and Jacob Markstrom is a solid backup should something happen. Enroth went 7-5-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 16 games for the Kings during the regular season.

Potential lineup

Forwards

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Loui Eriksson  

Filip Forsberg - Nicklas Backstrom - Patric Hornqvist

Gabriel Landeskog - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist 

Alexander Steen - Marcus Kruger - Carl Hagelin 

Marcus Johansson 

Defensemen

Niklas Hjalmarsson - Erik Karlsson  

Niklas Kronwall - Oliver Ekman-Larsson  

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman  

Mattias Ekholm 

Goaltenders

Henrik Lundqvist

Jacob Markstrom

Jhonas Enroth

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