One week after concluding his stellar World Championship performance, resulting in a silver medal, Rangers goaltending prospect Henrik Lundqvist
today was named to Sweden's roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 tournament.
The Are, Sweden native is one of three netminders named to the team, joining Colorado's Tommy Salo and Toronto's Mikael Tellqvist. He is also one of only two players on the roster who did not compete at the National Hockey League level last season, the other being Jörgen Jönsson, a former NHLer who skated with Färjestads of the Swedish Elite League in 2003-04.
The World Cup of Hockey 2004 will feature eight of the top hockey nations in the world competing for the international hockey crown from August 30 through September 14, 2004.
Defending champion of the inaugural 1996 World Cup and 2002 Olympic silver medalist United States will be joined by 2002 Olympic gold medal-winner Canada, Russia and Slovakia in the North American pool. The Czech Republic, winners of the 1998 Olympic gold medal, Finland, Germany and Sweden will compete in the European pool.
Lundqvist, viewed by many as one of the top goaltending prospects in the world, recently filled the role as Sweden's number one netminder in the World Championship and did not disappoint. The 22-year old posted a 5-1-2 record in eight games, registering one shutout. His 1.64 goals against average ranked third among all goaltenders and his .925 save percentage was sixth. Lundqvist's 476:14 minutes of action also ranked second among all tournament players, with his only loss coming in the gold medal game.
Lundqvist was named to the Media All-Star Team as well as one of Sweden's top three players as selected by the tournament coaches. He was also selected as Sweden's top player in their 1-1 tie with Finland on April 30.
Prior to the 2004 World Championship, the 22-year old represented Sweden in numerous international tournaments over the last few seasons. In 2000, he appeared in four matches for Sweden at the 2000 Under-18 World Junior Championship, posting a 2.25 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. Between 2001 and 2002, Lundqvist appeared in 14 games with Sweden at the Under-20 World Junior Championships. In 2003, he tended Sweden's goal for three games at the 2003 World Championship in Finland.
This past season the 6-1, 187-pound netminder appeared in 48 matches with Västra Frölunda, posting a 2.17 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. In 10 post-season matches with the club, Lundqvist posted a 1.97 goals against average and a .936 save percentage as Västra Frölunda fell to HV 71 in the Swedish Elite League semifinals.
In 2002-03, Lundqvist helped guide Västra Frölunda to the Swedish Elite League championship, while being named the Swedish Elite League's Junior of the Year in 2001-02.
Lundqvist was New York's seventh selection, 205th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.RELATED LINKS:Sweden's Lundqvist Ready to Take the Next Step >>