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Karlsson named to Team Sweden

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators captain and reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson has officially been named as a member of Sweden's 2016 World Cup of Hockey roster.

On being named to Team Sweden's preliminary roster:

It's great. It's going to be fun and something different. I don't know when the last time they played it was but I think I was 12 and I remember watching it. It's going to be an honour.

Comparing the World Cup to the Olympics:

Olympics was something that I rank very high in what I've done so far in my short career and it's something that I'm looking forward to being able to do again so hopefully this is going to be as close to or equal to that. At the same time, I don't think it's going to replace it. It's going to be a pure hockey tournament and it's going to be in Toronto so the hype is going to be there. Hopefully we can have some fun. We're going to have a good team.

Preparing for the World Cup in September versus training camp:

Well it's going to be different. You're going to have to be in game shape a lot earlier than normal. It's going to change your schedule in the summer a bit and you're going to have to change a few things in how you prepare but it's going to be the same for everyone. Everyone is going to be fresh and hopefully no one will be battling any injuries. I haven't played hockey that early in a long time so I can't really tell you how I'm going to feel but I'm going to try and make the proper adjustments in order to be in top shape come September.

On if the players have started talking about the tournament yet:

I think we're too far away. We've been talking briefly about it and it's going to be fun once you're there. It's always fun to play for your national team and see all your friends. It's going to be a lot of good hockey players there so the hockey's going to be good. But guys are not talking too much about it since it's so far away. It's going to be the topic of the summer.

His thoughts on teammate and countryman Mika Zibanejad potentially playing his way on to Team Sweden:

Yeah. Absolutely. I think he's had a good year for us. He's proven himself to be a top player in this league. He's the new generation and I think he's definitely going to have a chance to play himself into the line-up. He's among a lot of players that we have that are young and up-and-coming that have been good in this league for 2 or 3 years. He's definitely going to be in the mix.

Sens head coach Dave Cameron also offered up some of his thoughts on how Karlsson's inclusion on Team Sweden my impact his preparations for next season, specifically on if he'd rather have his captain participate at the World Cup or in Sens training camp:

Play for Team Sweden at the World Cup. It's an event for the best players in the world and he's one of the best players in the world. He gets to play for his country which I think is very special for all the players and the countries they are representing. The pace and everything is going to be so much faster than our training camp would be that it's a win-win. You keep your fingers crossed for injuries but you can't base your life decision making on being scared of injuries. These guys all play to represent the highest level and that's what that tournament is going to be. It's going to be the highest level so there's no way we can duplicate that in training camp and exhibition games.

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