Chilliwack hosts star-studden Team Sweden in World Junior warmup

Sweden’s roster is stacked on the blueline with five National Hockey League first rounders.

The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation has revealed team that will hit the ice in Chilliwack Dec. 22.

Sweden will face Denmark at Prospera Centre in a pre-tournament game, leading into the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The 25-man roster is loaded with National Hockey League draft picks, including five first rounders.

All five are defenceman. Chicago Black Hawks prospect Adam Boqvist was the eighth overall pick in last June’s NHL draft. Nils Lundkvist went 28th to the New York Rangers and Rasmus Sandin went 29th to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Erik Brannstrom was the 15th overall selection in 2017 to the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Timothy Liljegren went two spots later to Toronto.

“Liljegren plays a lot with the Marlies and won the Calder Cup last season,” said Team Sweden head coach Tomas Monten. “Sandin has also impressed in Toronto, and he knows how to play in the North American rink.”

The other Swedish blueliners are Filip Westerlund (2nd round, 2017 to Arizona), Adam Ginning (2nd round, 2018 to Philadelphia) and Jakob Ragnarsson (3rd round, 2018 to New York Rangers).

Winnipeg Jets draft pick David Gustafsson (2nd round, 2018) headlines the Swedish forwards.

Other NHL prospects are Emil Bemstrom (Columbus), Johan Sodergran (Los Angeles), Oskar Back (Dallas), Filip Svenningsson (Calgary), Jacob Olofson (Montreal), Lucas Elvenes (Las Vegas), Fabian Zetterlund (New Jersey) and Pontus Holmberg (Toronto).

A pair of NHL fifth rounders are among three netminders chosen — Philadelphia prospect Samuel Ersson and Anaheim prospect Olle Eriksson along with undrafted goalie Adam Ahman.

Other undrafted players on Team Sweden are forwards Samuel Fagemo, Hugo Leufvenius, Filip Hallander, Nils Hoglander and Rickard Hugg.

“There are a lot of fantastic players in Sweden and picking a team to World Juniors is not an easy task,” Monten said. “In recent years, the tournament has gotten more media attention at home, but I also want to remind players who have attended our camps this season of the fact that this is just one tournament, not your entire career.”

Tickets can be purchased online at this link.

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