Sweden and Denmark face off Saturday night at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre in a preliminary match before the teams head into the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Sweden’s roster is loaded with National Hockey League draft picks, including four first rounders on the defence.
The Denmark roster is far less spectacular.
Only two players on the team can claim to be NHL picks. Winger Jonas Rondbjerg was a third round pick of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. The 19 year old led Denmark in scoring at last year’s tournament, producing two goals and seven points in six games.
Rondbjerg plays for the Swedish Hockey League’s Vaxjo Lakers.
The other draftee is Malte Setkov, a 19 year old defenceman who was selected in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2017 draft by the Detroit Red Wings. Setkov had two assists in last year’s tournament and is currently playing for the Swedish Hockey League’s Malmo Redhawks.
The Denmark roster includes two players from the Western Hockey League, goaltender Mads Sogaard of the Medicine Hat Tigers and forward Phillip Schultz of the Victoria Royals.
Denmark returns 10 players from the team that finished 0-4 in group play last year and had to beat Belarus twice (5-4 and 3-2) to avoid relegation to a lower level.
Game time Saturday night is 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online.