By Martin Merk – IIHF.com
THE MEN’S ROSTER
The Swedes announced three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 12 forwards who will compete for the Swedish men’s ice hockey team at the 2018 Olympics in Korea. Two more roster spots are open and will be filled with two additional forwards.
The current roster includes five players who have won gold at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship last spring including goaltender Viktor Fasth and forwards Dennis Everberg, Carl Klingberg, Joel Lundqvist and Linus Omark.
Ten players join from teams in the KHL, nine play in the domestic SHL and four in Switzerland.
Joel Lundqvist, who captained Sweden to gold last May, is the most experienced player with 141 international games for the Swedish men’s national team. Defenceman Staffan Kronwall (104) and forward Linus Omark (101) also have more than 100 national team games where Omark scored the most (19) goals.
34-year-old Lundqvist is also the oldest player on a roster full of experience with an average age of 29. Only one player is younger than 23: millennial Rasmus Dahlin. The 17-year-old defenceman is a candidate for becoming the next number-one-draft pick in the NHL and recently played at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship where he won a silver medal and the Best Defenceman award.
Sweden will have a pre-tournament game in Incheon near Seoul against Canada on 12 February before the tournament starts in Gangneung where all ice sports competitions will be held.
Tre Kronor won silver at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. This year they will face countries from their neighbourhood in the preliminary round with archival Finland, Norway and Germany.
THE WOMEN’S ROSTER
By Andrew Podnieks – IIHF.com
It is a roster heavy on experience. Indeed, only two skaters and one goalie did not play at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, United States.
Coach Leif Boork will be behind the bench for his fourth major event. He took over in 2015 and PyeongChang will complete his Olympic cycle. All players are playing in the Swedish league this year.
MODO Ornskoldsvik and AIK Stockholm lead the way, providing the team with five players each. Brynas and Lulea have three each, while Linkoping, Djurgarden Stockholm, and Leksand all have two. One player comes from HV71.
The roster has many new faces from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but one binding affiliation is that most of these women played at their 2008 and/or 2009 Women’s U18 event. In other words, their roots in the Swedish program run deep.
In goal, the number-one slot will go to Sara Grahn. The 29-year-old is in her third Olympics and has also played in nine Women’s Worlds. She has been the heir to Kim Martin. Behind her will be Sarah Berglind, the third goalie last year, and Minatsu Murase, who played at the 2013 WW18 and not since in IIHF play.
On defence, Boork made just one change. Out is Anna Kjellbin and in is Emmy Alasalmi. The 24-year-old Alasalmi has only one WW on her resume, that back in 2015. The coach will rely most heavily on 29-year-old Emilia Ramboldt, who has been with the national team since 2007 and is in her third Olympics.
Johanna Fallman, who has played in six WW events but is making her Olympics debut. Annie Svedin also is an Olympics rookie after five WW appearances. Johanna Olofsson is making her second Olympics appearance.
Then there are the younger players. Elin Lundberg has only the 2016 Women’s Worlds to her international credit and Maja Nylen-Persson, born in 2000, is only 17.
Up front, there is also but one change. Michelle Lowenhielm of the University of Minnesota-Duluth is on the outside while Rebecca Stenberg, who hasn’t played since the 2012 Women’s Worlds, is in.
Pernilla Winberg is the most experienced player. She has appeared in every women’s tournament since 2004 and is still only 28 years old.
Right behind her is Erica Uden Johansson, the 28-year-old who has played at the last two Olympics as well as five Women’s Worlds. Emma Nordin is also in this class, a player in her mid-twenties with plenty of international experience.
Sara Hjalmarsson is part of the young guard with some experience. After playing in three WW18 events, she made her senor debut last year and will turn 20 just before the start of the games.
Sabina Kuller, who played as Lambetz-Kuller the last three WW’s, is also at 23 a veteran.
Lisa Johansson, Erika Grahm, and Fanny Rask are three players from the 2008-09 group of U18 players on the team as is Anna Borgqvist.
Maria Lindh and Fanny Rask are two of the few players from the 2014 Olympic team.
At 19, Hanna Olsson is the baby of the forwards, but she has tons of experience, including a record four WW18’s and three senior Women’s Worlds. A great skater with offensive skills, she will be a key member of the team’s success up front.
Twenty-two-year-old Olivia Carlsson is a rare success story who went right from WW18 to WW. She rounds out what Boork hopes will be a medal-quality roster.