The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship is scheduled for Dec. 25-Jan. 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. To celebrate the tournament, which was first contested in 1974, NHL.com has compiled an all-time starting lineup for some of the participating countries based solely on the players performance at the World Juniors. Today, we look at the ideal three forwards, two defensemen and goalie to start a game for Sweden.
Tournaments: 1992, 1993
Statistics: 14 games, 10-32-42
Forsberg’s 32 assists and 42 points lead all players in WJC history. As a 19-year-old in 1993, he set a single-tournament record by scoring 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in seven games, including single-game records of seven assists and 10 points in Sweden’s 20-1 win against Japan. Forsberg helped Sweden finish second each year and was named the tournament’s best forward in 1993. The center played 13 NHL seasons for four teams.
Tournaments: 1992, 1993
Statistics: 14 games, 21-13-34
Naslund scored 21 goals, third-most in World Juniors history behind Pavel Bure (27) and Vladimir Ruzicka (25), each of whom played more games than Naslund. Playing on Forsberg’s wing in 1993, Naslund’s 13 goals set a single-tournament record and his 24 points are tied for second-most. Naslund also tied for the tournament lead in goals with eight in 1992 and helped Sweden finish second each year. The left wing played 15 NHL seasons for three teams.
Tournaments: 2012, 2013, 2014
Statistics: 19 games, 7-11-18
Forsberg was a 17-year-old depth player who had one assist in six games to help Sweden win the 2012 WJC, its first championship since 1981. He was team captain in 2013 when they finished second, again in 2014 when his 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in seven games was second behind Finland forward Teuvo Teravainen (15 points; two goals, 13 assists) among all players, and he was named the tournament’s most valuable player and best forward. This season will be the left wing’s ninth in the NHL.
Niklas Sundstrom: 21 games (1993, 1994, 1995), 18-15-33; Michael Nylander: 14 games (1991, 1992), 14-14-28; Henrik Sedin: 20 games (1998, 1999, 2000), 7-19-26
Statistics: 6 games, 2-7-9
Karlsson made a big impact in his only WJC appearance, tying Canada’s P.K. Subban for the lead in scoring among defensemen. He was named the tournament’s best defenseman and helped Sweden finish second. This season will be Karlsson’s 12th in the NHL.
Tournaments: 1993, 1994
Statistics: 14 games, 5-8-13
Jonsson was named the best defensemen at the 1994 WJC after leading all players at his position with eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games and helping Sweden finish second. He also helped Sweden finish second in 1993, when he scored five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games. Jonsson played 10 NHL seasons for two teams.
Rasmus Sandin: 12 games (2019, 2020), 5-9-14; Ricard Persson: 14 games (1988, 1989), 5-11-16
Tournaments: 2009, 2010
Statistics: 10 games, 8-2, 1.91 GAA, .935 save percentage
Markstrom helped Sweden reach the semifinals in 2009 and 2010, including a second-place finish in 2009 when he was named the tournament’s best goalie with a WJC-best .943 save percentage and a 1.61 goals-against average that was second in five games. He had a 2.21 GAA and .927 save percentage in 2010, when Sweden finished third. This season will be Markstrom’s 11th in the NHL.
Henrik Lundqvist: 14 games (2001, 2002): 6-6, 2.00 GAA, .918 save percentage