While taking care of the Team Finland hopefuls, we saw two players that are pretty much locks to make Team Finland. As we move our eyes onto Team Sweden, we see someone who seems now to be a lock... for the 2018 Swedish Olympic Hockey Team. But does Jonas Brodin have the track record to make the 2014 team? Let's take a look.
Jonas Brodin- Defense- Sweden
World Junior Championships
It's not about the points with Brodin. His value as of now resides primarily in his positional defense, and his excellent puck-moving, which are both enabled by his amazing speed. So, now, I'm going to tell you that he notched a total of three points in 12 games at the U-18s, and 4 points in 6 games at the main WJC. That doesn't seem very impressive, right?
Sweden finished Silver in both U-18s, and Gold in his only WJC. And as someone who watched the 2012 tournament games (but only on TV), that guy was always on the ice.
Brodin then made the World Championships roster for Team Sweden, where he scored a goal in seven games. Sweden unfortunately didn't have the success Brodin had in the Junior tournaments, being bounced in the quarterfinals, but there was something Brodin gained from that: Respect from his teammates. In Swedish outlets, many praised Brodin for his maturity, his hockey sense, and the fact that he was able to play in such a tournament at the age of 19. Said Niklas Kronwall simply, "He plays incredibly mature." That experience, though it didn't net any hardware for Brodin, will be a positive one as he looks to make the Olympics at the young age of 20.
Outlook for Sochi
Brodin will not only have to overcome his age to make Team Sweden, but also the glut of defensemen he'll be competing against. Guys like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Erik Karlsson, and Niklas Kronwall will absolutely make it. That leaves Brodin going up agaisnt guys like Alexander Edler, Jonathan Ericsson, Victor Hedman, Johnny Oduya, and more.
To make a roster this tight you need two things: To get an opportunity, and to play well enough to take advantage of that opportunity. Brodin will have a bit more of an opportunity now, Edler has been suspended for the first two Olympic Games for an illegal hit in the World Championships, which may downgrade Edler's candidacy quite a bit. It's up to Brodin, now. He has the potential to play well enough to make the roster, he will at least need to play as well as he did last year, if not make the adjustments you'd expect a sophomore make to improve further, in order to put himself in a fine position to make the Olympic squad.
If he makes it, he may be on the bottom pairing, but I expect Sweden to have full confidence in Brodin whenever they throw him out on the ice.