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World Junior Hockey 2017: Team Sweden are early favorites for Gold

After a disappointing 4th place finish last year Sweden is an early favorite for this year.

Bronze Medal - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Team Sweden

Head coach: Tomas Montén

2016 finish: lost Bronze medal game (4th)

Wild prospects: Joel Eriksson Ek (2015 1st round pick)

Forwards

Filip Ahl - Regina Pats (WHL)

Lias Andersson - HV71 (SHL)

Rasmus Asplund - Färjestad BK (SHL)

Jonathan Dahlen - Timrå IK (SHL)

Joel Eriksson Ek - Färjestad BK (SHL)

Carl Grundström - Frölunda HC (SHL)

Fredrik Karlstrom - AIK IF (SHL)

Jens Looke - Timrå IK (SHL)

Alexander Nylander - Rochester Americans (AHL)

Sebastian Ohlsson - Skellefteå AIK (SHL)

Elias Pettersson - Timrå IK (SHL)

Tim Söderlund - Skellefteå AIK (SHL)

Andreas Wingerli - Skellefteå AIK (SHL)

Defensemen

David Bernhardt - Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

Gabriel Carlsson - Linköping HC (SHL)

Lucas Carlsson - Brynäs IF (SHL)

Rasmus Dahlin - Frölunda HC (SHL)

Kristoffer Gunnarsson = Frölunda HC (SHL)

Oliver Kylington - Stockton Heat (AHL)

Jacob Larsson - Frölunda HC (SHL)

Goalies

Filip Gustavsson - Luleå HF (SHL)

Felix Sandström - Brynäs IF (SHL)

Adam Werner - Färjestad BK (SHL)

Preliminary Schedule

26th December, Monday, 1pm EST—Bell Centre

28th December, Wednesday, 5pm EST—Bell Centre

29th December, Thursday, 5:30pm EST—Bell Centre

31st December, Saturday, 1pm EST—Bell Centre

Team notes

Sweden is again a very strong team with top prospect Alex Nylander leading the way. Joel Eriksson Ek was named captain and should be in a key role with the team. Carl Grundström and Rasmus Asplund are also top prospects who have been having good SHL seasons and their forward core will also be one of the strongest in the tournament. Their defense is likely the strongest in the tournament with former first round picks Jacob Larsson and Gabriel Carlsson and good NHL-prospects Olicer Kylington and Lucas Carlsson. Rasmus Dahlin who is only 16(!!!) also made the team and has already played in the SHL. He is only eligible for the 2018 NHL draft. Filip Gustavsson was the 3rd highest drafted goaltender in the 2016 NHL draft and Felix Sandström was already in last year's tournament and is also a good goaltender.