Sweden has been knocking on the door for three straight years now, finishing in medal contention, but unable to break through to claim gold. However, led by a player that seems to balance the best of North American and Swedish hockey, the Kitchener Rangers’ Gabriel Landeskog.
Due to the challenges of travel, Landeskog remained in North America while his team prepared overseas for the tournament. Once the club arrived on this side of the Atlantic, Landeskog joined the roster and the OHL’s top-ranked draft-eligible prospect will be counted upon to play a key two-way game in his first world junior experience.
However, Landeskog will have some help leading the club towards its first gold since 1981 (and only its second gold overall). Four players return from last year’s bronze-medal-winning club: Landeskog’s fellow 2011 draft-eligible Adam Larsson, Tim Erixon (Calgary’s 2009 first-round selection), Anton Lander (a second-round pick by Edmonton in 2009) and Carl Klingberg (second round, Atlanta, 2009).