Sweden selects Davidsson for preliminary World Junior roster

December 06, 2017 - 12:20 pm
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The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has released their 26-man preliminary roster for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship later this month in Buffalo.

The Buffalo Sabres will possibly have another prospect representing them in the tournament with forward Marcus Davidsson as part of the preliminary roster.

Davidsson, 19, has spent a majority of the 2017-18 season playing in the Swedish Hockey League with the Djurgårdens IF Ice Hockey Club. In 21 games played with the big club, Davidsson has a goal and seven assists playing primarily as a bottom-six, two-way forward. In three games with the Djurgårdens IF under-20 team, Davidsson has three goals and an assist.

Buffalo's second round pick (37th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft has competed with Sweden at the international level a few times in the past. In 2016, Davidsson was part of the Swedish team that captured the silver medal at the Under-18 World Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In four games played, Davidsson scored two goals and added an assist but missed out on the final three games of the tournament.

Alexander Nylander is another Sabres prospect that is eligible to play for Sweden at the 2018 World Juniors, but was left off the preliminary roster.

The 19-year old has one more year of eligibility after being one of the top players in the 2017 World Junior Championship in Canada. Nylander finished last year's tournament tied for the lead in scoring with 12 points in seven games, and was also voted as a Media All-Star. However, Sweden came up empty handed in the medal rounds for a second consecutive season after an overtime loss to the Russians in the bronze medal game.

Over the past two World Junior Championships, Nylander has nine goals and 21 points in 14 games.

However, Buffalo's first round pick (8th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft is not yet out of the picture for the Swedish roster at the 2018 tournament in Buffalo. Sweden's head coach Tomas Monten said that the Sabres have yet to decide if Nylander can play in this year's tournament or not. However, if the Sabres do let Nylander play in this year's tournament, Monten said they would welcome him in with open arms.

Earlier this year, Monten had expected Nylander to be in Buffalo with the Sabres, which is why he did not invite him to play with Sweden at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan.

Nearly two weeks ago, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in an interview with Schopp and the Bulldog that the organization is open to allowing Nylander to play at this year's tournament.

"He's still eligible to play, and it will be something that we look at with just how he performs over the next couple of weeks here," Botterill said. "From my perspective, I've always believed that the World Juniors is a great opportunity for young players to challenge themselves. It's always a great honor to represent your country, and challenge yourself against your fellow peers.

"[Sweden] has definitely shown interest, and they would absolutely love to have him on the team. He was a huge part of their team last year, and if it's a situation if we were to loan him again this year he'd be a huge boost to their lineup."

Since returning from a lower-body injury back on November 17th, Nylander has scored a goal and registered four points in eight games. Nylander suffered his injury during the first game of the Sabres Prospects Challenge back on September 8th before the Sabres opened training camp.

The Swedish team can add Nylander to their roster any time during the tournament, as long as it is two hours before their last match in the tournament.

Also as part of the Swedish roster is the projected top pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Rasmus Dahlin. The smooth skating, shifty defenseman made a name for himself in last year's tournament as a 16-year old, scoring a goal and registering an assist in seven games played.

Here is the complete 26-man roster for Sweden:


Goalies:

Olle Eriksson Ek (Anaheim Ducks)

Filip Gustavsson (Pittsburgh Penguins)*

Filip Larsson (Detroit Red Wings)


Defense:

Erik Brannstrom (Vegas Golden Knights)

Rasmus Dahlin (2018 Draft Eligible)*

Linus Hogberg (Philadelphia Flyers)

Timothy Liljegren (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Gustav Lindstrom (Detroit Red Wings)

Jacob Moverare (Los Angeles Kings)

Jesper Sellgren (2018 Draft Eligible)

Filip Westerlund (Arizona Coyotes)


Forwards:

Lias Andersson (New York Rangers)*

Jesper Boqvist (New Jersey Devils)

Marcus Davidsson (Buffalo Sabres)

Lucas Elvenes (Vegas Golden Knights)

Axel Jonsson Fjallby (Washington Capitals)

David Gustafsson (2018 Draft Eligible)

Glenn Gustafsson

Fredrik Karlstrom (Dallas Stars)

Linus Lindstrom (Calgary Flames)

Isac Lundestrom (2018 Draft Eligible)

Jacob Olofsson (2018 Draft Eligible)

Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks)*

Tim Soderlund (Chicago Blackhawks)*

Oskar Steen (Boston Bruins)

Fabian Zetterlund (New Jersey Devils)


* - Played on 2017 Sweden team

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