December 11, 2021

Eklund, Holtz lead Sweden at 2022 World Juniors

Alexander Holtz and William Eklund will lead Sweden’s entry at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Sweden will be hungry to medal at this year’s World Juniors after losing in the quarterfinals to Finland in 2021. 

Although they only have seven returning players on this year’s 2022 roster, Sweden will bring a lot of experience and skill to Edmonton in December with a lineup that boasts seven first round NHL Draft selections, including Holtz and Raymond.

Both players are first round NHL Draft selections; Holtz was picked with the No. 7 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, and Eklund was picked with the No. 7 selection in the 2021 draft by the San Jose Sharks.

“With both Eklund and Holtz ready in the lineup, not only Sweden but the whole tournament will be more attractive to pay attention to,” Swedish-based FCHockey scout Fredrik Haak said. “These two players have phenomenal offensive skill and whoever you put on their line, it will be a formation that will cut through every defense.”

Holtz has been playing some great hockey with the Utica Comets in the American Hockey League since the start of the season, and has been registering at almost a point-per-game pace with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 11 games played. He was rewarded with a call up to the New Jersey Devils in early November, registering two assists in six games.

Eklund stepped right into the NHL as an 18-year-old and spent the beginning of the season playing full time with the Sharks. He collected four assists in nine games before San Jose opted to send him back to the Swedish Hockey League to further develop.

Although the defensive core of team Sweden will be very formidable with players such as Simon Edvinsson, selected in the first round (No. 6) in the 2021 draft to the Detroit Red Wings, and Emil Andrae, a second round selection (No. 54) in 2020 of the Philadelphia Flyers, a lot of their success in keeping the puck out of the net will be thrust upon goalie sensation Jesper Wallstedt or Calle Clang. 

Wallstedt was selected in the first round (No. 20) in the 2021 draft by the Minnesota Wild and has been playing in the SHL this past season for Lulea HF, posting a 9-8-0 record with two shutouts. He currently sits second in the league for goals-against average with a 1.82 mark, as well as an impressive .923 save percentage, good enough for fourth in the SHL.

Here’s a rundown of Sweden’s roster for the World Juniors:

G Calle Clang 6’2″ 176 Rogle BK SHL Pittsburgh Penguins 2020 3 77
G Jesper Vikman 6’3″ 176 Vancouver Giants WHL Vegas Golden Knights 2020 5 125
G Jesper Wallstedt 6’3″ 214 Lulea HF SHL Minnesota Wild 2021 1 20
D Emil Andrae 5’9″ 176 HV71 Allsvenskan Philadelphia Flyers 2020 2 54
D Simon Edvinsson 6’5″ 207 Frolunda HC SHL Detroit Red Wings 2021 1 6
D Mans Forsfjall 6’0″ 179 Skelleftea AIK SHL 2022
D Helge Grans 6’3″ 205 Ontario Reign AHL Los Angeles Kings 2020 2 35
D Leo Loof 6’1″ 179 Ilves Liiga St. Louis Blues 2020 3 88
D Joel Nystrom 5’10” 163 Farjestad BK SHL Carolina Hurricanes 2021 7 219
D Anton Olsson 6’0″ 198 Malmo Redhawks SHL Nashville Predators 2021 3 72
D Victor Sjoholm 5’9″ 172 HV71 Allsvenskan 2022
F William Eklund 5’10” 181 Djurgardens IF SHL San Jose Sharks 2021 1 7
F Elliot Ekmark 5’9″ 161 Linkoping HC SHL Florida Panthers 2020 7 198
F Alexander Holtz 6’0″ 194 Utica Comets AHL New Jersey Devils 2020 1 7
F Daniel Ljungman 6’0″ 176 Linkoping HC SHL Dallas Stars 2020 5 154
F Fabian Lysell 5’10” 172 Vancouver Giants WHL Boston Bruins 2021 1 21
F Oskar Magnusson 5’10” 179 AIK Allsvenskan Washington Capitals 2020 7 211
F Theodor Niederbach 5’11” 172 Frolunda HC SHL Detroit Red Wings 2020 2 51
F Zion Nybeck 5’8″ 183 HV71 Allsvenskan Carolina Hurricanes 2020 4 115
F Oskar Olausson 6’2″ 181 Barrie Colts OHL Colorado Avalanche 2021 1 28
F Isak Rosen 5’11” 157 Leksands IF SHL Buffalo Sabres 2021 1 14
F Albert Sjoberg 6’0″ 174 Sodertalje SK Allsvenskan Dallas Stars 2021 7 207
F Ake Stakkestad 5’10” 187 BIK Karlskoga Allsvenskan 2022
F Elias Stenman 5’11” 176 Skelleftea AIK SHL 2022
F Daniel Torgersson 6’3″ 205 AIK Allsvenskan Winnipeg Jets 2020 2 40

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