Backlund Added to Team Sweden for World Cup

Another Flame will be playing in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Michael Backlund will replace Henrik Zetterberg for Team Sweden. He joins fellow Flames Sean Monahan (North America), Johnny Gaudreau (North America), Jyrki Jokipakka (Finland), Michael Frolik (Czech Republic) and Jakub Nakladal (kind of a Flame, Czech Republic) in the tournament.

Here’s how the roster breaks down:

Forwards:

Nicklas BackstromLoui Eriksson, Filip ForsbergPatric HornqvistCarl Hagelin,  Marcus Kruger, Gabriel LandeskogDaniel SedinHenrik Sedin, Jakob Silfverberg, Carl Soderberg, Mikael Backlund, Rickard Rakell

Defence:

Mattias Ekholm, Oliver Ekman-LarssonVictor HedmanNiklas HjalmarssonErik Karlsson, Hampus Lindholm, Anton Stralman

Goalies:

Henrik Lundqvist, Robin Lehner, Jakob Markstrom

Clearly Team Sweden is going to be one of the more imposing groups at the tournament. Backlund likely slots in as a 3rd or 4th line C, which is nothing to be ashamed of given the collection of all-stars on this roster.

This appearance will add to a resume already full of international experience: 4 World Championships, 2 World Juniors and 2 U18s. On top of his recent career best season, this is another reason Sweden leaving Backlund off the initial roster was surprising. 

Anyways, good luck Mikkis!

  • MWflames

    Can someone explain to me why Marcus Krueger was selected to this team before Backlund?

    An actual hockey reason, not political BS of playing in Chicago.

    anyways….great defence, great goaltending if Henrik is on… The forwards don’t seem too imposing compared to other heavyweights in this tournament.

    • Krueger is perceived to bring what Backlund brings to the table. And he does, to some degree in some excruciating circumstances of deployment. At the end of the day though, Mikael Backlund is far-above and beyond a better option than Krueger. If anything Backlund is likely the 3C, but there is an off-chance he can be used on the wing.

      But Sweden’s national team is rife with politics and favoritism (much like most national programs like Canada’s) but it’s incredibly noticeable given their treatment and choices in recent years.

      See: OEL in Sochi

      • Kevin R

        I kind of hope that he does get played on wing(RW) & excels. Then maybe we try him on RW with Bennett or on Gaudreau/Monahan line & we just nailed a top forward down & then I won’t be so worried about the 5.0mill per year deal he is likely going to get in a couple of years.

        • I believe Backlund played on a line with Patrik Berglund for Vasteras IK during the lockout. Berglund was typically used as the centre and I think Backlund played either LW or RW.

          He had a pretty strong showing in a small sample: 12 goals, 18 assists in 23GP.

          Regardless, I don’t think it’s a suitable option to move him away from his center role until Monahan and/or Bennett both provide positive impacts in the underlying side of things.

          • Kevin R

            All these negative waves Mikey, whats with all the negative waves??

            Bennett & Monahan are going to excel at Centre this year & it’s going to be a beautiful 1-2 punch from our young centres.

  • Baalzamon

    So. Who do the Flames invite to training camp to compensate for this?

    Doubt they go in with just Bennett, Stajan, Jankowski, Vey, and Hamilton down the middle.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    I remember a couple of years ago this was a guy a lot of people wanted out of Calgary but over the last two seasons he has morphed into a reliable second or third centre option and a guy that can play a few different roles with the team.