Team Sweden was released from quarantine today at the World Juniors and will be practising later today. Yesterday, the team announced the leadership group for the tournament which will be led by Edmonton Oilers prospect Philip Broberg. Broberg will wear the “C” as captain of the squad and will be joined by alternates Tobias Bjornfot, Victor Soderstrom and Albin Sundsvik.
Broberg, 19, is set to spend this season in Sweden again after the tournament concludes but is a top prospect to keep an eye on for the Oilers. Selected 8th overall in 2019 he has already represented Sweden twice at the WJC and should be a force on the blueline once again. An incredible skater, Broberg has been criticized at times for his decision making but shows signs of quickly turning into a top defenseman for Edmonton. He was so impressive this summer that he actually made the Oilers postseason bubble roster, playing in one of the exhibition games. Though he didn’t actually suit up for his NHL debut, it’s not far off.
Bjornfot meanwhile has already made that debut, suiting up for three games with the Los Angeles Kings at the start of the 2019-20 season. The 19-year-old was the 22nd overall pick in 2019 and is also a returning member of the Swedish WJC team. Bjornfot spent last season with the Ontario Reign as one of the youngest defensemen in AHL history, scoring 19 points in 44 games. He has been playing with Djurgardens IF this year and has three points (and 33 penalty minutes) in 15 games.
Soderstrom, another defenseman, is also one of the top prospects in the world, selected 11th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2019. He was a dynamic offensive presence for the Swedes at last year’s tournament, recording six points in seven games. He’s been on loan this season to AIK in the Swedish second tier and has six points in 12 games. Alongside Broberg and Bjornfot, Soderstrom forms a trio of outstanding defenders who could take over the tournament.
Sundsvik is perhaps the most interesting choice, given he was not at the tournament last year and isn’t a top prospect. The 19-year-old center was selected 160th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in this year’s draft (his second year of eligibility) and has just three points in 23 games at the SHL level this year. Perhaps this honor is a sign of things to come and the Ducks landed a steal in the late rounds.