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Dec 13The Olympic Kids – prospects that starred on the big stage
Dec 13Can any of the WJC underdogs break through in Buffalo?  
Dec 12A Russian trend – three forwards headed for the first round?
Dec 12Deep Russian squad looks to extend medal streak 
Dec 11The 2018 WJC underdog that could win it all
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December 07, 2017

Why Adam Boqvist wasn’t picked for the Swedish WJC camp

An abundance of riches? Well, Team Sweden will certainly have some quality on the backend at this year’s WJC in Buffalo. So much so that coach Tomas Montén didn’t give one of the top prospects for next year’s draft, Brynäs’ Adam Boqvist, a shot to compete for a roster spot as he presented his preliminary roster Wednesday.

While Rasmus DahlinTimothy LiljegrenErik BrännströmLinus Högberg and Jacob Moverare were no-brainers for the Swedes, Montén choose to go with other right-shooting options than Boqvist in Filip Westerlund and Gustav Lindström.

Westerlund, Arizona Coyotes second round pick last summer, has had a tough time cracking Frölunda’s roster in the SHL this season, but coach Montén liked what the 18 year-old did for the Swedes during last month’s four nations’ tournament in Russia. While Westerlund is more of a two-way defensemen, the one player that probably took Boqvist’s spot in the end was Lindström.

The nephew of former NHL rearguard Marcus Ragnarsson, who also happens to be his coach with Almtuna of Hockeyallsvenskan, is more of an offensive defender. Still, he hasn’t been prominent on the score sheet this season with only three helpers in 18 games. The Detroit Red Wings prospect is almost two years older than Adam Boqvist and it seems like his experience played a large part in Tomas Montén’s decision. Lindström could be considered “the safer option”, if you so will.


Photo: Bildbyrån/Simon Hastegård

Adam Boqvist has been lights out in the Swedish junior circuit with ten goals and 17 points in 16 games. Impressive numbers, but not enough to warrant a real shot at the SHL. He’s been dressed in six games with very limited ice-time this far. Mostly due to Brynäs’ struggles during the first half of the season after being a finalist last spring. The coaches have been reluctant to rely too much on a young, unproven defender in a time of crisis. Boqvist and his representatives have been looking for loan deal, that would give him a chance to play in Hockeyallsvenskan, but nothing has come to fruition yet.

So, did the lack of playing time against men hurt his chances for the WJC?
“Not at all”, Tomas Montén said yesterday. “We’ve chosen an identity with eight defensemen that complement each other. That’s why these eight guys were picked over Adam. We want several different types of players because that gives us the flexibility to form our defense in different ways once we’re in Buffalo.”

Essentially, what Montén is saying is that Adam Boqvist’s style reminds him too much of other players on the roster. The most obvious one would be Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Timothy Liljegren, also an offensive-minded right-handed shot who likes to join the rush and a likely candidate to run the Swedish power play.

Whether it’s the right decision or not to leave Boqvist at home remains to be seen. However, it’s hard to envision a team with too much skill on defense. Especially in a day and age where the “stay-at-home defensemen” is a dying breed, and speed, mobility and skill are the most important components in building a strong defense that can transition the puck with ease. Sweden will be rich on all of the above, but Adam Boqvist would probably have added even more offensive punch to an already strong team.

@UffeBodin



13 December, 2017

The Olympic Kids – prospects that starred on the big stage

The other day, we were looking at some of the players that might turn WJC success into a chance to compete at the Olympics in South Korea in February. If player...

13 December, 2017

Can any of the WJC underdogs break through in Buffalo?  

It?s known who the Big 5 at the World Juniors are, as Canada, the United States, Sweden, Russia, and Finland historically form the top half of the tournament. B...

12 December, 2017

A Russian trend – three forwards headed for the first round?

It has been almost a decade since it happened the last time. To be specific, the year was 2010 and the players were Alexander Burmistrov, Vladimir Tarasenko and...

12 December, 2017

Deep Russian squad looks to extend medal streak 

Though Russia hasn?t had many household names on their World Junior rosters recently, they?ve seen major success at the tournament.  Last year, Russia went 2-2 ...

11 December, 2017

The 2018 WJC underdog that could win it all

Everyone loves an underdog. Be it professional sports, fictional stories or real life tales ? there are few things quite as stirring as watching an unlikely her...

11 December, 2017

The World Junior Championships – an audition for the Olympics

There will be more than medals at stake during the World Juniors in Buffalo later this month. The NHL’s decision to stop their players from participating ...

10 December, 2017

Sweden’s elite talent looks to end cycle of WJC mediocrity

 Sweden has had an underwhelming run at the World Juniors the last few years. But this year, things could change.  In each of the past three tournaments, Sweden...

10 December, 2017

Lukas Vejdemo – taking the patient route to the NHL

It’s a hockey debate that always seem to be raging in Sweden. On one hand, you have the people that feel it’s better for a prospect to stay on home ...

09 December, 2017

Nicklas Lidström on Rasmus Dahlin: “He looks like Brian Leetch”

There’s been no shortage of homages for Rasmus Dahlin this season. The projected first overall pick in the 2018 NHL entry draft has taken the hockey world...

09 December, 2017

Where are they now? – Three forgotten WJC stars

Whenever you come across a story entitled ?where are they now?, it is usually a foregone conclusion that the story will feature individuals who at one time perf...

08 December, 2017

Breaking down Team Canada’s roster snubs

On Wednesday, Canada announced its preliminary roster for the World Junior Hockey tournament via an extravagant ceremony in St. Catharines, Ontario. For the 32 ...

08 December, 2017

Finland on the rebound after disastrous showing at last year’s WJC 

It was nothing short of a disaster for Finland at last year?s World Juniors in Toronto and Montreal.  The Finns won just one game in the group stage and finishe...

07 December, 2017

Away from the spotlight

In the quaint little ski resort of Méribel, nestled deep in the French Alps, hockey isn?t exactly on the everyday agenda. Replace skates with skis and hockey ti...

07 December, 2017

Sabres faithful may get chance to see Mittelstadt shine

Drafted eighth in the first round this past June by the Buffalo Sabres, it?s looking more and more likely that Minnesota native Casey Mittelstadt has a rare opp...