Sweden Olympic team: Henrik Lundqvist leads stacked roster

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Henrik Zetterberg is among the many stars on Sweden's Olympic roster. (USATSI)
Henrik Ztterberg is among the many stars on Sweden's Olympic roster. (USATSI)

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Sweden should head into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games as one of the favorites to medal. With the roster they announced Tuesday, they should even press for the gold in Sochi.

Led by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden is full of seasoned international veterans and NHL stars. The forward group alone would be the envy of any country not named Canada (although even the Canadians have to be impressed with this group, too).

Here's a look at who made Team Sweden via the IIHF:

Goalies:
Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo Sabres (NHL)
Jonas Gustavsson , Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Henrik Lundqvist , New York Rangers (NHL)

Defensemen:
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
Jonathan Ericsson , Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Johnny Oduya, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Henrik Tallinder , Buffalo Sabres (NHL)

Forwards:
Daniel Alfredsson, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (NHL)
Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Jimmie Ericsson, Skellefteå AIK (SWE)
Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins (NHL)
Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers (NHL)
Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)

Thirteen players will return from the 2010 team that finished a surprising and disappointing fifth in Vancouver. Six players – Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Zetterberg – were all members of the 2006 team that won gold in Torino, the last time the Olympics was held on a wider ice surface.

Two key additions that weren't part of the 2010 team are Erik Karlsson, the 2012 Norris Trophy winner and Gabriel Landeskog, captain of the improving Colorado Avalanche. Throw in Alexander Steen who has had a remarkable year when it comes to goal scoring, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who has become one of the best young defensemen in the league, and you have one of the deepest teams in all of international hockey.

One notable omission, however, is Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The youngster has represented Sweden often internationally and has really come into his own over the last few seasons. There will always be tough decisions to make when you have the depth of talent like Sweden, but he's one player that may have a gripe.

Either way, this is going to be as good as any roster in the tournament, more than likely. Sweden is going to be a really good bet to finish atop Group C and make a real push for gold.

 
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