John Klingberg, Sweden
Count John Klingberg in on a Swedish men’s team that projects serious firepower come February.
The Swedes are arguably the team that stands to gain the most from the return of NHL talent. Led by the likes of Gabriel Landeskog and Victor Hedman, Sweden will be a fast team with stellar puck-movement. Such bodes well for Klingberg’s chances at making the roster.
Klingberg’s last action with Sweden came in the 2017 IIHF World Championships. The Stars defenseman contributed 6 points in 10 games en route to Sweden’s gold medal win over Canada.
Klingberg has been a mainstay on Sweden’s men’s roster since being left off in the preliminary phase of 2016.
Sweden finished 5th in the 2018 PyeongChange games with a roster than included John Klingberg’s brother, Carl. The Swedes were much better with NHL talent in 2014, winning silver after a highly-anticipated final against Canada.
In the early Blackout Dallas office pool, we project another Canada vs. Sweden gold medal matchup. We also envision the United States and Russia battling it out for the bronze medal. Much will depend on how teams are grouped and perform during round robin play. Another consideration is NHL players that may or may not opt out for various reasons that includes injury.
However the tournament shapes up, we are glad to have it back with NHL players. It is only right that an international ice hockey tournament on the biggest stage include the world’s best players. -J.G.