Five of the seven Red Wings prospects named to rosters for the world junior hockey championships on Saturday are from Sweden, which hasn’t won the gold medal since 2012 in Calgary and just twice in the tournament’s 44-year history.
The 2020-2021 tournament begins on Christmas Day and wraps up with the gold medal game on Jan. 5 in Edmonton.
First-round draft pick Lucas Raymond is the only one of the five Swedes drafted by Detroit to play on last year’s world junior team, which won a bronze medal by beating defending champion Finland 3-2. The 5-10, 185-pound winger had two goals and two assists in seven games last year.
Joining Raymond on Team Sweden are centers Theodor Niederbach and Elmer Soderblom and defensemen Albert Johansson and Gustav Berglund.
Two other Red Wings draft picks at the Swedish evaluation camp (William Wallinder and Albin Grewe) were cut after testing positive for COVID-19. Sweden coach Tomas Monten, who coached Raymond at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth last year, also tested positive and will be replaced by Joel Ronnmark.
The other Detroit draft selections in the tournament are Finland defenseman Eemil Viro and Czech Republic goaltender Jan Bednar.
Red Wings draft picks at worlds
►Lucas Raymond: (1st round/2020, RW, 5-10, 185 pounds, 12 points in 22 games with Frolunda)
►Theodor Niederbach: (2nd round/2020, center/RW, 5-11, 172 pounds, 35 points in 19 games with Frolunda)
►Elmer Soderblom: (6th round/2019, RW/LW, 6-7, 227 pounds, four points in four games with Frolunda)
►Albert Johansson: (2nd round/2019, defensemen, 6-0, 170 pounds, seven points in 20 games with Farjestad)
►Gustav Berglund: (6th round/2019, defenseman, 6-2, 195 pounds, three points in 17 games with Vasteras)
►Eemil Viro: (3rd round/2020, defenseman, 6-0, 170 pounds, six points in 16 games with TPS in Finland)
►Jan Bednar: (4th round/2020, goaltender, 6-4, 195 pounds, 4.16 goals against average in five games with HC Energie Karlovy)