Just to clarify: The Vancouver Canucks will have prospects representing Team Sweden at the World Junior Championships, meaning the ones that start in December and the ones that start in less than two weeks. Yep, easy to forget, the 2022 version of the WJC was postponed from December and January while in progress due to the lingering Covid pandemic and rescheduled for the late summer. The tournament starts in Edmonton on August 9th.
Vancouver Canucks 2022 NHL 1st-round draft pick, 15th-overall, Jonathan Lekkerimaki is one of 23 players listed on the ‘Sweden Team U20’, ‘Camp in Edmonton, Canada’ roster released by the Swedes. The group will begin prep in Alberta in two days. This would appear to be the final roster as the limit is 25 players and the Swedes are listing two less than that number.
Tomas Montén will be the head coach despite his contract having expired. He’s picking up where he left off when the WJC was interrupted.
Magnus Hävelid will coach the 2023 version for Team Sweden, presently holding camp back home with approximately 45 players. Among them, Vancouver Canucks prospects Elias Pettersson the recently drafted defenceman, Jonathan Myrenberg, a D-man drafted in the 5th-round last summer, and Lucas Forsell, the winger drafted in the 7th-round in 2021 as well.
There’s no guarantee any or all of them will make the final roster for WJC 2023, but they’re all at camp and in contention.
Myrenberg will be fun to follow given he’s a right-shot defenceman and impressed at the recent Canucks Development Camp. He was one of ten Swedes in attendance, reflecting the influence of the Swedish general manager of the Canucks Patrik Allvin and of course player development coaches Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Canucks Finnish prospect Joni Jurmo, drafted two years ago in the 3rd-round, will play defence for the Finns in the tourney that starts shortly. As is the case with many of the players from the postponed tournament, Jurmo has turned 20-years-of-age since the delay. Officially it’s still the Under-20’s and predominantly a ’19-year-old’ tournament.
That’s a whole lot of ‘big stage’ junior hockey coming up and the Vancouver Canucks organization will be well represented by the Nordics.