Part 3 of this series now focuses on Team Sweden and which Rangers players could take part.
Henrik Lundqvist- King Henrik is the best goalie in the world and will definitely be in the team and is pretty much a lock to start every game for Sweden. I don’t think much more needs to be said on the matter. I might as well throw in the fact Henrik was a gold medal winner with Sweden back in 06′ when he won the tournament with them.
Carl Hagelin- Hagelin’s definitely an interesting one. I can see him make the team, and I can also see him not make the team. One huge advantage he does have is his speed on the big Olympic ice surfaces. That alone gives him a huge leg up on the competition. The other advantage he holds is he can fill sort of a niche for team Sweden and play a defensive role for them while not sacrificing some ability without the puck. Hagelin’s fate is still undecided and I don’t think it will be until we edge closer to the tournament.
Anton Stralman- I like Stralman as a player and think he fills a good role for the Rangers. That being said though, he’s way down the list of defenseman that’ll be chosen for Team Sweden. Basically the only way he gets in is if some of the NHLers on the team get injured during the season. His fate is not in his own hands at all.
Other young Swedes on the Rangers like Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast won’t make the Olympics this year, but I think come 2018 they could be looking at potential call ups if they go through the NHL like they did the SEL.
Team Norway- Mats Zuccarello
Zuccarello has to be an absolute lock for this tournament as he was the only player from Norway to even play a game in the NHL last year. Zuccarello made his name in this tournament back in 2010, and now will be looked upon to lead Norway again. He might be a bit overlooked on the Ranger at times, but when it comes to Norway he’s the focal point.
Alright that covers it when it comes to New York Rangers representation at the Olympics. Unless the team were to trade for a Russian, Czech, or Slovak player before the tournament those countries I covered will be the only ones with Rangers representation. Kind of weird how the Rangers have become so much less international in the last couple years, though I guess trading Anisimov and Gaborik had a lot to do with that.
Be sure to follow me on twitter @11matt_josephs8