2022 Olympics Preview: Sweden
I've spent the last week or so speculating as to what would happen if the IOC and IIHF did what hockey fans are universally clamouring for: giving me absolute authority to pick the rosters for every 2022 Olympic team. This will be excellent practice for when I receive that phone call from Rene Fasel (I assume it’s coming in the next few weeks).
My choices are informed by multiple sources, Patrick Bacon’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) model among them. Instead of just picking all the best players and haphazardly chucking them into line combinations, I did my best to assemble lines that accentuate each player’s skill set to maximize the strength of the roster. In order to do this, I frequently cited the work of other EP Rinkside contributors and the microstats tracked by Corey Sznajder.
I have already constructed the Canadian and American teams, and I think it’s not too controversial to say that those two teams will probably be the tournament favourites. But we can’t forget about the Swedes, the country that made it all the way to the gold medal game in the last best-on-best Olympics before ultimately being suffocated by Canada. A lot has changed in eight years, and only three silver medallists made the cut for me. There’s a new generation of Swedish talent in the NHL, and I did my best to put it on display.
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