New York Islanders 2019 first-round pick Simon Holmstrom has been named to Team Sweden’s 2021 World Junior Championship roster.
Earlier on Saturday, we found out that New York Islanders prospect Matias Rajaniemi will be headed to Edmonton as part of Team Finland’s IIHF World Junior Championship squad. Isles 2019 first-round pick Simon Holmstrom will join him in Alberta’s capital as part of Team Sweden.
Holmstrom was named to Sweden’s roster as one of 14 forwards making the trip.
Sweden hasn’t won the tournament since 2012 when the tournament was held in Edmonton. Now they return, hoping to Western Canada with a strong squad.
Holmstrom Makes the Cut
Holmstrom is the only player on Sweden’s team to have played in North America last season. Most of the other squad have played in Sweden’s SHL, Allsvenskan, or J20 leagues. The Islanders winger is expected to play on the third line.
Holmstrom may have only scored 15 points in the AHL but we have to remember that he was the youngest pro in North America last year. It was also his first year playing North American hockey after spending the entirety of his career up to that point playing for HV71 in Sweden.
He won’t be leading the team up front, but he’ll be one of the only players on the squad with extensive North American experience. That in-and-of-itself is a huge benefit for Holmstrom.
Again, Sweden hasn’t won the World Junior Championship since 2012. They’ll look to get a gold medal this year with a very talented squad with 2020 fourth overall pick Lucas Raymond (Detroit Red Wings), 2020 seventh overall pick Alexander Holtz (New Jersey Devils), and 2020 41st overall pick Noel Gunler (Carolina Hurricanes).
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Team Sweden has the fourth-best odds to win the tournament in Western Canada with +700 after hosts Canada who are favored at +180, Russia (+260), and the USA (+340).