2020 WJC Recap: Preliminary Round, Group A

Jokke Nevalainen

2020-01-01

 

The preliminary round is now over, so let’s go through the performance of each team and their top performers. In this article, I’ll go through Group A which includes Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Slovakia and Kazakhstan.

 

If you’re curious about Group B, you can find my recap about them from here: https://dobberprospects.com/2020-wjc-recap-preliminary-round-group-b/

 

There are no games in the tournament today. All four quarterfinal games will be played tomorrow, one after another, so it will be a great day of hockey-watching.

 

Sweden

 

Death, taxes, and Sweden winning all their preliminary round games at the World Juniors. They haven’t lost a preliminary round game in over 10 years, and that streak continues into next year as well. They’ll face Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

 

Sweden has been led by their top line wingers Nils Höglander (VAN) and Samuel Fagemo (LAK) who have seven points each. Fagemo leads the entire tournament with six goals and 26 shots on goal, and Höglander’s ‘Zorro goal’ (as it’s called in Sweden) has been the highlight of the tournament so far. Höglander is second on the team with 15 shots on goal. Both of them have played about 16 minutes per game.

 

Wingers Jonatan Berggren (DET), Alexander Holtz (2020) and Lucas Raymond (2020) have provided great secondary offense. Berggren and Holtz have five points and Raymond has four. They have played about 14 minutes per game.

 

Offensive contributions from their centers have been limited which is no surprise. Karl Henriksson (NYR) has three points, and David Gustafsson (WPG) and Oskar Bäck (DAL) have two. But Gustafsson has played over 17 minutes per game and fired 10 shots on goal.

 

But as expected, Sweden is getting great contributions from their back-end. Victor Söderström (ARZ) has five points, Nils Lundkvist (NYR) has four points, and Rasmus Sandin (TOR) has three points. Söderström is third on the team with 12 shots on goal but he is still looking for his first goal.

 

Lundkvist leads the team in average ice time with 20:02, followed by Söderström (19:50) and Sandin (19:34). There’s a clear drop-off after those three, with Philip Broberg (EDM) coming in at number four with 17:20. Sandin was injured in the fourth game but it sounds like it shouldn’t be a long-term thing.

 

Hugo Alnefelt (TBL) has started three games and sports a 0.914 save percentage. He is their number one goalie in this tournament. Jesper Eliasson (DET) has played one game, Erik Por