Philip Broberg, a defenseman prospect for the Edmonton Oilers, was named captain of Sweden for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday.
“It’s an honor to be named the captain of your team,” Broberg said. “I try to be a leader, both on the ice and off the ice, to show by example, be the guy that can step up.”
Defensemen Tobias Bjornfot (Los Angeles Kings) and Victor Soderstrom (Arizona Coyotes), and forward Albin Sundsvik (Anaheim Ducks) were named alternate captains.
Broberg, who was the No. 8 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in 23 games while on loan with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League this season.
The 19-year-old was part of the Oilers Return to Play Plan roster last postseason and played 11:19 in a 4-1 exhibition win against the Calgary Flames. However, he did not play against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which the Oilers lost in four games.
“I think I gained a lot of experience with being in the bubble this summer with Edmonton, and being around those NHL games, see how [the players] prepare and execute, both in games and outside of the ice,” Broberg said.
“The whole experience was really good for me and my hockey play. The game that I got to do against Calgary was really special for me, to be able to compete against other NHL-level players, play against them and see how big the difference really is. Hopefully one day I can be able to be a big, big part of the Oilers organization.”
This will be Broberg’s third time playing in the WJC. He scored one goal in seven games to help Sweden finish third last year. He also had one assist in four games in 2019.
“He’s a leader for our group, both on and off the ice,” Sweden coach Joel Ronnmark said. “He’s not shy to talk to the group. Both verbally, being able to talk and set the standard in how we practice and how we’re going to play when we go forward here, and also he leads by example on the ice. He’s a real good player for us. we can use him in every situation, and we will. He’s going to be really important for us.”
The 2021 WJC is scheduled to be held from Dec. 25-Jan. 5, 2021, at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The tournament will be played without fans and in a secure zone similar to what the NHL used during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.
Sweden will be in Group B in the preliminary round and play against the Czech Republic (Dec. 26), Austria (Dec. 28), Russia (Dec. 30), and the United States (Dec. 31). Group A consists of Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.
The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals on Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place game is scheduled to be held on Jan. 5. Games will be broadcast in the United States on NHL Network.