Projecting Team Sweden’s 4 Nations Face-Off Roster

NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh discusses how the four nations were chose for the '4 Nations Face-Off', and explain why they didn't have enough time to choose more.

As the NHL’s best prepare to return to the world stage a year from now, the chatter has focused on the usual names. A Canadian squad featuring the likes of Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. An American team stocked with Auston Matthews, the Hughes brothers and the Tkachuk brothers.

But there’s a well-worn adage we hear every time a trophy is on the line: Defence wins championships. And in this particular tournament, the most well-rounded defensive unit might just be wearing blue and yellow come February 2025.

While the Tre Kronor might not boast the ultra-elite world-beaters up front that their North American counterparts do, there’s no question they’ll have enough talent to make some noise at the 4 Nations Face-Off. The Swedes should enter Game 1 well-stocked in every key area — down the middle, on the blue line, and in the cage.

That being the case, we round out our projected rosters for the 2025 tournament with a look at how that promising Swedish roster could shake out:


Filip Forsberg — Elias Pettersson — Elias Lindholm

Jesper Bratt — Mika Zibanejad — William Nylander

Gabriel Landeskog  Joel Eriksson Ek  Adrian Kempe

Leo Carlsson — William Karlsson — Lucas Raymond

Calle Jarnkrok

Mikael Backlund

The timing of the NHL elite returning to international competition couldn’t be better for Sweden. It arrives as standouts like Elias Pettersson and William Nylander have broken through and found their all-world potential, and while steady veterans Mika Zibanejad and Filip Forsberg remain elite talents, too.

The Swedes will have no shortage of dangerous options up front, led by that elite quartet of Pettersson, Nylander, Zibanejad and Forsberg. Two-way talent Elias Lindholm will surely be among that group as well, and the national team will only benefit from any chemistry he’s now building with his fellow Vancouver Canuck. After a breakout in New Jersey, Jesper Bratt figures to round out a top six that will boast its fair share of speed and elite playmaking ability.

Behind that group, there’s still plenty to handle among this Swedish forward corps — more young promise in Lucas Raymond and rookie Leo Carlsson, more steady veterans in Adrian Kempe, Joel Eriksson Ek and William Karlsson. And there’s room for versatility too, room to alter the complexion of the forward group with different elements in one of those final spots, with veterans like Mikael Backlund and Calle Jarnkrok available for selection as well.

The key question mark for the Swedes up front will be Gabriel Landeskog. After lifting the Stanley Cup in 2022, knee injuries have forced the 31-year-old to miss the entirety of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. But the veteran is progressing, returning to the ice a month ago, and working towards a return to his club’s lineup potentially as early as this year’s post-season.

How Landeskog looks by the time next year’s mid-season tournament arrives remains to be seen. Still, from the beginning of his career to the last time he was on the ice for Colorado, his 571 career points ranked as the second-most amassed by any Swedish forward in the NHL. His nation’s attack will have promise regardless, but a return to form for No. 92 by next February would make them even more of a handful for the tournament’s other three squads.


Victor Hedman  Erik Karlsson

Rasmus Dahlin  Rasmus Andersson

Hampus Lindholm  Jonas Brodin

Mattias Ekholm

Adam Larsson

While the forward group is impressive, it’s the back end that truly sets Sweden apart in this tournament. The Canadians and Americans will have their fair share of stars on the blue line, but there’s a case to be made that neither will roll out a group as well-rounded as the Swedes.

If you want veteran savvy, how about a pair of Norris winners in Victor Hedman and Erik Karlsson? The duo have four of the trophies between them, and have been finalists for the Norris a combined 11 times overall. Hedman, of course, has two Stanley Cups to his name, too, and a Conn Smythe Trophy for his trouble — as seasoned a veteran leader as a squad could hope for in a do-or-die tournament like this one.

On the other hand, if you want youth, how about Rasmus Dahlin — one of the most talented young defenders in the game today — hopping over the boards when Hedman comes off. Already having stepped into his prime, already making good on his immense potential, it’s worth remembering Dahlin will have another season’s worth of big-league experience under his belt by the time this tournament arrives.

Behind that elite trio of options, there’s another pair of impressive talents in their prime, in Rasmus Andersson and Hampus Lindholm. And rounding out the group, you can take your pick from steady veterans Jonas Brodin, Mattias Ekholm and Adam Larsson.

Regardless of how exactly the pairings shake out, the Swedish blue line should have a little bit of everything to throw at the opposition, and keep them in check.


Linus Ullmark

Jacob Markstrom

Filip Gustavsson

Behind that star-studded blue line, the Swedes should find themselves just as steady in the cage.

Again, they’ll roll out a group that can hang with any of the other three nations in this tournament. Leading the trio will likely be reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark. Behind him, there’s 2022 Vezina finalist Jacob Markstrom. And you can throw young Filip Gustavsson into the mix too, after a 2022-23 breakout that saw the 25-year-old finish with the second-best save percentage league-wide — bested only by his own countryman, Ullmark.

While the 2023-24 season has been less kind to the trio’s numbers, there’s surely enough talent between the three to grant Sweden a netminder who can guide the squad through a nine-day tournament. And either way, the pressure on the one who does get that call should be lessened by the strength of the blue line in front of him.

Take that defensive group, and the dynamic forward corps to be leading the charge up front, and the Tre Kronor look every bit a legitimate challenger for the tourney crown.


Team Canada
Team United States
Team Finland

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