Sweden replaces World Juniors coaching staff after COVID-19 outbreak

Tomas Monten, pictured, is one of four Sweden coaches who will not be allowed to attend the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in person due to a recent positive COVID-19 test. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has announced a new coaching staff for its entry to the World Junior Hockey Championship after the original staff recorded positive COVID-19 tests. The original staff, who were not allowed to travel to Canada due to their positive tests, will support the team remotely from Sweden.

“We have faced a major challenge in completing the team staff and we have worked intensively during the week in close dialogue with the IIHF,” John Stark, General Secretary of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, said in a statement. “The latest test results showed that all players and staff who are currently in Sundsvall are healthy and can go to Canada.”

Joel Ronnmark will now serve as head coach for the team, replacing Tomas Monten. Ronnmark, 30, is the head coach of the Vaxjo Lakers junior team and has coached Sweden’s U18 team at various international tournaments in the past. As an assistant coach on the U20 club, he was one of the few coaches who were not exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Joining Ronnmark in Edmonton will be new assistant coach Anders Eriksen and Edmonton Oilers assistant video coach Jason Pietrzykowski.

Assistant coach Anders Lundberg, video coach Adam Almqvist Andersson and goaltending coach Nizze Landen will remain in Sweden.

Beyond the coaching staff, four Swedish players — William Eklund, Karl Henriksson, William Wallinder and Albin Grewe — have been cut from the team for COVID-19 related reasons.

All 10 teams are required to report to Edmonton on Sunday before pre-tournament play begins next weekend.


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