On December 7, it was announced that Flames prospect William Strömgren had been named to Sweden’s 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship roster. Strömgren had previously represented Sweden internationally at the U18 World Championships.
With the Calgary Flames holding the 45th overall pick inside the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft, general manager Brad Treliving selected the two-way winger. Strömgren, a product of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden weighed in at 6’3″ and 175 lbs at the time of his draft year and has come into this calendar season, with a bigger frame, clocking in at 181 lbs.
In his draft year, the main upsides to his skillset—as noted by scouts—were his skating ability and his puck-handling skill. He is known as more of a shooter rather than a playmaker as he possesses a pretty quick and accurate release. On top of that, his on-ice vision in his ability to set up his teammates was another positive attribute highlighted by scouts.
After the draft, the road hasn’t been easy for Strömgren thus far as he has juggled through some teams over the past two seasons. Strömgren failed to make the cut and solidify a clear spot with Rögle BK in the SHL in the 2021–22 season and later decided to depart the organization early this fall. Strömgren has since cracked a spot with Brynäs IF in the SHL, where he’s turned into a regular bottom-six winger for the club as a 19-year-old, this season. He currently has two goals and three assists on the year, through 26 games played thus far.
It should be noted that Strömgren’s on-ice role is fundamentally centred around deployment in defensive situations. With his numbers not exactly being the most attractive, he will likely take the task of being responsible to execute what he knows within a similar bottom-six role for the national junior team.
Sweden’s WJC schedule
Sweden will be competing inside Group A at the tournament starting this boxing day, alongside Canada, Czechia, Germany and Austria. They are set to play two pre-tournament matchups; the first being on December 21 against the United States and then on December 23 versus Switzerland. The puck drop for both matchups at 12:30 pm MST.
Sweden’s group stage schedule:
December 26 vs Austria, 11:30 am MST
December 27 vs Germany, 11:30 am MST
December 29 vs Czechia, 11:30 am MST
December 31 vs Canada, 4:30 pm MST
Keeping an eye on Strömgren
For Flames fans, this will be an opportunity to see Strömgren in action to see if they can spot what the scouts saw when they drafted him too. Let’s see how he does at the tournament.