Senators prospects Mikael Wikstrand and Z have started their 2012-13 season already, as they attend the Swedish U20 national team’s summer camp in preparation for the World Juniors.
The 34-man roster includes all the best WJC eligible player with the exception of three of last year’s gold-medal winners Jonas Brodin, Sebastian Collberg and Rickard Rakell.
The roster will be trimmed down to 22 as they travel across the Atlantic to play Finland and two Team USA teams in Lake Placid. Before that, two games against the Czech Republic team were to be played, with the first one finishing earlier this Wednesday.
The two Senators prospects starred as Mika Zibanejad got Sweden off to a great start, scoring two goals in the first ten minutes. Wikstrand assisted on the second Zibanejad goal, as well as another helper on Christian Djoos’ (yes, the son of Pär Djoos. The Pär Djoos) second period goal.
Zibanejad played wing on a line centered by 2013 draft eligible Alex Wennberg and Penguins prospect Oscar Sundkvist on the opposite wing. Wikstrand was paired with Mora teammate Tom Nilsson, a Maple Leafs draftee. Both players enjoyed quite a bit of power play time on the same unit, and that’s where Wikstrand’s two points were harvested.
The Czech team will get a chance to revenge the 7-1 beating tomorrow, as they play the second half of the back-to-back Thursday before Team Sweden leaves for the Lake Placid Olympic facilities Friday morning.
Sweden is expected to send a strong roster to the Lake Placid tournament, including both Zibanejad and Wikstrand, as the country prepares to defend the gold medal that Sweden won and Canada failed to win, despite home-ice advantage.
If you want more about the lesser known of the two Swedes, I talked to Mikael Wikstrand right after he was drafted.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Senators relax and prepare with hard work on and off the ice, coupled with proper nutrition and a good mood.