Tomas Monten is looking forward to winning his sixth attempt as a Swedish coach at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships.
“Last December 30, when we left Red Deer, Alberta, I thought that was it…I thought we had a good enough team to win the game, but wouldn’t get that chance, ‘ said Monte. “It’s the last dance, the last shot for me.”
WJC 2022 will take place in Edmonton from August 9-20. The competition was originally scheduled to run from December 26 to January. 5, but was delayed until December 29 due to coronavirus concerns.
Sweden had two wins in two games when the tournament was postponed, with the highest scoring efficiency (17.65 FG%) and best goalkeeper save percentage (0.961).
Sweden will join the USA, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the preliminary rounds in Group B; Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia will be in Group A.
Monte said he expects Sweden to go on to compete for its first title since 2012. It has finished second 11 times, including after a 3-1 loss to Canada in the final in 2018. First-team forwards William Eklund (San Jose Sharks) and Alexander Holtz (New Jersey Devils), as well as guard Matthias Havelid, are missing from the August roster after making a big difference in December (Sharks) and Joel Nystrom (Carolina Hurricanes).
“I think the most important part is that we have a leadership team, we have good goalkeepers, and I still think our defense is very solid,” Monte said. “We need to be a fast team. A team that plays fast and easy and we need to create a lot of offense from our back end.”
The 44-year-old has fallen behind on the Swedish bench for the World Youth Team for the eighth consecutive year. He served as Rikard Gronborg’s assistant in 2014 and 2015 before taking over in 2017. He has coached many players in events now starring the NHL, including Holtz, Elias Paterson (Vancouver Canucks), Lucas Raymond (Detroit Red Wings) and Rasmus Darling (Buffalo Sabres).
Monten talks to NHL.com about WJC, Dahlin and his future.
Who will replace forwards Eklund and Holtz and defenders Havelid and Nystrom?
“Anton Olsen (Nashville Predators) and Ludwig Janssen (Florida Panthers) on the defensive end. Olsen has been developing well since December. Janssen was injured and missed some international tournament, so I think he’ll be picked before the fourth round (in the 2022 NHL draft) and he’s on the floor, so Florida is playing well there. The top defensive duo is probably Simon Edvinson on the left point ( Detroit Red Wings) and Helge Grants (Los Angeles Kings) on the right. You can leave them there if you have the ball or not. At forward, Jonathan Lekrimaki (Vancouver Canucks) and Liam Ogren (Minnesota Wild) was on the floor. Also, forward Fabian Lesser (Boston Bruins) didn’t play for us in December, he was sick before the game, so he’s another one we look forward to People who contribute and score. Our top line could include Daniel Ljungman (Dallas Stars) or Theodor Niederbach (Red Wings) at center, Oskar Olausson (Colorado, Avalanche) and Lysel (Bears).”
What are your impressions of your goalies Jesper Wallstedt (Minnesota Wild), Calle Clang (Anaheim Ducks) and Carl Lindbom (Vegas Golden Knights)?
“I think our goalkeeper is the best I’ve had as a coach. Wallstedt started twice last year when Clang had some injury issues. But [Clang] Get back on track and not far behind. We can go to three reliable men; they surrounded the defending forces from their positions and said a lot. They are good at playing ice hockey. Our teams know that if they have a good day, they can close the door on any team we play. “
What is your development philosophy?
“I think, especially with the Swedish national team, because our time is so short, I always tell myself that if I have a choice between two players, the most important question is ‘how am I going to use this player? “What kind of role does he play, can he do it? “I usually call the players before we announce the team and explain the roles they will play. For example, Lekkerimaki has scored some goals at Djurgardens and power plays on the left…he has a good So, if I’m going to pick him and give him a strong play position, I’m not going to put him at the net because I feel like if they’re going to be successful, they need to play where they’re used to play. “
What can Sabres fans expect from defenseman Rasmus Darling in his fifth NHL season?
“Rasmus has always been skilled. He was four years younger than most for the world youth team, much younger than everyone in the Swedish Hockey League, and went straight to the NHL. I wouldn’t say that held him back a little bit. , but he always had to face adversity because he was always tested harder at every level. I think that’s what made him so good and the No. 1 pick (in the 2018 NHL draft). I think he’s going to be better this year or even better. Just my coaching opinion, but I don’t think you should focus too much on creating points, creating goals. I feel the same way Victor Heideman (Tampa Bay Lightning) Here you go. Everyone thought, ‘Okay, he’s going to get 90 points. Yes, maybe. But I think the most important thing is how many times he will help your team win. I think Rasmus has his character. He has that leadership, competitiveness and wants to win. Being a good team player will take Rasmus and the Sabres to the next level. “
What do you hope to do after your last game for Sweden at the WJC in August?
“I have incredible memories as coach of the national youth team, but my next goal is to coach as far as possible outside of Sweden. I just think it’s going to be a new adventure, a new challenge. I Had a few interviews with some teams in Europe and some teams in North America as well. If there is a chance in the US or Canada to show up at any level, it would be a very interesting challenge. I’m open to coaches and scouts, but if I There are options, and I want to coach. The national team is a great job, but the one thing you miss the most is going to the rink every day, being on the ice, being with the players, playing three or four games a week.”
Photo: Peter Ekholm, IIHF