The Nashville Predators have decided to loan rookie forward Filip Forsberg to the Swedish world junior team over the Christmas break. Playing in Malmo Sweden, a seven hour drive South from his birth place, the 19 year old will join 11 other returning teammates from the country's silver medal performance last year.
Forsberg had three goals and two assists in his six games at the tournament last year, including a goal in the 3-2 semi-final shoot-out win over the Russians.
The tournament will likely be a good reminder to both fans and Forsberg about what the youngster is capable of offensively. He's having a difficult time adjusting to the Preds and the tournament could be a confidence booster, especially as some analysts are giving Sweden the nod as tournament favorites.
Although presently assigned to Milwaukee, the trip to Europe will mean that Forsberg won't be available to the Predators until after January 5th, missing a minimum of eight games.
Forsberg has been injured for the better part of the year, but has seen 12 NHL games this season, mustering one goal and four assists with all but one point coming on the powerplay. He has also contributed eight points in five AHL games.
The first puck drop for team Sweden will be December 26th vs Switzerland at 2PM Central. Their toughest match of the round robin will likely be on the 31st at 9 AM Central when they play Russia.
The gold in the team Sweden jerseys is slightly lighter than that of the Predators.