This weekend was the 2022 Four Nation’s Tournament held at the Lappi Arena in Rovaniemi, Finland. The annual tournament provides a tuneup for National Junior teams as they continue preparations for the upcoming World Junior Championship in December.
Washington Capitals forward prospect Ludwig Persson and Team Sweden played a three-game round-robin tournament with Finland, Czechia and Slovakia. Sweden won all three of their games this weekend.
The Capitals selected Persson with their third round pick (#85 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and signed the forward to a three-year entry-level contract on July 15. Persson can play both center and wing.
Persson, who turns 19 later this year, is in his last junior (U20) year. He was born and raised in Gothenburg, with Hisingens IK as his parent club, but has belonged to Frölunda since U16.
At Frolunda, Persson also attended the hockey high school under the club’s auspices. There he played a few games in the SHL, making his debut in the 19/20 season.
In the 20/21 season, Persson was also was loaned to Hanhals IF in the HockeyEttan league, which is the third-division in the Swedish hockeysystem. He scored 5 (3+2) points in 11 games played.
“I like the offensive game. That’s where my greatest strength lies, although of course it’s also important to hold the defense. Lately I’ve mainly played outside (wing) forward and like to play with speed and like to use my skating and shooting.”
FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT SUMMARY
It was undeniably a successful tournament for the Swedish junior national team, winning all three games. Their roster for the tournament:
Marcus Brännman, Örebro Hockey
Hugo Hävelid, Linköping HC
Elias Pettersson, Örebro Hockey
Elias Salomonsson, Skellefteå AIK
Mattias Hävelid, Linköping HC
Victor Sjöholm, HV71
Simon Forsmark, Örebro Hockey
Adam Engström, Djurgårdens IF
Calle Odelius, Djurgårdens IF
Fabian Wagner, Linköping HC
Noah Östlund, Djurgårdens IF
Lucas Forsell, Färjestad BK
Liam Dower Nilsson, Frölunda HC
Noah Hasa, Frölunda HC
Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC
Oskar Jellvik, Djurgårdens IF
Rasmus Rudslätt, AIK
Leo Carlsson, Örebro Hockey
Ludwig Persson, Frölunda HC
Adam Hofbauer, Örebro Hockey
Oskar Pettersson, Rögle BK
Simon Robertsson, Skellefteå AIK
LUDWIG PERSSON TOURNAMENT SUMMARY
Unfortunately the Four Nations Tournament was not Persson’s best, at least when we look at his offensive production. The Swedish team dominated the tournament but Persson did not account for a single point.
Persson jumped up and down in the lines during the three games. He played the first game against Czechia on the first line, which Sweden was won, 5-4.
The second game against Slovakia he was downgraded to the fourth-line, but to be fair, there was an even distribution of minutes between the lines, and Sweden won that game by a whopping 11-1.
The third and last game against Finland Persson was again with Sweden’s top lines where he played on the second line in a 3-2 win.
Persson didn’t have a bad tournament, but he didn’t stand out offensively either. Having said that, it was a short tournament and Persson will have more opportunities to make an impression on the Swedish junior national team in December.
Persson participated in Team Sweden’s 2023 World Junior’s preparatory camp in Enköping two weeks ago. He was one of 46 players invited to the camp, including Capitals prospect Alexander Suzdalev, selected in the 3rd round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
The camp included three exhibition games, where Persson made a very strong showing. In the first of the exhibition games, Team Blue downed Team Yellow 6-2, with Persson recording three points – two goals and an assist.
Persson will now return to BIK Karlskoga where he will play the coming season. Karlskoga plays in the Swedish second division (HockeyAllsvenskan) and I think it is a good step for Persson.
Frölunda, which is the club Persson belongs to is a top team in the Swedish Hockey League, and getting on that squad would not have been easy. In Karlskoga, Persson will instead have a significantly larger role which will benefit his development. If Persson does well in Karlskoga and in the HockeyAllsvenskan league, there will also be a great chance that he will be selected in this winter’s junior WC tournament.
For next year at age 20, ideally Persson would be ready for a shot in the SHL level with Frölunda which should be the short-term goal.
By Joakim Ostman
[Editors note: NoVa Caps welcomes prospect scout and analyst Joakim Ostman to the team]