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Mattias Ekholm Named To Team Sweden For World Cup Of Hockey

Matty Ice and Fil The Thrill are joining forces for beloved Sweden in this tournament that nobody really knows what to expect.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg was named to the roster on March 2nd, and Team Sweden announced today that Mattias Ekholm will join his Swedish pal at the World Cup of Hockey.

The official release from the Predators:

TORONTO (May 27, 2016) -- The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced today its final, 23-man roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016, the best-on-best international hockey championship from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto.

Seven players were added today, highlighted below. They join the 16 selected to the team on March 2.

Representing Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 are:

G Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres *

G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

G Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks

D Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators *

D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes

D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

D Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks

D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

D Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings

D Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning

F Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals

F Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins

F Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators

F Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins *

F Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins *

F Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks *

F Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

F Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks *

F Carl Soderberg, Colorado Avalanche *

F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues

F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

* named to roster today

Ekholm being named to the team shouldn't come as a massive surprise, but there are certainly other Swedish defensemen that were thought to have a very legitimate shot at taking the final blue line spot on the roster.

For starters, what about Dallas' John Klingberg? He put up 10 goals and 48 assists in 76 games for the Stars during the regular season. Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm is another that could have slotted into the roster. He had 10 goals and 18 assists in 80 regular season games with the Ducks this year. Sure, that is less than Ekholm's eight goals and 27 helpers in 82 games, but it's still a bit surprising not to see either of their names on the roster.

It certainly isn't Ekholm's fault, it's not like he is the only defenseman on the roster either. Ekholm is still a player that flies under everyone's radar, maybe the World Cup of Hockey will be yet another coming out party for the 26-year-old. Preds fans know what he's about and how smart of a hockey player he is, let's see if the world catches on.

The preliminary round of the tournament is set to begin on September 17.