As with any major international tournament, a quite deserving player is bound to be snubbed from a country's roster. Especially if that country is overflowing with talent depth at a particular position -- such as Sweden and their bounty of defensemen.
Which is where John Klingberg now finds himself, on the outside looking in, after Team Sweden announced their preliminary roster for the World Cup of Hockey later this year. Teams were required to announce 16 roster names, including at least two goalies. Sweden chose to release their two goalies, six of their final seven defenseman, and eight forwards:
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 Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
It's hard to argue with most of the defensive picks for Team Sweden, outside of the fact that they obviously missed the part where Klingberg is only bettered by Erik Karlsson in scoring. The inclusion of Kronwall feels like a nod to a veteran guy, as he has the worst Corsi % of all of the defenseman named (49.32%, compared to Klingberg's 55.95% which is only bettered by Hedman).
What Sweden's defense does achieve is a balance of offense and defense on the blueline. I have to believe that Klingberg will be named the seventh defenseman when rosters are finalized by June 1st. There's really no way to objectively say that Klingberg isn't one of the top seven Swedish defenseman in the NHL today. Maybe a strong stretch run and playoffs will help seal his inclusion on the final roster.