This year’s best defender in the SHL.
Then Jonathan Pudas was thrown into the World Cup – as a forward.
It just makes the whole of hockey Sweden react.
The decision came late, but on Monday the decision from Johan Garpenlöv came to call Jonathan Pudas to the World Cup in Finland, as the seventh hill in the squad. And that decision in itself was not so unexpected. The Skellefteå hill has had a party season, and just a few days ago he won the prize as the hill of the year in the SHL.
Puda’s fantastic season has meant that there is concrete interest from the NHL, and in addition, the hill played the World Cup last year, and also the Olympics earlier this year. He was also thrown directly into the hot air on Tuesday, in the match against Great Britain.
But already in advance it was clear that Pudas would get a slightly above role. In pre-match training, Puda’s forward played in a powerplay lineup, something that is not entirely common. But it became even more unexpected when the match squad was released. In Lucas Wallmark’s absence, the hill was matched as a forward throughout the match, together with Oskar Lang in the second forward position, and with Nils Åman as center.
“The most unexpected World Cup chain of all time”, writes hockey journalist Måns Karlsson on Twitter.
And there were many who reacted to the message from Johan Garpenlöv. Many also raised their eyebrows when successful players in the SHL such as Elmer Söderblom and Linus Karlsson had to stay home from the tournament.
“Absolutely insane that he goes before Elmer,” writes a Twitter user.
Pudas himself said he could not even remember when he played forward last time, but he had a golden opportunity to become a goal scorer, but missed the chance. Tre Kronor won the match 6-0, and Johan Garpenlöv said afterwards that Puda’s being or not being on the forward side depends on whether Lucas Wallmark is back, or whether Tre Kronor gets additional players. On Wednesday, Tre Kronor will face Finland, in a match that will decide the group.
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