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William Nylander is one of Kronwall’s stars

Niklas Kronwall is hosting a free match between some NHL stars in Stockholm and his old team. He didn’t have to look any farther than William Nylander to find a star to play for him.

Canada v Sweden - 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship - Gold Medal game Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Kronwall’s stars is an event hosted by Detroit Red Wings star Niklas Kronwall. He has invited a few NHL friends to play an exhibition match against a Division 2 team Järfälla HC this Friday. Jäfälla is the team he started out with as a child before he moved up to a better club. The event is one Kronwall hosts regularly and is free to spectators.

To form a team this year, he looked to the World Championship team that just won Sweden gold a few months ago, and found William Nylander ready to play. Joining him is a list of familiar NHL names, some with ties to the same club, all who will be playing for fun at a local club, the sort where most of them learned the game.

The list really points out how unusual it is for a top Swedish player to have grown up outside the club system or the country.

Carl Dahlström – Chicago Blackhawks/Järfälla HC
Erik Gustafsson – Chicago Blackhawks/Nynäshamns IF
William Nylander – Toronto Maple Leafs/Chicago Mission
Alexander Nylander – Buffalo Sabres/Chicago Mission
Marcus Krüger – Carolina Hurricanes /Huddinge IK
Joakim Nordström – Carolina Hurricanes/Hanvikens SK
Niklas Kronwall – Detroit Red Wings/Järfälla HC
Johnny Oduya – Ottawa Senators/Hammarby IF
Mikael Tellqvist – Djurgårdens IF/ Järfälla HC
Rickard Rakell – Anaheim Ducks/Spånga IS
Jacob Josefson – Buffalo Sabres/IK Göta
Fredrik Claesson – Ottawa Senators/Haninge HF
Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado Avalanche/Hammarby IF
Carl HagelinPittsburgh Penguins/Södertälje SK
Alexander Wennberg – Columbus Blue Jackets/Boo IF
Patrik Nemeth – Dallas Stars/AIK

It’s an exhibition match for fun in the summer, but it’s also very much a sign that William Nylander has arrived as a member of the elite of Swedish hockey. If the NHL had not turned their backs to the Olympics, William Nylander would have to be heavily considered for the team.