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Gustav Forsling: Blackhawks are overtaking Red Wings as Sweden's favorite team

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"You see the hats everywhere," says the 20-year-old blue liner.

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks defensive prospect Gustav Forsling isn't too shy about the popularity of his team. The 20-year-old Swedish blue liner said during the team's prospect camp that the Hawks are overtaking the Detroit Red Wings as Sweden's favorite NHL team.

The Hawks love Sweden as well, mostly for its defenseman. Forsling leads the prospect pool that includes Carl Dahlstrom, Robin Norell, Robin Press, Lucas Carlsson and Andreas Soderberg . Erik Gustafsson, David Rundblad and Viktor Svedberg have played at the NHL level for the Hawks. Chicago also has forwards John Dahlstrom, Martin Lundberg, Frederik Olofsson in the system, and they signed goaltender Lars Johansson this summer.

The three big players that have Sweden switched their hats from the winged wheel to the indian head are Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger and Johnny Oduya. Hjalmarsson has won three Stanley Cups with Chicago, while Kruger and Oduya have lifted two.