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2020 World Juniors: Sweden hopeful Blackhawks will loan Adam Boqvist

Boqvist has six points in 13 AHL games during his rookie season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Vancouver Canucks v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association wants Blackhawks prospect Adam Boqvist to play for the Swedish national junior team at the World Junior Championship later this month in the Czech Republic.

Sweden named its preliminary roster for the annual tournament Wednesday and left two spots open for defensemen that they are hopeful will be filled by Boqvist and Maple Leafs prospect Rasmus Sandin. Both players played at last year’s tournament when Sweden was upset by Switzerland in the quarterfinals, and are expected to be paired together as the top unit if their respective NHL clubs make them available.

Boqvist’s AHL coach, Derek King, said Monday the topic of the Blackhawks sending the defenseman to World Juniors has come up, but a decision has yet to be made.

“I’d like to think that if the opportunity is there for him that they’re going give him that opportunity,” King said. “I think it’s a great privilege to play for your country, especially at World Juniors.”

Boqvist has one goal and five assists in 13 AHL games, and scored his first career NHL goal in his second game during a brief six-game call up earlier this season. If the 19-year-old does play at World Juniors, which runs from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic, he’d miss at least five AHL games.

“If they let me go, I want to go for sure,” Boqvist said. “It’s a nice tournament. To represent your country is huge as well. Of course, I want to be here to help the team win, but it’s my last chance to play in the World Juniors.”