Feb 11, 2014 10:00 AM by Greg Smith
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will also wear a letter on his chest for Team Sweden at the 2014 Olympics.
Upon arriving in Sochi, Russia following the Avalanche's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday, Landeskog was told that he will join Niklas Kronwall as Sweden's alternate captains for this year's Winter Games.
"It was a bit unexpected but on the other had, I am grateful for the confidence and of course it's a great honor to get the nomination," Landeskog said in Swedish to Expressen.
Landeskog will fill the alternate captain role that was first given to Henrik Sedin before the Vancouver Canucks forward suffered an injury that will keep him out of this year's tournament. Henrik Zetterberg will be the team captain for Sweden at this year's Olympics.
While the Sochi games will be Landeskog's first Olympics, the 21-year-old already has plenty of international experience. He played for Sweden at the last two world championships and helped the team capture the gold medal at the 2013 tournament in Stockholm.
Landeskog served as an alternate captain for Team Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championship and has worn the 'C' as captain for Sweden's under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams. He was also an alternate captain on the 2011 world junior championship team.
He became the fourth team captain in Avalanche history (since relocating in 1995) on Sept. 4, 2012. At the age of 19 years, 286 days, Landeskog also became the youngest captain in NHL history. He was 11 days younger than Sidney Crosby, who was 19 years, 297 days when he was named captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 31, 2007.
Landeskog has four goals and nine points in 18 world championship games with the Swedish men's national team, and those numbers may increase significantly after these Olympics are over. Reports from Sochi on Monday had Landeskog practicing on a line with Zetterberg and Alexander Steen, both of whom lead their respective NHL clubs in scoring.
This season with the Avs, Landeskog is second on the team is scoring with 48 points (18 goals and 30 assists) and enters the Olympics on a career-high, nine-game point streak. The Stockholm native has tallied four goals and eight assists in that nine-game stretch.
Landeskog and Sweden begin their preliminary round games Wednesday at 10 a.m. MT against the Czech Republic.