This post contains a summary of Swedish players in the National Hockey League (NHL) 2015-16. Although some players may have been traded or sent down/up to the AHL since we produced the list, it gives a good overview of the current status of Swedes in the league. We will use this list as a point-of-departure when we predict which players will make it to the Swedish national hockey team Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) in the World Cup of hockey 2016.
(F = forward, D = defender, G = goalie).
Detroit Red Wings (number of Swedes: 6)
Gustav Nyquist, F
Henrik Zetterberg, F
Joakim Andersson, F
Johan Franzén, F
Jonathan Ericsson, D
Niklas Kronwall, D
Comment: The Swedes in Detroit ”Blue Wings” need no further presentation. Captain Zetterberg is leading the team who traditionally have relied on foreign players with great success.
Vancouver Canucks (number of Swedes: 4)
Alexander Edler, D
Daniel Sedin, F
Henrik Sedin, F
Jacob Markström, G
Comment: The Sedin twins are the main offensive weapon of the Canucks.
Anaheim Ducks (number of Swedes: 4)
Carl Hagelin, F
Hampus Lindholm, D
Jakob Silverberg, F
Rikard Rakell, F
Comment: Here we find names that will be interesting in the future. Silverberg was team captain when his mother club Brynäs won the Swedish Hockey League before he left for the NHL.
Arizona Coyotes (number of Swedes: 4)
Anders Lindbäck, G
Klas Dahlbeck, D
Nicklas Grossman, D
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D
Comment: Many Swedes recognize Ekman-Larsson from the World Juniors and World Championships. He is a modern defender with a bright future.
Dallas Stars (number of Swedes: 4)
John Klingberg, D
Johnny Oduya, D
Mattias Janmark, F
Patrick Nemeth, D
Comment: The biggest contrast here is between the offensive defender Klingberg and his older compatriot, the defensive rock Oduya. Oduya is 34 years old, 11 year older than Klingberg.
Chicago Blackhawks (number of Swedes: 4)
Niklas Hjalmarsson, D
David Rundblad, D
Marcus Krüger, F
Viktor Svedberg, D
Comment: There were a bunch of Swedes in last year’s Stanley Cup finals. It is important that we have participants that play in the best teams in order to build up a winning tradition.
New York Rangers (number of Swedes: 4)
Henrik Lundqvist, G
Jesper Fast, F
Oscar Lindberg, F
Viktor Stålberg, F
Comment: Sweden have not had a great deal of superstar goalies. Henrik Lundqvist is the exception.
Carolina Hurricanes (number of Swedes: 4)
Eddie Läck, G
Elias Lindholm, F
Joakim Nordström, F
Victor Rask, F
Comment: Another bunch of young, talented players that will be a blast to follow the coming years.
Nashville Predators (number of Swedes: 4)
Viktor Arvidsson, F
Calle Järnkrok, F
Filip Forsberg, F
Mattias Ekholm, D
Comment: Forsberg (not related with Peter!) is already a forward superstar.
Edmoton Oilers (number of Swedes: 3)
Anders Nilsson, G
Anton Lander, F
Oscar Klefbom, D
Comment: Sweden have some width on the goalie-side even if Lundqvist is nr 1.
St. Louis Blues (number of Swedes: 3)
Alexander Steen, F
Carl Gunnarsson, D
Patrik Berglund, F
Comment: Steen and Berglund are two excellent forwards.
Tampa Bay Lightning (number of Swedes: 2)
Anton Strålman, D
Victor Hedman, D
Comment: Strålman and Hedman are two of Sweden’s best defenders. Hedman is a defensive specialist while Strålman is a deadly weapon in power play.
Washington Capitals (number of Swedes: 3)
André Burakovsky, F
Nicklas Bäckström, F
Marcus Johansson, F
Comment: A big part of Alexander Ovetjkin’s success lies in the playmaking of Bäckström. We are also impressed by Andreas Johansson’s speed.
Minnesota Wild (number of Swedes: 2)
Christian Folin, D
Jonas Brodin, D
Comment: Two less known Swedish defender shows that we have an enormous width on the blue line.
Buffalo Sabres (number of Swedes: 2)
Johan Larsson, G
Robin Lehner, F
Comment: Two names many recognize from the World Juniors.
Ottawa Senators (number of Swedes: 2)
Erik Karlsson, D
Mika Zibanejad, F
Comment: Two highly interesting players. Karlsson is one of the best defenders in the lead, playing an average of about 30 minutes every game. Zibanejad has great potential. He scored the decisive goal when Sweden won the World Juniors 2012.
Boston Bruins (number of Swedes: 2)
Jonas Gustavsson, G
Loui Eriksson, F
Comment: Eriksson is a loyal sniper for both his club and the national team.
Colorado Avalanche (number of Swedes: 2)
Carl Söderberg, F
Gabriel Landeskog, F
Comment: In 2012, Landeskog became the youngest captain of the NHL (19 years).
Columbus Blue Jackets (number of Swedes: 2)
Alexander Wennberg, F
William Karlsson, F
Comment: Another couple of players we don’t know much about but that shows of a great width of forwards in Sweden.
New Jersey Devils (number of Swedes: 2)
Adam Larsson, D
Jacob Josefsson, F
Comment: Two stable players. Josefsson is a smart two-way forward.
Jhonas Enroth – goalie in Los Angeles Kings.
Mikael Backlund – center in Calgary Flames.
Patrik Hörnqvist – forward in Pittsburgh Penguins. We hope to see him in the Three Crowns again soon.
Tobias Enström – skillful defender in the new team Winnipeg Jets.
Teams with no Swedish players:
San Jose Sharks
Toronto Maple Leafs (William Nylander plays in the AHL).
New York Islanders