NHL Players

Hockey Hall Of Fame Swedish Players [Greatest List]

By Kapil Sapkota / 23 November 2023 10:03 AM

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Hockey Hall of Fame Swedish players are Borje Salming, Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom. Salming was the first Swedish to receive the honor.

Previous to Salming's arrival in the NHL, the European players were considered to be too soft to play in the league. His strong performance helped to erase that stereotype permanently.

With the emergence of some of the best Swedish ice hockey players, we can assume that the future will have more HHOF members from Sweden.

HHOF was founded in 1943 and the first class of players were inducted in 1945. Though the HHOF is for all international players, only a handful of players outside of North America received the honor for their contribution in its early days.

When the Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak earned the induction in 1996, he became the first non-North American player in the HHOF.

Canada has the highest number of HHOF-inducted players and the United States comes next. Currently, there are only 4 members from Sweden who receive induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

1. Borje Salming - 1996 HHOF Class

Salming spent 16 seasons with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and one with Detroit Red Wings from the 1973-74 to 1989-90 season.

Previous to his NHL career, Salming played for the Swedish teams Kiruna AIF and Brynas IF.

The former Swedish player debuted in the NHL with the Maple Leafs in the 1973-74 season against the Buffalo Sabres. He was named the best player of the match after the Leafs made a 7-4 victory over the Sabres.

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Salming became the first European-born and trained player to appear in 1,000 NHL career games on 4 January 1988. After 16 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the player signed as a free agent with the Red Wings to play his last season in the NHL.

Salming appeared in 1148 regular season games in the NHL among which 1099 were played for the Leafs and 81 playoff games. He has registered a total of 150 goals and 637 assists in the NHL.

Internationally, the player competed with the Sweden men's national team and won silver and bronze medals at the Ice Hockey World Championships.

The defenseman was selected as a First-Team All-Star in 1977. He was named to the Second Team in 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, and 1980.

Salming was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 1996 and became the first Swedish player to receive this honor.

IIHF Hall of Fame inducted Salming in 1998 recognizing his international career. The Toronto Maple Leafs retired his number 21 in 2016. The following year, Salming was named one of the 100 Greatest Players in NHL History.

2. Mats Sundin - 2012 HHOF Class

2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee,  Mats Sundin was drafted first overall by Quebec Nordiques in 1989.

Sundin became the first European-born player to be drafted first overall in NHL history.

The former ice hockey center debuted in the league with the Nordiques in the 1990-91 season. After playing his first four NHL seasons, the player was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994.

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Sundin spent 13 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and served the team as a captain for 11 seasons. In a total of 18 seasons played, the player appeared in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 10 seasons.

The forward scored at least 70 points in every season of his career except his rookie season, the shortened 1994-95 lockout season with the Vancouver Canucks.

Additionally, he led the Leafs franchise in points in every year he was with the team excluding the 2002-03 season, when Alexander Mogilny surpassed him by seven points.

Mats became the first Swedish player to score 500 goals in the NHL on 14 October 2006. He is the Leafs' all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987).

He signed with the Canucks in December 2008, with whom he played his last season in the NHL. In September 2009, the player announced his retirement from professional playing.

Internationally, Sundin won three gold medals with Sweden's national team at the World Championships. He was the team captain of Sweden's gold medal run at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Mats was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in June 2012. The next year, he was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame.

The Leafs franchise retired his number 13 in October 2016. The following year, he was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.

3. Peter Forsberg - 2014 HHOF Class

Forsberg was inducted into HHOF in 2014. During his 19-year active professional career, the player spent 13 years in the NHL.

The player was drafted in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, making him the sixth overall pick and the first European player taken that year.

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Forsberg made his NHL debut on January 21, 1995, against the Flyers and earned his first NHL point. His first goal was recorded six days later in a match against the Buffalo Sabres.

In his rookie season, Forsberg recorded 50 points, including 15 goals from 47 games. The forward captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie in the league and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

In July 1995, the Nordiques were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group, and the team moved to Denver, Colorado, later renamed as the Colorado Avalanche in August.

During the team's first year in Denver, the Avalanche captured the Stanley Cup following their victory in the Pacific Division. Colorado won its next Stanley Cup in 2001.

In the 2002-03 season, Forsberg was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points (106). He also captured the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP.

Throughout his first season with the Flyers franchise, he scored 75 points for the teams from just 60 games. The forward played for the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche before announcing his retirement in February 2011.

Forsberg won 2/2 gold medals in the Winter Olympics (1994 & 2006) and World Championships (1992 & 1998), representing Sweden. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2013.

4. Nicklas Lidstrom - 2015 HHOF Class

Lidstrom played in the NHL for 20 seasons from 1991 to 2012, all with the Detroit Red Wings. He became a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings franchise.

The former defenceman captained the team for the last six seasons of his career. Lidstrom is still serving the Red Wings franchise as the president of hockey operations following his retirement from professional playing.

Source : nhl

Beginning the 1997-98 season, Lidstrom was named an alternate captain of the team. After captain Steve Yzerman retired in 2006, Lidstrom was handed over the captaincy role and became the first European captain in franchise history.

In the 2005-06 season, Lidstrom recorded a career-high 64 assists and 16 goals for 80 points. Nicklas became the second-highest-scoring Swedish-born NHL player (1142) of all time in October 2007. He is only behind Mats Sundin (1349 points).

The player was named to the NHL All-Star game 12 times and the NHL's first All-Star team member 10 times. A 2-time NHL Second All-Star Team member and 7-time Norris Trophy winner won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2002.

Lidstrom became a gold medalist with the Swedish ice hockey national team in the 2006 Winter Olympics and 1991 World Championship.

Previous to being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2015, the IIHF Hall of Fame inducted Lidstrom in 2014. The Detroit Red Wings retired Lidstrom's number 5 jersey during the 2013-14 season. The player was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history by the league in 2017.

Swedish Players Active in the NHL 2023-24

Victor Hedman, Elias Pettersson, and Erik Karlsson are some of the top active NHLers who hail from Sweden. Other best Swedish NHL players are Rasmus Dahlin, Linus Ullmark, and so on.

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Here is the list of the greatest Swedish hockey players actively playing in the NHL in the 2023-24 season:

PlayerNHL Team
Victor HedmanTampa Bay Lightning
Elias PetterssonVancouver Canucks
Erik KarlssonPittsburgh Penguins
Rasmus DahlinBuffalo Sabres
Linus UllmarkBoston Bruins
Mika ZibanejadNew York Rangers
Sebastian AhoCarolina Hurricanes
Elias LindholmCalgary Flames
Filip ForsbergNashville Predators
Gabriel LandeskogColorado Avalanche
Hampus LindholmBoston Bruins
Jesper BrattNew Jersey Devils
Jonas BrodinMinnesota Wild
Mattias EkholmEdmonton Oilers
Rasmus AnderssonCalgary Flames

Hedman is one of the finest defensemen in the league. The alternate captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning was drafted in 2009 and debuted in the same year.

The Swedish defenseman became the Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning back-to-back in 2020 and 2021. He also won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2018 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2020.

An alternate captain of the Vancouver Canucks, Petterson was drafted in 2017. Following the 2018-19 season, he was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2019 as the best rookie of the league.

Pettersson posted his career-high record in the 2022-23 season, accumulating 39 goals for 102 points in 80 games.

Another Swedish ice hockey star, Karlsson currently plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2008 Entry Draft.

Karlsson has captured the James Norris Memorial Trophy thrice, most recently in 2023. The first overall draft pick of 2018, Dahlin is considered to be one of the most talented players available in the NHL.

A smart two-way defenceman of the Buffalo Sabres became the fifth defenceman in NHL history to record 30 points before age 19.

Dahlin was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2019. He was selected for the All-Star Game in 2022 and 2023.

The Boston Bruins netminder, Ullmark led the NHL in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage during the 2022-23 season. He scored an empty net goal and captured the William M. Jennings Trophy and Vezina Trophy.

The Swedish goalie posted his 100th career win in a game against the New York Islanders on 19 January 2023, stopping 25 of 26 shots.

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