Player Rankings: Top 25 Swedish Players in the World

Ranked number 1 in the world, Sweden’s national men’s ice hockey team has been in its greatest form the past few years. They won the 2012 World Juniors for the first time since 1981 and won the gold medal in the 2006 Olympics. On top of that, the 2011-12 Vezina, Norris, and Calder Awards were all won by Swedes. After a disappointing loss to Slovakia in the 2010 Olympics, Sweden will be going into the Sochi Olympics looking for redemption. Here is a look at some of the top 25 Swedish hockey players in the world:

  1. Erik Karlsson– He won the Norris Trophy under the age of 23 and put up Bobby Orr-type number in 2011-12.
  2. Henrik Lundqvist– The former Vezina winner and 3-time all-star will look to regain his 2006 Olympic magic in Sochi.
  3. Nicklas Backstrom– Backstrom is back after being sidelined by injury. He won the 2008-09 Viking Award for best Swedish hockey player in North America.
  4. Henrik Zetterberg– Being a captain of an Original Six team is a big responsibility, but Zetterberg is also leading them past the days of Nicklas Lidstrom.
  5. Henrik Sedin– Despite a couple of so-so seasons, people should consider him one of the best forwards in the league.
  6. Daniel Sedin– Henrik’s twin cracked 100 points in 2010-11, but has cooled off the past couple seasons, too.
  7. Loui Eriksson– The skilled forward is still capable of producing elite numbers.
  8. Niklas Kronwall– The hard-hitting defenceman was able to step up after the departure of legend Lidstrom.
  9. Victor Hedman– Hedman was drafted second overall, but injuries and a weak team have prevented him from reaching his potential.
  10. Gabriel Landeskog– Not only was he named the youngest captain in NHL history, but he can put up points, too.
  11. Johan Franzen–‘The Mule’ is strong, scores points, and is a team leader.
  12. Oliver Ekman-Larsson– The young Phoenix Coyotes defenceman can skate and is evolving into a a Norris Trophy candidate.
  13. Alex Steen– Steen is an all-round player who can do almost everything on the ice.
  14. Viktor Fasth– The European sensation had a breakout season in his first season as an NHL goalie.
  15. Alexander Edler– Edler is a a good skating defenceman who eats up minutes.
  16. Daniel Alfredsson– The legend will be back for another season, which means he will likely play in the Olympics once again.
  17. Patrik Berglund– The 25-year-old centre has been a consistant top-six forward on the St. Louis Blues the past few seasons.
  18. Niklas Hjalmarsson– The notorious hard-hitting defenceman is a huge force and capable of scaring the opposing forwards.
  19. Carl Hagelin–  He is entering his prime and is showing that he is a top-six forward after posting good numbers for the New York Rangers last season.
  20. Jonas Brodin– Despite being drafted 10th overall in 2011, Brodin came out of nowhere last season and became one of the best rookie defencemen in the NHL.
  21. Robin Lehner– Lehner is a backup goaltender in the NHL, but has massive potential and will be a starter in the future after much-needed experience.
  22. Henrik Tallinder– The veteran defenceman has the potential to be very valuable on a young Swedish team.
  23. Patric Hornqvist– Another solid second-line Swedish forward in the NHL.
  24. Johnny Oduya– The tough offensive defenceman is another Swedish enforcer on the Chicago Blackhawks.
  25. Gustav Nyquist– His slow ascent to the big-leagues has proven worth it, and has a good role on a strong Detroit Red Wings.