hockey The Best Swedish NHL Players  

Ranker Hockey
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List Rules Vote up the best Swedish hockey players ever in the NHL

This list of Swedish NHL players includes Hall of Fame names (and soon to be HoFers) like Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Lidstrom, Peter Forsberg, and Fredrik Olausson as well as some of the game's biggest NHL stars like Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Hederberg, Henrik Lundqvist, and Johan Franzen. 

Ice hockey has been a popular sport in Sweden for more than 100 years. The Swedish National Team is known as 'Tre kronor,' or 'Three Crowns.' They triumphed with gold medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, and again at the 2006 winter games in Turin. Of the players on the winning teams, Hockey Hall of Fame members include Peter Forsberg (both times!), Nicklas Lidström, and Mats Sundin. 

The Swedish Hockey League (SHL) is an excellent breeding ground for future NHL stars. Forsberg spent 13 years in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cup titles as center for the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg is one of nine elite Swedes with a membership to the Triple Gold Club, an honor reserved for hockey players who have won gold medals in the Olympics and the World Championships, as well as the Stanley Cup. 

Like Forsberg, Lidström is also a member of hockey’s Triple Gold Club. He spent the entirety of his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, leading the team to four Stanley Cup victories. During his tenure on the team, the Red Wings never sat out of the playoffs. His teammates dubbed Lidström “the perfect human,” for his impeccable defensive skills, sportsmanship and rugged good looks. Sundin was the first Swedish ice hockey player to be a No. 1 pick in the NHL draft lottery. He was swooped up in 1989 by the Quebec Nordiques, but spent the bulk of his career as team captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though he never won a Stanley Cup, he’s celebrated as the first of his countrymen to score 500 goals in the NHL. 

Other Swedish players in the NHL include retried right wing Daniel Alfredsson, D-man Fredrik Olausson, and twin brothers Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. 

Looking to the future, blueliner Rasmus Dahlin, who plays for SHL team Frölunda HC, is considered a lock for No. 1 pick in the NHL draft. The last - and only - time that happened for a Swedish hockey player was 1989, when the Nordiques anointed Sundin. Wonder-kid defenseman Dahlin is already a regular on the SHL highlights reel, and his dynamic playing style makes for hockey games of legend. If he becomes the top-d man in the NHL, he’ll not only place on this list, he may rule it. Time will tell. 

Who are the best Swedish NHL players of all-time? Vote in our list of famous Swedish ice hockey players below for the players you think are the best Swedish hockey players to play in the NHL and if you see anyone missing from the list, feel free to add them so that other hockey fans and Ranker maniacs can vote for who you've added!

list ordered by

1
201 69
Nicklas Lidström is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Nicklas Lidström Defenseman

2
205 72
Peter Forsberg is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Peter Forsberg Centerman

3
162 64
Mats Sundin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Mats Sundin Centerman

4
145 66
Erik Karlsson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Erik Karlsson Defenseman

5
153 75
Henrik Lundqvist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Henrik Lundqvist Goaltender

6
100 44
Börje Salming is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
David F Rahilly added Börje Salming Defenseman

7
122 62
Henrik Zetterberg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Henrik Zetterberg Left Wing, Centerman

8
104 50
Henrik Sedin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Henrik Sedin Centerman

9
99 48
Daniel Sedin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Daniel Sedin Left Wing

10
103 51
Nicklas Bäckström is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players

11
110 57
Daniel Alfredsson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Daniel Alfredsson Right wing

12
87 43
Markus Näslund is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Markus Näslund Left wing

13
48 35
Mats Näslund is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Mats Näslund Left wing

14
17 5
Kent Nilsson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
EdwardO'Herlihy added Kent Nilsson Centerman

The Best NHL Players of All Time

15
45 40
Niklas Kronwall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Niklas Kronwall Defenseman

16
39 35
Michael Nylander is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Michael Nylander Centerman

17
48 45
Mattias Öhlund is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Mattias Öhlund Defenseman

18
32 28
Thomas Steen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Thomas Steen Forward

19
30 27
Ulf Samuelsson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Ulf Samuelsson Defenseman

20
43 43
Johan Franzén is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Johan Franzén Right wing

21
27 27
Bob Nystrom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Bob Nystrom Left Wing

The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

22
29 31
Mikael Renberg is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Mikael Renberg Right wing

23
26 28
Rickard Rakell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
charlie54 added Rickard Rakell Right wing

24
24 26
Calle Johansson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Calle Johansson Defenseman

25
23 25
Ulf Dahlén is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Ulf Dahlén Left wing

26
23 27
Tommy Salo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Tommy Salo Goaltender

27
22 27
Jakob Silfverberg is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
charlie54 added Jakob Silfverberg Right wing

28
21 26
Fredrik Olausson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Fredrik Olausson Defenseman

The Best NHL Teams of All Time

29
16 20
Niklas Sundström is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players

30
26 33
Loui Eriksson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Loui Eriksson Left Wing, Winger

31
18 23
Patrik Berglund is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Patrik Berglund Centerman

32
17 22
Fredrik Modin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Fredrik Modin Left wing

33
14 20
Tommy Albelin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Tommy Albelin Defenseman

34
18 26
Mikael Samuelsson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Mikael Samuelsson Right wing

35
23 33
Johnny Oduya is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Johnny Oduya Defenseman

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

36
12 19
Johan Hedberg is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Johan Hedberg Goaltender

37
11 18
Marcus Ragnarsson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Marcus Ragnarsson Defenseman

38
16 25
Samuel Påhlsson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Samuel Påhlsson Centerman

39
13 21
P. J. Axelsson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players

40
14 23
Jonas Gustavsson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Jonas Gustavsson Goaltender

41
11 19
Henrik Tallinder is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Henrik Tallinder Defenseman

42
12 21
Kristian Huselius is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Kristian Huselius Left Wing

43
9 19
Andreas Lilja is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Andreas Lilja Defenseman

44
6 26
Erik Ersberg is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Swedish NHL Players
Erik Ersberg Goaltender