I wrote an article Discuss the biggest draft day steal ever for vancouver canucks, And while I was doing research for that article, I noticed how many great Swedish players the team was able to acquire. Two of the five players listed in that article were Swedish and a big part of the franchise. Four of the top 10 players in franchise scoring history are Swedes, along with three of six players. The team has retired the jersey.
Thomas Gredin is the first great Swede in Canucks history. The Chicago Blackhawks drafted him with the 45th-overall pick in the 1976 NHL Draft. Canucks Acquired the rights to Gradin in June 1978 For a draft pick.
With the team, he reached the 20-goal mark in 7 of his 8 seasons in Vancouver and also had three 30-goal seasons. He led the team in points with 9 goals and 19 points in 17 games in the 1981–82 Stanley Cup Finals. He left Vancouver as the leading scoring centerman with 550 points in 613 games, an all-time high at the time, but was soon surpassed by his former teammate Stan Smail.
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He ranks sixth in Canucks all-time points — one of four Swedes in the top ten. He was one of four Swedes in the 1980s who helped the team adapt to a different style of play (‘From Ben Kuzma: Swedish players found pro, personal connections with Vancouver The province,’ 02/10/2020).
“Thomas thought the game so well — he was always one step ahead,” Smail said. “I learned a lot from watching him on and off the ice, just the way he thought about the game. And going into a game, he’d say let’s try some things – hang on to the puck a little longer – and that was part of learning puck possession that makes you a better team.”
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Gradin now serves as an associate chief scout and is why the team has drafted great Swedes, including the Sedin twins. Alexander Adler And Elias Patterson. He became the third member of the Canucks Ring of Honor in 2011.
Patrik Sundstrom is one of the greatest draft steals in franchise history. They drafted him in the ninth round with the 175th-overall pick in the 1980 NHL Draft. He played five seasons with the Canucks and replaced Gradin as the top offensive weapon, leading to Gradin’s departure in free agency. He is the second Swedish player to dominate as a Canuck, teaming with winger Tony Tanti to lead the team’s offense.
After five seasons in Vancouver, he had 342 points in 374 games. His 91 points in 1982-83 was the all-time team high until Bure passed it in 1992-93. His seven points in a single game is a record he still holds and is the only Canuck to pull off. The team traded him to the New Jersey Devils for Greg Adams and Kirk McLean; Both played key roles in the team’s 1993–94 Stanley Cup Final run. Although he spent a short time in Vancouver, he made an impact and set the tone for what to expect from upcoming talent.
After the departures of Gradin and Sundstrom, the next great group of elite Swedish talent joined the Canucks in the 1990s. They drafted Mattias Ohlund With the 13th-overall pick in the 1993 NHL draft. Four years after being drafted he signed a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, matching the Canucks. In his rookie season, he tied Jirky Lumme for the most points by a defenseman on the team with 30 in 77 games. He finished second in the vote for Calder, behind Sergei Samsonov.
He spent 11 seasons in Vancouver and scored 92 goals and 325 points in 770 games. He finished his time as a Canuck with the most points by a defenseman in franchise history, a record that would be passed by fellow Swede Alex Edler. he Arguably the best defenseman in the franchise History thanks him for his consistency while with the team. Canucks added To celebrate him with the team’s Ring of Honor He had a great career with the team.
Canucks earned Markus Naslund one of the most The loneliest trade in NHL history. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded him to Vancouver for Alec Stojanov. Stojanov played 107 games scoring 2 goals and 7 points. Naslund spent 12 seasons with the Canucks, 8 as team captain and His jersey is retired.
After his 12-season tenure with the team, he led the team in goals (346) and points (756). He led the team in scoring in 7 seasons, scored 30 or more goals 6 times and had three seasons with 40 or more goals. Along with Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison, the trio created West Coast Express Line. The line was a primary reason the franchise was successful in the early 2000s. The 2002–03 season was the best example of their dominance as Naslund scored 48 goals and 103 points, while Bertuzzi scored 46 goals and 97 points. Morrison hit career highs with 25 goals and 71 points that season. At the age of 35, He signed a two-year contract with the New York RangersRetired after his first season with the team.
“Probably the fondest memory I have is we had a bunch of guys who were around the same age who grew up together in the early 2000s,” Naslund said. “We developed a pretty strong personal bond with each other because we had so much fun together.”
The Sedin Twins
The era led by Naslund and Ohlund slowly transitioned into the Sedin era. The Canucks drafted two of the best players in franchise history in the 1999 NHL Draft. They drafted Daniel With the second-overall pick henrik with the third. Both They spent their entire 17-season NHL careers With the Canucks.
Henrique finished with a franchise-high 1,070 points, 830 assists and 1,330 games played. Daniel surpassed Naslund for most goals with 393, leading all-time in game-winning goals and power-play goals. He was second to his older brother in games played (1,306), assists (648) and points (1,041). They represented their country at the Olympics in 2006, 2010 and 2014, winning gold in 2006 and Daniel won silver in 2014. Henrik is the only Canuck to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and both are the only players to win the Art Ross Trophy, doing so in back-to-back seasons. The Canucks retired both of their numbers during the 2019–20 season.
The Canucks continued their success in finding great Swedish talent in the 2000s. Edler is the second Swedish player to make the list of biggest draft steals. They drafted him with the 91st-overall pick in the third round of the 2004 NHL Draft.
Edler is a long-standing member of the Canucks d-core, already in his 14th season with the team. After that he will stay with the team for at least one more season He previously signed a two-year contract He started the season leading all Canucks defensemen in franchise history in goals (99), assists (302), points (401) and games played (873).
Markstrom and Petterson are leading the core of the future
With Sedin playing big roles for the Twins and Edler for the Canucks in the late 2000s and most of the 2010s, they added a few more Swedes to lead the team into the future. they are Roberto Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers to achieve in 2014 Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom spent seven seasons with Vancouver, with the 2019-20 season being his best.
Like Markstrom, Elias Pettersson is a Swedish player who will continue the legacy of the players who came before him. Initially, people around the NHL were worried about his size entering the NHL, but he proved all the doubters wrong (‘Jason Botchford: Canucks at 50: Picking Patterson, ‘Most Offensive Upside’ Player’) The province,’ 03/26/2020).
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He won the Calder Trophy and set the Canucks rookie scoring record with 66 points. He led the team in goals and points in his rookie season and leads the team in goals this season as well. His career will likely see the same statistical success as the Sedins and Naslund, including some 100-point seasons and finishing in the top 10 in all-time team points.
More Swedish talent is coming
Following in the footsteps of greats like the Sedin twins, Naslund, Ohlund and Gradin, the future Swedish players have big shoes to fill. Canucks fans are hoping that both Pettersson and Markstrom can have the same success going forward as the Swedish players before them.
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With success in drafting Swedish players in the past, this will likely continue in the future. A great example of this Nils Hoaglander, who was drafted in the second round in 2019 and is another player Canucks fans will be excited for. Hoaglander tops the team’s prospect pool, along with 2019 first-round pick Vassily Podkolzin. Canucks fans are hopeful that Hoglander can lead the team to the promised land together with Markstrom and Petterson.
Sartaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and has covered the Vancouver Canucks for hockey writers.