Photo credit: National Post
With only a few months before NHL hockey stops and Olympic hockey begins, predictions are a plenty on which players will be playing in Sochi on their respective national teams and who will be left behind to cheer. The Crosbys and Ovechkins are locked into place but others like Matt Duchene and Jamie Benn are making a push for a roster spot. The Vancouver Canucks are, traditionally, a big part of Olympic hockey with many European (cough!-Swedish) players participating. This year should be no different with a handful of Canuck players from around the world making a case for themselves with solid play.
As so discreetly mentioned above, Swedes are often the main ingredient for a successful Canuck recipe. Here we take a look back at some of the all-time great meatball-loving, IKEA- shopping Canucks.
Here are the top 5 Swedish Canucks of all time:
5) Mattias Ohlund - Picked by the Canucks in the first round of the 1994 draft , Mattias Ohlund was with the Canucks organization until the 2008-2009 NHL season. A quiet man who played a solid two-way game, Ohlund was reliable and pitched in with offense when needed, like this PP marker in a game against Toronto.
4) Thomas Gradin - The player whose name all Canuck fans know, but who’s face most couldn’t pick out of a crowd, Gradin is one of the more offensively skilled players in Nuck history. He played 613 games and put up a respectable 550 points for a point-per-game average that is second only to Pavel Bure in terms of Canuck statistics. He was also a crucial cog in the cup run of 82′amassing 19 points in 17 games.
3) Markus Naslund - In his prime one of the most dominant players in the league, Naslund was the prototype sniper in the early part of the 2000′s. If not for his arch-rival and compatriot Peter Forsberg, Naslund would have surely garnered a Hart Trophy. The third leading scorer in Canuck history and long-time captain, Naslund put up an impressive 346 goals for the Canucks-still a franchise record.
2) Daniel Sedin - One of the most consistent goal-scorers in Canuck history, Daniel is one of two Canuck players ( the other being his twin brother) to win the Art Ross Trophy. Daniel is the second highest scorer in Canuck franchise history and has an endless supply of highlight reel plays including this one against Calgary which should be considered one of the greatest goals of the past decade.
1) Henrik Sedin - The only Canuck in history to win the Hart Trophy, Henrik has numerous Canuck records including the highest single season point total with 112. Henrik has led the NHL in assists numerous times and is well-known as one of the most gifted passers in the league today. Both Henrik and Daniel are likely to get Hall of Fame recognition by the time their career is over and will certainly see their jerseys rise to the rafters.