The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Hockey Players of all time. This list of famous Hockey Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Hockey Players.
With an HPI of 44.41, Peter Forsberg is the most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages on wikipedia.
Peter Mattias Forsberg (pronounced [ˈpěːtɛr ˈfɔ̂ʂːbærj] (listen); born 20 July 1973) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player and former assistant general manager of Modo Hockey. Nicknamed "Peter the Great" and "Foppa", Forsberg was known for his on-ice vision and physical play, and is considered one of the greatest players of all time. Although his career was shortened by persistent injuries, as of 2021, he stands ninth all-time in career points-per-game and fifth all-time in career assists-per-game in the NHL, only behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Connor McDavid. In 2017 Forsberg was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.His 19-year professional career includes 13 years in the National Hockey League (NHL), where he won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche, as well as several individual honors including the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2003. As of the end of the 2017–18 season, he is the seventh-highest all-time Swedish point scorer in the NHL regular season. Before his short-lived comeback season in 2011, Forsberg never had a negative plus-minus rating, giving him an overall career rating of +238. Representing Sweden in international play, Forsberg competed in four Winter Olympics, two World Cups and five World Championships, as well as one European Junior Championship and two World Junior Championships, where he holds a scoring record of 31 points in seven games that some say may never be broken. He won four gold medals with Sweden in his career, winning titles at the 1992 and 1998 World Championships and the 1994 and 2006 Winter Olympics. Combined with his two Stanley Cup championships in NHL play, he is a member of the Triple Gold Club and the only Swede who has won each of the three competitions twice. In 2013, he was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame, and in 2014, he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
With an HPI of 43.05, Mats Näslund is the 2nd most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Mats Torsten Näslund (born 31 October 1959), nicknamed "Le Petit Viking", is a Swedish former ice hockey player. He played as a left winger. Despite his small size at only five feet and seven inches, Näslund is best known for being one of the top forwards with the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens in the 1980s. In addition to the Canadiens, Näslund played for Timrå IK, Brynäs IF, and Malmö IF of the Swedish Elite League, and HC Lugano of the National League A. He made a short NHL comeback attempt in 1995 with the Boston Bruins following a lockout, and retired after the season's conclusion. In 1986, he won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens, and he won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1988. He is a three-time Le Mat Trophy champion, once with Brynäs in 1980, and leading Malmö to its only championship wins in 1992 and 1994. Internationally, he won gold medals at the 1991 World Championship in Finland and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, making him a member of the prestigious Triple Gold Club.
With an HPI of 42.18, Mats Sundin is the 3rd most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.
Mats Johan Sundin (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmatːs sɵnˈdiːn]; born 13 February 1971) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player who played the majority of his career in the National Hockey League (NHL), retiring in 2009. Originally drafted first overall in 1989, Sundin played his first four seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques. He was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994, where he played the majority of his career, serving 11 seasons as team captain. At the end of the 2007–08 season, Sundin was the longest-serving non-North American-born captain in NHL history. Sundin last played for the Vancouver Canucks in the 2008–09 season before announcing his retirement on 30 September 2009. He appeared in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 10 of his 18 seasons. Excluding his rookie season, the shortened lockout season and his half-season with Vancouver, Sundin scored at least 70 points in every season of his career, played at least 70 games in every season and led the Maple Leafs in points in every year he was with the team, with the exception of the 2002–03 season, when Alexander Mogilny surpassed him by seven points. On 14 October 2006, Sundin became the first Swedish player to score 500 goals. He is the Maple Leafs' franchise all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987). Over his career, Sundin averaged just over a point per game (1,349 points in 1,346 NHL games). Internationally, Sundin won three gold medals with Sweden at the World Championships and a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Sundin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on 26 June 2012, in his first year of eligibility. He became the second Swede, following Börje Salming (another long-time Maple Leafs player), to be chosen to the Hall of Fame. Sundin was also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2017 Sundin was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.
With an HPI of 40.73, Håkan Loob is the 4th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Håkan Per Loob (born 3 July 1960) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player for Färjestad BK of the Elitserien and the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the head of European Scouting for the Calgary Flames after resigning as president of Hockey Operations for Färjestad. Considered one of the greatest Swedish hockey players of all time, he was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Swedish ice hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. The Elitserien created the Håkan Loob Trophy, awarded to the league's top goal scorer, in his honour in 2005 and Färjestad has retired his jersey number 5. Loob joined Färjestad in 1979 and was a member of the team that won the Swedish championship in 1981. He won the Guldpucken as Swedish player of the year in 1982–83 after setting single-season records of 42 goals and 76 points. He moved to North America following that season to join the Flames, who had selected him with a ninth-round pick at the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. Loob was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1983–84 and in 1987–88 was named a First Team All-Star after becoming the first Swedish player to score 50 goals in one NHL season. He won the Stanley Cup with Calgary the following year, after which he chose to return to Sweden. Rejoining Färjestad in 1989, Loob won consecutive Guldhjälmen awards in 1991 and 1992 as the Elitserien's most valuable player as selected by his fellow players. He retired in 1996 to become the club's general manager. He managed Färjestad to four Elitserien titles in 11 seasons before being elevated to team president. Internationally, Loob represented the Swedish national team on several occasions. He was one of the first three members of the Triple Gold Club, signifying that he has won the Stanley Cup, the World Championship (in 1987 and 1991) and an Olympic gold medal (1994).
With an HPI of 40.01, Tomas Jonsson is the 5th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Alf Tomas Jonsson (born 12 April 1960) is a former ice hockey player from Sweden. He is assistant coach for the Danish national ice hockey team. Jonsson was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft in the 2nd round, the 25th overall pick. During the 1980 World Junior Championships he and Reijo Ruotsalainen were the media's selections as the best defencemen of the tournament. Jonsson made his debut for the Islanders in the 1981–82 season, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the team in his first season. The Islanders repeated as Cup champions again the following season. Jonsson played with the Islanders until 1989, when he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers. He played with the Oilers only for the remainder of the 1988–89 season. After that he moved back to Sweden, playing with Leksands IF until 1998. He was named Swedish Player of the Year in 1994–95. In 1994 Jonsson won an Olympic gold medal. That made him one of the first three members of the Triple Gold Club, players who have won a Stanley Cup, a World Championship and an Olympic gold medal. Jonsson was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2000.
With an HPI of 39.34, Nicklas Lidström is the 6th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Erik Nicklas Lidström (pronounced [ˈnɪ̌kːlas ˈlîːdstrœm]; born 28 April 1970) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey defenceman and current vice president of hockey operations for the Detroit Red Wings. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, which he captained for the final six seasons of his career. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defencemen in NHL history and nicknamed "The Perfect Human." Over his 20 NHL seasons, Lidström won four Stanley Cup championships, seven James Norris Memorial Trophies (awarded to the NHL's top defenceman), one Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, and was voted into 12 NHL All-Star Games. The Red Wings never missed the playoffs during his career, the longest in league history for a player never missing the playoffs. Lidström was the first European-born-and-trained captain of a Stanley Cup-winning team, as well as the first European player named playoff MVP. Lidström is also the all-time leader in games played with a single NHL team by a European-born player. Lidström was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on 9 November 2015. In 2017, Lidström was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history.
With an HPI of 38.83, Tommy Salo is the 7th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Tommy Mikael Salo (born February 1, 1971) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey goaltender and the current general manager of Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche, and previously served as head coach of IK Oskarshamn.
With an HPI of 37.72, Henrik Lundqvist is the 8th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Henrik Lundqvist (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈhɛ̌nːrɪk ˈlɵ̂nːdkvɪst]; born 2 March 1982) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey goaltender. He played his entire 15-season career with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Before winning the Vezina Trophy in 2012, he was nominated in each of his first three seasons, and is the only goaltender in NHL history to record eleven 30-win seasons in his first twelve seasons. He holds the record for most wins by a European-born goaltender in the NHL. His dominating play during his rookie season resulted in the New York media and Rangers fans giving him the nickname "King Henrik". During the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, he led the Swedish men's team to their second Olympic gold medal. Before joining the Rangers, Lundqvist played for Frölunda HC in Swedish Elitserien. During his years in Sweden, he developed into the league's finest goaltender, winning the Honken Trophy in three consecutive seasons (2003, 2004, and 2005). In 2005, he also won two of the most prestigious awards in Swedish ice hockey, the Guldpucken (Golden Puck) and the Guldhjälmen (Golden Helmet). Lundqvist was considered a butterfly style goaltender, though unorthodox because of the aggressive way he performed the butterfly. He was known for his strong positional play, both mental and physical toughness, and his upright torso stance.
With an HPI of 35.63, Henrik Zetterberg is the 9th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Carl Henrik Zetterberg (pronounced [ˈhɛ̌nːrɪk ˈsɛ̂tːɛrˌbærj]; born 9 October 1980) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey forward. He played his entire National Hockey League career with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL), for whom he would serve as captain for his final six seasons. Bursting onto the scene as a rookie in the 2002-03 NHL Season, Zetterberg would finish 2nd overall in votes for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League's top rookie. Along with winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. He won gold medals in the 2006 Ice Hockey World Championships and 2006 Winter Olympics, as part of the first team to ever win both tournaments in the same year, also making him a member of the Triple Gold Club.
With an HPI of 33.77, Markus Näslund is the 10th most famous Hockey Player. His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Markus Sten Näslund (born 30 July 1973) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player and former general manager for Modo Hockey of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL, formerly named Elitserien). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, as well as in the Elitserien with Modo Hockey. Nicknamed "Nazzy" by Canucks fans and "Macke" or "Mackan" in his native Sweden, he was known for his offensive skills, particularly his wrist shot and stickhandling. After playing junior hockey within the Modo organization, Näslund turned professional with the club's Elitserien team in 1990–91. Selected in the first round, 16th overall by the Penguins in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, he joined the NHL in 1993–94. After his tenure with Pittsburgh, Näslund was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 1996, where he spent 12 years, including a team record 8 as captain. With the Canucks Näslund was thrice First Team All-Star, chosen in 2002, 2003 and 2004, a Lester B. Pearson Award recipient in 2003, and runner-up for the Hart, Art Ross, and Rocket Richard Trophies in 2003. He received the Cyclone Taylor Trophy as the Canucks' most valuable player five times and the Cyrus H. McLean Trophy as the leading point-scorer for seven consecutive seasons—both club records—en route to becoming the franchise leader in goals and points. In 2008, Näslund signed with the Rangers, where he spent one season before announcing his retirement from the NHL after 15 season. Midway through the 2009–10 season, he returned to play for Modo before retiring a second time. In December 2010, he became the third Canucks player to have his jersey retired, joining Stan Smyl and Trevor Linden. Internationally, Näslund has competed with the Swedish national team in two European Junior Championships, two World Junior Championships, four World Championships, two World Cups and one Winter Olympics. He holds the World Junior record for most goals scored in a single tournament, scoring 13 in 1993, while also winning back-to-back silver medals at the competition. In World Championship play, he won a silver medal in 1993 and two bronze medals in 1999 and 2002. On 21 April 2014, Näslund was inducted into the Swedish Hockey Hall Of Fame.
Pantheon has 39 people classified as hockey players born between 1959 and 1994. Of these 39, 39 (100.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living hockey players include Peter Forsberg, Mats Näslund, and Mats Sundin. As of April 2022, 1 new hockey players have been added to Pantheon including Samuel Påhlsson.
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