25 February 1951 |
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
|Played for||Modo AIK
New York Rangers
|Competitor for Sweden|
|Men's ice hockey|
|European Junior Championships|
|1973 Soviet Union|
Anders Hedberg (born 25 February 1951) is a retired former professional ice hockey player who was one of the first European-born players to make an impact in North America. Along with countryman Ulf Nilsson, Hedberg signed a contract to come over to play for the Winnipeg Jets in the World Hockey Association in 1974, after having represented both Modo Hockey and Djurgårdens IF in his native Sweden. He was twice voted best junior in Sweden and as such the only one (1969+1970) and is a graduate from the Stockholm School of Physical Education (GIH).
Prior to the mid-seventies, Europeans generally did not come to play in the National Hockey League, as the cartel of NHL owners had poor (some would say xenophobic) opinions of Europeans and European hockey. Players such as the Slovak-born but Canadian-raised Stan Mikita were the exception. Hedberg was an instant sensation in the WHA, recording 100 points in 65 games in his first season, and playing alongside established superstar Bobby Hull.
Hedberg played a starring role as the Jets won the Avco World Trophy titles in 1976 and 1978. In the summer of 1978, Nilsson and Hedberg signed with the NHL's New York Rangers for $2.4 million, one of the first open acknowledgements that the quality of the WHA was on par with the NHL, making a merger with the WHA possible just one season later. Hedberg recorded 856 professional points in North American hockey over 751 games, and would retire from the Rangers in 1985.
After his active career, Hedberg has among other things worked as an assistant to general manager Craig Patrick of the New York Rangers. Between 1991-1997 he worked as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs before moving up to the position as assistant general manager in 1997-1999. In 2000 he was appointed general manager of the Swedish national ice hockey team and joined the Ottawa Senators as Director of Player Personnel in 2002-2007. In August 2007, he returned to the New York Rangers as the Head Professional European Scout. He was elected to the Swedish Hockey Hall of Fame on 11 February 2012.
Awards and achievements
- Swedish Junior Player of the Year (1969 and 1970)
- Named Best Forward at EJC-A (1970)
- Lou Kaplan Trophy winner (1975)
- WHA Second All-Star Team (1975 and 1978)
- WHA First All-Star Team (1976 and 1977)
- Avco Cup championships (1976 and 1978)
- Played in the 1976 Canada Cup and 1981 Canada Cup tournament
- Bill Masterton Trophy winner (1985)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1985)
- Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
- Ranked No. 36 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
- Inaugural member of the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame.
- Scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1977
Regular season and playoffs
|1978–79||New York Rangers||NHL||80||33||45||78||33||18||5||4||9||12|
|1979–80||New York Rangers||NHL||80||32||39||71||21||9||3||2||5||7|
|1980–81||New York Rangers||NHL||80||30||40||70||52||14||8||8||16||6|
|1981–82||New York Rangers||NHL||4||0||1||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982–83||New York Rangers||NHL||78||25||34||59||12||9||4||8||12||4|
|1983–84||New York Rangers||NHL||79||32||35||67||16||5||1||0||1||0|
|1984–85||New York Rangers||NHL||64||20||31||51||10||3||2||1||3||2|
- Anders Hedberg's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Anders Hedberg's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Anders Hedberg profile at Eurohockey.com
- Anders Hedberg's biography at Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
|Bill Masterton Trophy winner