Niklas Kronwall

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Niklas Kronwall
Niklas Kronwall 2012.png
Born (1981-01-12) 12 January 1981 (age 35)
Stockholm, SWE
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team Detroit Red Wings
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 29th overall, 2000
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1999–present
Website kronwall55.com

Niklas Hans Kronwall (born 12 January 1981) is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman and alternate captain for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is one of the 26 members in the Triple Gold Club. Kronwall started his career in Järfälla HC in Sweden, and has played internationally for the Sweden. In the NHL, Kronwall has gained notoriety for being an open ice hitter, and the phrase "being Kronwalled" was coined to describe his signature back-pedaling hits. In 2008 he won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings.

Playing career[edit]

I know one scout who tried to bring up Niklas Kronwall's name with his team. They just laughed at him. They never even had a serious dialogue. They just stopped him. They said 'a 5-11 Swedish defenceman?' [The Red Wings] organization is more open-minded than that.

— Håkan Andersson, Director of European Scouting for the Detroit Red Wings, [1]

Kronwall was selected in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.[2] He continued to play for Djurgårdens IF until he came to North America in 2003. He played 20 games for Detroit in the 2003–04 season, scoring one goal and four assists for five points, to go along with 16 penalty minutes.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Kronwall played a complete season for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' top affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). He notched 13 goals and 40 assists in 76 games while also playing a solid defense. For his efforts, Kronwall was awarded the Eddie Shore Award as the top defenceman in the AHL.

Kronwall was injured in an exhibition game against Colorado Avalanche in September 2005[3] and missed more than half of the 2005–06 season with a serious knee injury.

Kronwall in 2009 Stanley Cup Finals Game 6.

Kronwall won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, making him a member of the Triple Gold Club. He also led all defencemen in scoring with 15 points in the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. Kronwall scored six goals to go with 45 assists during the 2008–09 season, and followed it up with two goals and seven assists during the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs as the Red Wings came within a game of repeating as Stanley Cup champions. The Red Wings lost Game 7 at home by a score of 2-1, with Kronwall hitting the crossbar with 2:15 remaining in the third period, which would've tied the game.

On 27 December 2010, Kronwall helped teammate and goaltender Chris Osgood get his 400th win by scoring the game-winning goal and lifting the Red Wings to a 4–3 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche.

On 31 October 2011, Kronwall and Detroit agreed to a seven-year contract. Playing in all 82 regular season games during the 2011–12 season, Kronwall recorded a career high 15 goals for the Red Wings.

Upon the retirement of veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidström in 2012, Kronwall became Detroit's number one defenseman. During the lockout shortened 2012–13 season, Kronwall appeared in all 48 regular season games, usually paired with fellow Swede Jonathan Ericsson. Kronwall finished the regular season scoring five goals along with 24 assists as the Red Wings clinched their 22nd consecutive playoff berth.

During the 2013–14 season, Kronwall recorded eight goals and 41 assists in 79 games for the Red Wings. He became the fifth defensemen to lead the Red Wings in assists in a single season, joining Reed Larson, Brad Park, Paul Coffey and Nicklas Lidström.[4]

On 3 December 2015, Kronwall played in his 700th career NHL game with the Red Wings, becoming the sixth defenceman in franchise history to reach the plateau, following Nicklas Lidström, Marcel Pronovost, Red Kelly, Reed Larson and Gary Bergman.[5]

On 19 January 2016, Kronwall underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, and will be out for two to four weeks. During the 2015–16 season, Kronwall recorded three goals and 14 assists in 45 games this season.[6]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Gold medal – first place 2006 Turin
Silver medal – second place 2014 Sochi
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2006
Silver medal – second place 2003

In late 2005, Kronwall was named member of the Swedish Olympic Team but dropped out in early 2006 because of his injured knee. When Mattias Öhlund was injured against Switzerland, Kronwall was called in to replace him.

Kronwall represented Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, where he recorded one goal and one assist in two games, and won a gold medal. That same year, Kronwall represented Sweden at the 2006 IIHF World Championship, where he was the leading scorer for Sweden, recording two goals and eight assists in eight games and won a gold medal. Sweden became the first team in hockey history to win the Olympic gold and the World Championship in the same year.

With the 2008 Stanley Cup championship, Kronwall became a member of the Triple Gold Club. The term is used for an exclusive group of ice hockey players who have won Olympic gold, World Championship gold and the Stanley Cup. Kronwall, along with teammates and fellow Swedes Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg, are the fastest to accomplish this feat, requiring only two years, three months and ten days.[7]

Kronwall represented Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where he recorded two assists in six games, and won a silver medal.

"Kronwalled"[edit]

Kronwall has developed a reputation for his signature back-pedaling hits. Fans refer to the frequently devastating, often open-ice, hits as being "Kronwalled." Victims of Kronwall's checking include Dany Heatley, Aleš Hemský, Ryan Kesler,[8] Jakub Voráček[9] and Kaspars Saulietis.[10] On 27 April 2015, during Game 6 of a first round playoff, Kronwall charged Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov. The following day, the NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Kronwall for the final game of the series.[11]

Personal life[edit]

His younger brother Staffan plays for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

On 24 April 2014, Kronwall's girlfriend gave birth to their first child, a son named Douglas.[12]

Achievements[edit]

  • Elitserien champion with Djurgårdens IF in 2000 and 2001
  • Elitserien Junior Hockey Player of the Year in 2000
  • Silver medal at the World Championships in 2003
  • Awarded the Eddie Shore Award (Outstanding defenceman) in 2005
  • Named to the AHL First All-Star Team in 2005
  • Gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2006
  • Gold medal at the World Championships in 2006
  • Named MVP and Best Defender in World Championships in 2006
  • Named to the World Championship All-Star Team in 2006
  • Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008
  • Silver medal at the Winter Olympics in 2014

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Huddinge IK Swe-2 24 1 1 2 24
1999–00 Djurgårdens IF SEL 37 1 4 5 16 8 0 0 0 8
2000–01 Djurgårdens IF SEL 31 1 9 10 32 15 0 1 1 8
2001–02 Djurgårdens IF SEL 48 5 7 12 34 0 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Djurgårdens IF SEL 50 5 13 18 46 12 3 2 5 18
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 20 1 4 5 16
2003–04 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 25 2 11 13 20
2004–05 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 76 13 40 53 53
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 27 1 8 9 28 6 0 3 3 2
2005–06 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 1 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Detroit Red Wings NHL 68 1 21 22 54
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 65 7 28 35 25 22 0 15 15 18
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 6 45 51 50 23 2 7 9 33
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 48 7 15 22 32 12 0 5 5 12
2010–11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 11 26 37 36 11 2 4 6 8
2011–12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82 15 21 36 38 5 0 2 2 4
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 48 5 24 29 44 14 0 2 2 4
2013–14 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 8 41 49 44 5 1 1 2 0
2014–15 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 9 35 44 40 6 0 2 2 4
2015–16 Detroit Red Wings NHL 64 3 23 26 30 5 0 1 1 8
NHL totals 738 74 291 365 456 109 5 42 47 89
SHL totals 166 12 33 45 128 35 3 3 6 34

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
1998 Sweden EJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 1 2 3 6
1999 Sweden U18 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 0 4 4 10
2000 Sweden WJC 5th 7 5 1 6 10
2001 Sweden WJC 4th 5 0 1 1 2
2003 Sweden WC 2nd, silver medalist(s) 5 0 0 0 4
2005 Sweden WC 4th 9 3 3 6 10
2006 Sweden Oly 1st, gold medalist(s) 2 1 1 2 8
2006 Sweden WC 1st, gold medalist(s) 8 2 8 10 10
2010 Sweden Oly 5th 4 0 0 0 2
2012 Sweden WC 6th 8 1 0 1 4
2014 Sweden Oly 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 0 2 2 4
Junior totals 25 6 8 14 28
Senior totals 42 7 14 21 42

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rosenberg, Michael (June 9, 2008). "Secret to success? Meet the Wings' super scout". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Niklas Kronwall". hockeydb.com. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  3. ^ Ted Kulfan (2005). "Injury costs Wings' Kronwall". The Detroit News. Retrieved 21 September 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ Roose, Bill (14 July 2014). "By The Numbers: Niklas Kronwall". NHL. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Roose, Bill (3 December 2015). "Kronwall reaches Red Wings milestone". NHL. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Roose, Bill (19 January 2016). "Kronwall to miss up to a month". NHL. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Triple Gold Club expands to 22". IIHF. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 
  8. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrLhkntCs9c
  9. ^ Klopman, Michael (7 March 2012). "Red Wings Enforcer Delivers Monstrous Hit On Flyer". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Chew, Ben (19 May 2012). "Niklas Kronwall destroys Kaspars Saulietis at Ice Hockey World Championship (video)". NBC Sports. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Wings' Kronwall suspended one game for charging". NHL. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Rosen, Dan (25 April 2014). "Not even OT loss can spoil Kronwall's day". NHL. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jiri Fischer
Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick
2000
Succeeded by
Jakub Kindl