DRAFTED: who plays in the SHL?
An article in parts by @ABritOnThinIce1
PART 7. Conclusion: Who plays in the SHL?
The NHL Entry Draft is a very exciting part of the sport and has a dramatic effect on European hockey. But it is not as simple as saying that the NHL and AHL drain Europe of it's best players.
I think there can be no doubt that Sweden (and other European countries) are the birthing ground of many of the NHLs best players, whether it is Colorado Avalanche's forward Peter Forsberg or Detroit Red Wings' defenseman Niklas Lidström, or even New York Rangers' keeper, Henrik Lundqvist. But it is also the current playing field of many of Europe's greatest players, whether they come from Sweden, North America or any other part of Europe.
Take a random look at any of the SHL teams, as I've tried to do it these articles, and you'll see a fantastic mix multicultural talent. It might be rocket from the blue line by Finnish Kristian Näkyvä, a deft deflection in front of goal by Swede, Oscar Möller (above) or an aggressive fore-check from Canadian, Brendan Shinnimin. But wherever you look you'll see amazing players at the top of their game.
In the SHL you can, naturally, find a huge range of Swedish players, from young rising stars on their way to the top of the sports echelons, as well as players who blossomed in the middle of their careers, or those with talent and experience towards the latter end of their career.
But you can also find some of North America's best players over the age of 25, including those who have had a very successful stint in the AHL, even if they have not shone as brightly in the NHL. All these missed up with a sprinkling of players from Europe's other ice hockey make the SHL what it is today, one of Europe's finest leagues.
Now all that's left to do it get out there and see some great live hockey!