There is no logical explanation to why this particular town should be such a good place for hockey players to develop, but apparently, it is. The city only has two indoor rinks. In a recent voting among journalists he was nominated to be the 6th best Swedish defenseman ever to play the game of hockey. Playing in the Vancouver Canucks and with the Minnesota North Stars , Lindgren scored points and attended the penalty box for minutes during his regular season games. A more or less informal farm team contract existed.
Sweden has consistently been among the top countries at producing NHL worthy talent over the past couple of decades, and their gold medal at the Olympics proved that they may have the best talent in the world. Mattias Weinhandl deserves the recognition, even after a mediocre four year NHL career with the Islanders and the Wild from However, since his departure to Europe in , Weinhandl has excelled on the larger ice surfaces of the Swedish Elite League and the KHL, where he has finished in the top ten in scoring the past two seasons. He also represented Team Sweden at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, managing 2 assists in 4 games with a plus-2 rating.
The league currently consists of 14 teams. The league was founded in , and while Swedish ice hockey champions have been crowned through various formats since , the title, as well as the Le Mat Trophy , have been awarded to the winner of the SHL playoffs since the league's inaugural —76 season. As of —11 , the SHL was the world's most evenly matched professional ice hockey league.
Sweden is a huge hotbed for hockey, and it has produced some of today's biggest stars. It has a rich hockey history and is highly regarded as one of the "Big Seven," one of the best hockey countries in the world. Its national team, "Tre Kroner," is always ranked with elite status, often considered one of the top three teams in the world, and has been competitive throughout its history. A number of different things were determining factors in this list, and some may disagree with the order of my rankings, but this is just my opinion.