Niklas Kronwall (born January 12, 1981) is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman, an alternate captain for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He started his career in Järfälla HC in Sweden, and has played for the Swedish National Team. 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 boarding hits.
His younger brother Staffan plays for Severstal Cherepovets of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
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.
Niklas Kronwall was selected in the 1st round, 29th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He continued to play for Djurgårdens IFuntil 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 and missed more than half of the 2005–06 season with a serious knee injury.
In late 2005, he 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 in 2009 Stanley Cup FinalsGame 6.
He also played at the IIHF 2006 World Championship to win the other international gold medal. This makes him one of only eight players who have won both Olympic and World Cup gold the same year. He 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 NHL 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.
On December, 27 2010 he helped Chris Osgood get his 400th win by scoring the game winning goal and lifting the Red Wings to a 4-3 overtime win.
On October, 31 2011, Kronwall and Detroit agreed to a seven-year contract.
|Olympic medal record|
|Men’s Ice hockey|
|Gold||2006 Turin||Ice hockey|
- 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.