It is safe to say that the NHL is one of the most popular leagues in North America. People live or die by the blades. Well, figuratively, of course. The sport is so popular that there are many betting options available and even some of the Best $5 Deposit Casinos feature hockey-themed casino games. Sure, most successful players originated in North America, but there were also splendid talents that came from other countries. Today, we are going to discuss the best non-North American NHL players.
In the 1992 Winter Olympics, Selanne represented Finland and showcased his skills on the international stage. In 1992, Selanne made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets, where he had an outstanding rookie season. He set a rookie record by scoring 76 goals and 132 points, earning him the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie. This remarkable performance earned him the nickname “The Finnish Flash.” Throughout his career, Selanne played for several NHL teams, including the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, and briefly for the Winnipeg Jets again when they relocated to Phoenix as the Coyotes. He consistently displayed his scoring prowess and was known for his positive attitude and leadership qualities. Selanne’s most significant achievement came in the 2006-2007 season when he helped lead the Anaheim Ducks to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship. Selanne was a 10-time NHL All-Star, won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for leading the league in goals three times, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Jagr is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. Jagr began his professional career in the Czechoslovak Extraliga, playing for HC Kladno. In 1990, he was selected as the fifth overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. During his time with the Penguins, Jagr formed a dynamic duo with Mario Lemieux and helped the team win two consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992.He became known for his exceptional scoring ability, skillful puck handling, and physical presence on the ice. After his successful stint with the Penguins, Jagr played for several other NHL teams, including the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, and Calgary Flames. Throughout his career, Jagr achieved numerous accolades and records. He won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer five times and became the oldest player to score 50 goals in a season. He ranks second in all-time NHL scoring, behind only Wayne Gretzky.
The Swedish genius was known for his exceptional skills on both ends of the ice. He was a reliable and intelligent defenceman, known for his strong defensive play, positioning, and ability to read the game. Lidstrom was also a skilled offensive player, with a powerful shot and excellent passing ability. He won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman seven times, tying the record for the most wins in that category. He was also named to the NHL First All-Star Team 10 times. Lidstrom was a key part of the Red Wings’ success during his tenure. He helped lead the team to four Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008.This hockey artist won an Olympic gold medal in 2006 and a silver medal in 2002. No wonder why many consider him to be the GOAT of non-North American players.