NHLers by Country: On Top of Their Game & the World
When we look into the brief history of ice hockey and how the modern NHL is formed, we will always find Canada prominent from the beginning era of hockey to the evolvement of modern ice hockey – the NHL. Canadian players played a significant role in the standing of ice hockey. That’s why their number of players is more than the rest of the NHL countries. If you see at the awards of the NHL, Canadians have every honor – big or small. The Stanley Cup mostly also goes to Canadian teams.
Although, as the NHL grew up, many countries’ players started taking an interest in the NHL and officially joined it. And this game now becomes everyone’s game, not just belongs to Canadians. Let’s look at the players in the NHL by percentage.
Over the years, there have been players from nearly 50 different countries in the NHL. The NHL players’ stats is led by Canada and followed by the United States and Sweden. They are also the top three countries in the NHL with the most active players in the 2022-23 season. The top 10 NHL countries are Canada, the US, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, and Denmark.
Canada – 43.0%
As expected, Canada still has a supreme reign over the NHL in terms of the most player percentage in the country. But now, the Canadian lead has become a little slow as in the past because many different countries’ player numbers are constantly increasing.
You can see from the opening roaster that out of 721 players, 321 players are from Canada, while in the past this amount is half and in 18’s more than half. So, this proves that other countries’ players are increasing day by day.
Famous Canadian Player’s
Though there are many prominent Canadian players, Edmonton Oilers, former Wayne Gretzky, and Connor McDavid are now the best player in the world.
United States – 26.4%
Ice hockey is a popular sport in the US, and this is not just emphasized by its NHL number of players but by the success of its franchises. The powerful testament to their strong feet in the NHL is their five straight International Hockey Federation-winning titles from 2013 to 2019. Moreover, they have two silver Olympic medals and a gold medal in South Korea in 2018.
Famous American Player’s
They have an abundance of rich players, but Chicago Blackhawks produced Patrick Kane forward, who led his team and gained immersed praise.
Sweden – 9.8%
Gus Forslund was technically the first Swedish Player in the season 1932-33. He then moved to Canada along with his family. After four decades, Thommie Bergman started practice as a defenseman and later joined Detroit Red Wings, which continued for eight years.
Famous Swedish Player’s
Here, we can say that San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson’s defensemen twice won the James Norris Memorial trophy.
Finland – 5.5%
Albert Pudas was the first Finnish NHL player. He was the original Toronto Maple Leafs. However, he was not the most notable and famous player. He played only four NHL games without any scoring points.
Famous Finnish Player’s
Aleksander Barkov, the Florida Panthers forward as he, won the Frank J. Selke trophy for being the league’s best defensive forward in the season 2020-21. Though the name may sound like Russian, that’s his father, and he has his training in Finland.
Russia – 5.1%
Russian players, unfortunately, have a bad reputation due to enigmatic behaviour. But when speaking of skills, there is no denial of Russia’s excellent ice hockey skills. They helped in shaping the modern structure of the NHL. Starting from the first Soviet NHLer Sergei Pryakhin, to the defectors to the famous Russian five of the Red Wings. The general managers have threats of departure to the Kontinental Hockey League looming over their heads. Still, in the time of the NHL entry draft, Russians are always an excellent option for it.
Famous Russian Player’s
Nikita Kucherov, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward, is a name that helped in the playoff scoring the route for Tampa Bay straight to the Stanley cup.
Czech Republic – 3.6%
The Czech Republic took the medal yearly from International Hockey Federation or the Olympics from 1995 to 2001. Especially they came into everyone’s sights when they won the 1998 Olympic gold medal.
Famous Czech Player’s
Currently, the Jakub Voracek of the Columbus Blue Jackets is the leading Player of Czech in terms of the points table with his competitor Jaromir Jagr.
Switzerland – 1.4%
Switzerland has a steady rate of players to ten over the years, including the rookie Mason McTavish of Anaheim Ducks. Regardless of growing up in Canada, he played in Switzerland.
Famous Swiss Player’s
The defenseman of the Nashville Predators, Roman Josi, made way himself to become the league’s premier defenseman. At first, he was overshadowed by his teammates and the defenseman Shea Weber. But he played a vital role in winning the 2020 Norris Memorial trophy.
Slovakia – 1.1%
The famous Slovakian Player was the Canadian-raised man Stan Mikita. He was a great player for the Blackhawks and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame players. He passed away in 2018.
Famous Slovakian Player’s
He is not a young player, but the 44-year-old player still leads the Slovak NHL group even when he has been relegated to depth roles.
Germany – 0.8%
It is a perception that Germany does not have any presence in the NHL, though. In actuality, Germany has a credit Stanley cup winning goal, as Uwe Krupp, the Colorado Avalanche defensemen, ended a Game four three-overtime marathon in 1996.
Famous German Player’s
Edmonton Oilers forward man Leon Draisaitl may seem like the simple man who does shotgun with Connor McDavid. He was the highest overall drafted among Germans at no.3 in 2014. Moreover, he won the Hart Memorial Trophy and was awarded the league MVP.
Denmark – 0.7%
For recent decades, hockey has been on the rise in Denmark. The wave rose after Frans Nielson’s NHL debut in 2007 with New York Islanders. Many Danish players came after Neilson, but no one had the staying power as Neilson till 2021 before he joined the Detroit Red Wings.
Famous Danish Player’s
The current favourite Danish Player Frederik Andersen is the Caroline Hurricanes goalie. Though he sings with Caroline, his home is always Denmark.
The Rest Best Countries in the NHL
|Country||Number of Players||Percentage of Players|
Frequently Asked Question
Which franchise has the most foreign players?
The Columbus Blue Jackets have the most foreign number of players, with 14 players on the roster. The stat is closely followed by the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals with 13 registrations.
What European country has the most NHL players?
Sweden has the most number of NHL players, 10.3% in Europe.
You can see by the percentage stats that the result is Canada. The majority of players are from Canada. They have the throne in the NHL now. But as ice hockey is gradually evolving and spreading in different countries, the number of other players will soon surpass Canada’s reign over NHL.
What do you say about the future stats of other countries’ players in the NHL? Drop your opinion in the comments section below. We will love to hear your opinion.