Ice hockey is a popular sport in the Netherlands, with many talented players competing at the highest levels of the game. The Netherlands has a long history of producing some of the best ice hockey players in the world.
From legendary goalies like Martin Brodeur to star forwards like Mats Zuccarello, the Dutch have a proud history of producing some of the best players in the sport. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best ice hockey players to ever come out of the Netherlands.
From superstars like Patrick van Riemsdyk to up-and-comers like Jarno Leppanen, we will look at the careers of the players who have made the Netherlands proud.
1. Jan Janssen
Jan Petrus Leonardus Janssen is a former professional ice hockey player who was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He was of Dutch descent and played for several years for the Dutch club Heerenveen Flyers.
Additionally, he represented the Netherlands national ice hockey team during his career. Janssen was born and raised in the United States, but his Dutch heritage played an important role in his development as a player.
He learned the game of ice hockey from a young age and honed his skills while playing for Heerenveen Flyers. By playing for this club, he became an important part of the hockey culture in the Netherlands and gained the respect of his peers.
In addition to his club career, Janssen also represented the Dutch national team. He was a key contributor to the team’s success in international competitions and provided invaluable leadership.
His experience and skill set enabled the Netherlands to compete on a global level. Jan Petrus Leonardus Janssen was a dedicated player who enjoyed a successful career on both the club and national levels. He was a leader in his sport and a role model for Dutch hockey players.
He was proud of his Dutch heritage and was able to use it to his advantage while developing his hockey career.
2. Daniel Sprong
Daniel Sprong is a professional athlete who plays for the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League (NHL). Born in the Netherlands, Sprong began playing hockey at a young age. He played for several teams before being signed to the Red Wings in 2019.
Sprong is a forward, which means he is typically responsible for leading the offense and pushing the play towards the opposing team’s goal. He is a skilled skater and stick handler and has a knack for finding the back of the net.
Sprong’s performance has been impressive since joining the Red Wings, as he has recorded 15 goals and 9 assists in just 25 games. His skill and determination have made him an integral part of the team, and he is sure to have a long and successful career in the NHL.
3. Jack de Heer
Jasper Garth Dick “Jack” de Heer was a former professional ice hockey player from the Netherlands. He was born with Canadian and Dutch heritage and spent the majority of his playing career in the Dutch Eredivisie.
He first began playing professionally with the Tilburg Trappers, and over the course of his five seasons there, he consistently put up impressive numbers, averaging almost four points per game. He was also an active member of the Dutch national ice hockey team.
Despite his short career, de Heer certainly made a lasting impression on the Eredivisie with his impressive play.
He was a highly-skilled player with a passion for the game, and those who watched him play often remarked on his ability to make even the most difficult plays look effortless.
4. Ed Kea
Adriaan Jozef Kea was a professional hockey player who had the unique distinction of being born in the Netherlands, yet playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) in Canada. He played as a defenceman, a player whose job it is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.
From 1974 to 1983, Kea was a member of two NHL teams, the Atlanta Flames and the St. Louis Blues. During his time in the NHL, Kea was known for his defensive abilities and smart play. He was an effective defender who could help shut down the opposition and help his team win.
He was also a strong skater, allowing him to keep up with the pace of the game. After his time in the NHL, Kea went on to coach hockey at the minor league level. He left a lasting legacy in the NHL, and his work as a player and a coach is still remembered today.
5. William Klooster
William Eduard Antonio Klooster is a retired Dutch ice hockey player who was born in Amsterdam, North Holland. He played defenceman for the Netherlands national ice hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics and in the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships.
He was an important part of the team, helping them to compete at the highest level of international competition. Klooster was a respected member of the Dutch national ice hockey team.
His ability to play a shut-down game and his intelligence on the ice made him an invaluable asset. He was an excellent passer and could quickly read the play in front of him, allowing him to anticipate and shut down opponents’ attacks.
He also had a great shot and was able to contribute to the team’s offensive output. Klooster’s experience and skill on the ice helped the Dutch national team to have successful performances in the 1980 Winter Olympics and the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships.
He was part of the team that achieved a fourth place finish in the Olympics, and a sixth place finish in the World Championships.
His contributions were essential in both competitions and his leadership was a key part of the team’s success. William Eduard Antonio Klooster was a talented ice hockey player who left his mark on the Dutch national team.
He was an important part of the team’s successes in the 1980 Winter Olympics and the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships, and his skill and talent on the ice will be remembered for years to come.
6. Corky de Graauw
Cornell de Graauw is a former Dutch ice hockey player who was born in Bladel. He began his career in 1968 with the Kitchener Rangers, playing in ten games over the course of two seasons until 1970.
During this time, de Graauw demonstrated his skills on the ice and showed potential for a successful career in the sport. He was known for being an aggressive and powerful player in the defensive zone, as well as for his ability to be a team leader.
After leaving the Rangers, de Graauw went on to play with a number of teams in Europe and North America, including the Dutch National Team. He also represented his country at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Throughout his career, de Graauw was a respected player both on and off the ice, and he was an important part of the Dutch ice hockey scene during his time with the Rangers.
7. Leo Koopmans
Leo Donald Koopmans is a former Dutch international ice hockey forward who had a successful career in the Dutch Eredivisie. He played for 15 seasons in the Eredivisie and was the league’s top scorer for the 1977-8 season.
Koopmans was well known for his skill as a forward and was an important part of the Dutch ice hockey team during his career. He was admired for his hard work and determination and was respected both on and off the ice.
His dedicatation to the sport was a major factor in his success during his career. Koopmans was an inspirational figure for many young ice hockey players in the Netherlands, and his legacy has continued to live on.
8. Klaas van den Broek
Nicolaas Gerardus Maria “Klaas” van den Broek is a former Dutch professional ice hockey player. He was born in Tilburg, North Brabant, and began his career with the Tilburg Trappers in the 1970s.
Van den Broek made an impressive impact on the sport and was selected to represent the Netherlands at the 1980 Winter Olympics. He played in all five matches during the Olympics, becoming the first Dutch ice hockey player to do so.
His performance at the Olympics earned him recognition as one of the best Dutch ice hockey players of all time. He has since retired from professional play, but his legacy lives on as an example of hard work and dedication to the sport.
9. Dick Decloe
Dick Decloe is a renowned former professional ice hockey player who has experienced success both on the ice and internationally.
Born in the Netherlands, Decloe is a Dutch-Canadian who was an integral part of the 1973 championship team of the Toronto Marlboros. Decloe has earned many accolades throughout his career. Most notably, he was a Memorial Cup winner, an award given to the top Canadian hockey team.
In addition, Decloe was a top scorer in the first German Bundesliga, a professional ice hockey league in Germany. Decloe also had the opportunity to represent his home country of the Netherlands on the international stage.
He played in various international tournaments and was a great ambassador for the sport of ice hockey. Dick Decloe is a respected figure in the hockey world. He won numerous awards and accolades and was a leader both on and off the ice.
His career has been a great representation of the potential for success that comes with hard work and dedication.
10. Larry van Wieren
Larry Titus van Wieren is a former professional ice hockey player who competed for the Dutch national team in the 1980 Winter Olympics and the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships. He was born in Bolsward, Netherlands, but was raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
This means that he was exposed to the game of ice hockey from a very young age and was able to hone the skills necessary to become an elite player.
Growing up in Edmonton likely provided him with access to top-level coaching and facilities that enabled him to develop into a world-class player.
He was able to represent his country in the Olympics and the World Ice Hockey Championships, demonstrating the level of skill and talent he had achieved.
After his time in the Netherlands, Larry Titus van Wieren moved back to Canada, where he continued to play ice hockey at a professional level. He competed in various leagues in both Canada and the United States until his retirement in the late 1990s.
The success of Larry Titus van Wieren’s career is a testament to the dedication he had to the sport of ice hockey. His passion and commitment to the game enabled him to compete on the highest stage and represent his country on the world stage.
His story is an inspiring one for any aspiring hockey players looking to take their game to the next level.
11. Rick van Gog
Richard van Gog is a Canadian of Dutch descent who enjoyed a long career as a professional ice hockey player. He spent the majority of his playing days in the Netherlands, representing the GIJS Groningen team.
He also had a brief stint in Sweden during the 1983-84 season, playing for Diö GoIF. Van Gog was also a proud member of the Netherlands national ice hockey team, representing his home country on the international stage.
His accomplishments throughout his career speak to his success and popularity as an ice hockey player. He is remembered fondly for his contributions to the sport and for his loyalty to his national team.
12. George Peternousek
George Peternousek is an accomplished former professional ice hockey player. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and later took on Dutch citizenship to compete for the Netherlands national ice hockey team.
His impressive career included competing in both the 1980 Winter Olympics and the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships, highlighting his skills and talent. Peternousek’s move to take on Dutch citizenship was a major milestone in his career, as it enabled him to pursue his passion for ice hockey on the international stage.
He was able to join the Netherlands national team and demonstrate his immense talent through competing in two major tournaments.
His performance in the Winter Olympics and the World Ice Hockey Championships were impressive, earning him recognition and respect amongst his peers and the international community. Overall, George Peternousek is a highly accomplished former professional ice hockey player.
His impressive career was made possible by his move to take on Dutch citizenship, which enabled him to compete for the Netherlands national team in the Winter Olympics and the World Ice Hockey Championships.
He is highly respected in the ice hockey community and is remembered for his impressive performances in both tournaments.
13. Henk Hille
Henk Hille is a former Dutch professional ice hockey player, who specialized in playing defense. He had a successful career, playing in the Allsvenskan, a Swedish ice hockey league, for three seasons in the mid-1980s.
He was also a member of the Netherlands national ice hockey team and represented his country in 48 games, including all their matches during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
During his time on the Netherlands team, Henk was known for his hard-nosed style of play and his commitment to the team. He was a key contributor to the team’s success, helping them to make it to the Olympic tournament and making a significant impact on the team’s performance.
Henk was a leader on the ice, and his dedication to the sport of ice hockey is something that is still remembered today.
14. Harrie van Heumen
Harrie van Heumen is a former ice hockey forward from the Netherlands. He is best known for his participation in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Heumen’s career began in the Netherlands, where he played in the Dutch ice hockey leagues.
He was part of the Dutch national team that participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. His team performed admirably but was ultimately eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Despite this, Heumen represented a major milestone for the Netherlands, as it was the first time the country had participated in an Olympic ice hockey tournament. Following the Olympics, Heumen continued his career in the Dutch leagues, eventually retiring in 1989.
Heumen’s contribution to Dutch ice hockey is still remembered, and his involvement in the 1980 Winter Olympics will remain a lasting part of his legacy.
15. John Wensink
John Wensink is a well-known Canadian former professional ice hockey player who made a significant impact during his 400-game career in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Wensink is most notably remembered for his time with the Boston Bruins, where he played in two consecutive Stanley Cup Finals in 1977 and 1978.
During this time, Wensink proved to be an invaluable asset to the Bruins, as he became a key contributor to the team’s success and helped bring them to the brink of glory. Wensink was known for his physical style of play, with an emphasis on tough body checks and strong defensive play.
He was also an effective offensive player, tallying up a total of 109 goals and 92 assists during his NHL career.
This offensive production, combined with his physicality, made him a valuable asset for the Bruins. Despite not being able to help the Bruins capture the Stanley Cup in 1977 or 1978, Wensink’s contributions to the team were not forgotten.
He was widely respected for his commitment to the game and his relentless effort on the ice. His legacy as a player remains strong to this day, as he is remembered as one of the most important players in Boston Bruins history.
16. Ed Beers
Eddy Beers is a former professional ice hockey winger who had an impressive career in the National Hockey League (NHL). Born in the Netherlands, he moved to Canada and played 250 games between 1982 and 1986 for the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues.
He was an excellent player, nearly averaging one point per game in the NHL. Unfortunately, his NHL career was cut short due to an injury. Beers was a talented player who was able to make a name for himself in the NHL before his career was abruptly cut short.
He will forever be remembered for his performance in the NHL and his remarkable skill on the ice.
17. Bill Wensink
Bill Wensink is a former professional ice hockey player from Canada. He was born to Dutch Canadian parents, and thus he represented the Netherlands at the international level.
He had a professional career of 14 years in the Eredivisie, the top-level of Dutch ice hockey, and in two IIHF World Championships for the Netherlands national ice hockey team.Before turning pro, Bill Wensink played in the highest level of Canadian junior hockey, known as tier-I junior hockey.
In his brief stint in the league, he was able to record an assist and 2 penalty minutes in two games with the Kingston Canadiens. This shows that he was an able and talented player, even at a very young age.
18. Phil Groeneveld
Phil Groeneveld is an accomplished ice hockey goaltender who has had a successful career. He was born in Canada, but has Dutch heritage, having spent some time in the Netherlands.
He had a long and prosperous professional career, playing for a number of different teams in Europe, including HC Alleghe in Italy’s Serie A league.
He retired in 2009, bringing an end to his successful career. Throughout his career, Phil Groeneveld has earned a great deal of respect from players and fans alike. His skill and determination as a goaltender was evident in every match he played.
He was known for his agility, power and quick reflexes, which helped him make some incredible saves. His presence in goal was always felt and he was a reliable source of confidence for his teams. Phil Groeneveld was a fan favorite wherever he went.
He was well known for his passion and enthusiasm for the game and was always willing to put in extra effort to improve his performance.
His dedication and commitment to the sport has made him a role model for many aspiring hockey players. Phil Groeneveld is a great example of a successful career in ice hockey.
His commitment to the game and his passion for it have earned him a great deal of respect from peers and fans alike. He will be remembered for his outstanding skill and determination and will continue to be an inspiration to those who aspire to reach his level of success.
19. Fred Homburg
Fred Homburg is a renowned former Dutch professional ice hockey defenceman. He is most notably known for his entire pro career spent with his hometown Nijmegen Tigers. His career began in 1978 when he was just 16 years old, and he continued to stay with the club until 2000.
Homburg’s dedication to the team is commendable as it was a long-term commitment to his local ice hockey team. During this time, he was able to hone his skills and establish himself as a successful and respected professional ice hockey defenceman.
His commitment to the team has been praised by fans and other players alike, and he is remembered fondly for his loyalty to the Nijmegen Tigers.
20. Alexander Schaafsma
Alexander Schaafsma is a professional ice hockey player from the Netherlands. He is a forward who has been playing the game since he was a young child.
Growing up in a small Dutch town, Schaafsma developed a passion for the game of ice hockey that has carried him throughout his career. Schaafsma has played in the Dutch national team since 2009 and has been part of the team that won the European Championship in 2017.
He has also played in the Dutch international leagues, including the Dutch Ice Hockey League (DIHL), the Netherlands Ice Hockey League (NIHL), and the Swiss National League (NLA).At the international level, Schaafsma has competed in the IIHF World Championships, the European Championships, and the Olympic Winter Games.
He is considered to be one of the best skaters in the Netherlands and is known for his strong offensive game. In addition to his success on the ice, Schaafsma is a popular figure in the Dutch ice hockey community.
He has served as a mentor to many younger players, helping them to develop their skills and reach their goals.
He is also a popular figure in the Dutch media, appearing in various magazines and television shows. Alexander Schaafsma is an inspiration to Dutch ice hockey players everywhere.
He is a dedicated player who has worked hard to reach his goals and is now an important figure in the Dutch hockey community. He is a great example of how hard work and dedication can lead to success.
21. Michael Brandasu
Michael Brandasu is a retired Dutch ice hockey player who had a successful career spanning several teams. He spent the majority of his career playing as a defender for the Stavanger Oilers, a professional Norwegian ice hockey team.
He also had stints playing for Viking, a Swedish ice hockey club, and Amager Ishockey, a Danish club. During his career, he was also selected to represent the Dutch U20 and U18 national teams. Brandasu was a respected and well-liked player among his peers.
His long career was filled with success and accomplishments, including playing for some of the most prestigious and competitive teams in Europe. He was known for his defensive prowess, which made him a valuable asset to the teams he played for.
His leadership and commitment to the game were praised by his teammates and coaches alike. Michael Brandasu’s contributions to the sport of ice hockey have earned him a place in the history books.
He was able to play for some of the best teams in the world and represent his country with pride. His legacy as an ice hockey player will live on for many years to come.
22. Ron Berteling
Ron Berteling is a renowned Dutch figure in the world of ice hockey. He has enjoyed a successful career spanning nearly two decades, both as a player and a coach.
As a player, he was a member of the Netherlands ice hockey team that represented the country at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
After retiring as a player, he shifted his focus to coaching and went on to become the captain of the Netherlands men’s national ice hockey team from 1982 to 1993. Throughout his illustrious career, Ron Berteling has made significant contributions to the growth and development of ice hockey in the Netherlands.
He has helped create a strong team atmosphere and has instilled a fighting spirit in his players, making them better competitors.
His success as a coach has earned him the respect and admiration of many in the sport. Ron Berteling’s influence has been felt far beyond the Netherlands and has been an inspiration to aspiring ice hockey players and coaches all over the world.
As a prominent figure in the sport, he has been instrumental in promoting the sport and encouraging more people to take up the sport.
He has also been a vocal advocate for the rights of ice hockey players, particularly in regards to fair wages and better working conditions. In recognition of his contributions to the sport, Ron Berteling has been inducted into the Netherlands Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.
His legacy as a player and coach will continue to inspire and motivate generations of ice hockey players and coaches to come.
23. Brian de Bruijn
Brian Austin de Bruijn is a former professional ice hockey player who has a unique background that has allowed him to play for both the Netherlands men’s national ice hockey team and Canada.
Born in the Netherlands, de Bruijn immigrated to Canada at a young age and then pursued a professional ice hockey career.He had a successful career that saw him play for several teams in the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States.
He was even part of the Dutch team that participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
It was a great honor for de Bruijn to be part of the Netherlands men’s national ice hockey team and to represent his home country in the Olympics.In addition to his time on the ice, de Bruijn is also a highly respected coach.
He has coached some of the top teams in both the Netherlands and Canada and has helped to develop some of the top players in the sport. He is a true ambassador for ice hockey and an inspiration to all who follow the sport.
The Netherlands is home to some of the best ice hockey players in Europe. With the emergence of NHL stars such as Jaap Stam and Lars Eller, the Netherlands is set to become an even more formidable force in the ice hockey world.
With the help of the Dutch national team, the Netherlands is sure to be a major contender in international competitions in the years to come.