17 Professional Best Skating Players in Sweden Best of the Country

Aleksandr Smokvin

Sweden is home to some of the best ice skaters in the world. Sweden has produced a number of world-class skaters who have gone on to become Olympic and World champions.

Many of these skaters have become household names in Sweden and have won numerous awards, including Olympic medals and world titles.

From the legendary figure skater Gillis Grafström to modern-day champions like Carolina Kostner and Alexander Majorov, Sweden has produced some of the greatest skaters of all time.

We will explore some of the best ice skaters in Sweden and take a look at their impressive accomplishments.

1. Elias Pettersson


Elias Fredrik Pettersson is a Swedish professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected fifth overall by the Canucks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Pettersson was born in Sundsvall, Sweden, where his hockey career began, but grew up in Ånge. The young forward was given the role of alternate captain for the Canucks in his second season in the NHL.

He achieved great success in his first season with the team, leading the Canucks in points and winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Pettersson has since become an integral part of the Canucks’ roster and is one of the team’s most important players.

His impressive skill and leadership on the ice have made him a fan favorite and an important part of the Canucks’ future.

2. Mika Zibanejad


Mika Zibanejad is a talented professional ice hockey centre and an alternate captain for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was born in Sweden and was selected sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Zibanejad is an experienced player who has been playing since 2012 and his performance has only improved, making him a crucial part of the New York Rangers. Throughout his career, Zibanejad has showcased his talent both offensively and defensively.

He has scored over 100 goals and 200 points in his NHL career and has been a reliable defensive player for the Rangers.

He is also known for his strong leadership skills and he has served as an alternate captain for the team since 2019. Zibanejad’s impressive performance has earned him various awards and recognition.

In 2019, he was named to the NHL All-Star Game and was also voted the NHL Player of the Month in January of that same year.

He has also been named the MVP of the AHL All-Star Game in 2015 and was selected to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2012. Mika Zibanejad is a dynamic player who has been a valuable asset to the New York Rangers.

His impressive skill set combined with his strong leadership abilities have made him one of the most important players on the team. He is a great example of why the Ottawa Senators made the right choice in selecting him sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

3. Gillis Grafström


Gillis Emanuel Grafström was an accomplished Swedish figure skater. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, he was a three-time Olympic gold medalist in Men’s Figure Skating, and he also won a silver medal in 1932. His success continued when he achieved three World Championships.

Grafström was an impressive athlete and his career was marked with numerous awards and championships. He became the first skater to win three successive Olympic gold medals, and he also won the gold medal at the World Championships in 1920, 1921 and 1922.

He had a lasting legacy on the sport of figure skating as he made significant advancements in technique and style. He was an innovator, introducing the use of double and triple jumps in competitions.

He also developed the ‘Grafström spin’, which was later made compulsory in competitions. Grafström was an extremely talented skater and he had an extensive career in the sport.

He won the Swedish National Championships five times and placed second in the European Championships in 1927 and 1929.

He was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1976, and he was posthumously awarded the Sochi 2014 Olympic Order in recognition of his contribution to figure skating.

Gillis Emanuel Grafström was an iconic figure skater, and his accomplishments will be remembered for years to come. His achievements in the sport are a testament to his hard work and dedication. He will always be remembered as one of the best figure skaters of all time.

4. Nils van der Poel

Nils Göran van der Poel is an impressive Swedish speed skater. He is currently the World and Olympic record holder and also the reigning World and Olympic champion in both the 5,000 m and 10,000 m events.

This is an incredible accomplishment that few athletes have achieved. Van der Poel has had a long and successful career as a speed skater.

He has won numerous medals and awards in a wide range of events, including the World Single Distance Championships, the World Cup, and the European Single Distance Championships.

It is a testament to his skill and dedication that he has achieved such high levels of success in his sport. Van der Poel has also shown himself to be a formidable competitor in international competitions.

In 2016, he won the gold medal in the 5,000 m event and the bronze medal in the 10,000 m event at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

He also won the gold medal in the 10,000 m event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the gold medal in the 5,000 m event at the 2019 World Single Distance Championships.Van der Poel’s success in speed skating has been a great inspiration to many athletes around the world.

He is a model of what dedication and hard work can achieve in the sport of speed skating. He has proven that with the right attitude and determination, anyone can reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

5. Oliver Ekman-Larsson


Oliver Oscar Emanuel Ekman-Larsson is an accomplished Swedish professional ice hockey defenseman. He currently plays for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is known by his initials “OEL”.

Ekman-Larsson was originally selected sixth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. Ekman-Larsson has been a staple in the NHL for over a decade. He has been an All-Star twice, in 2014 and 2015.

He also won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2016, which is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and gives back to his community.

In 2020, he was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey. Ekman-Larsson has been a consistent producer of points in the NHL.

He has scored at least 10 goals in eight of his 11 seasons in the league. He has also surpassed the 40-point mark in seven of his 11 seasons. He has been a very reliable and dependable presence on the back end of his teams’ defensive units.

Ekman-Larsson is an important piece of the Florida Panthers’ roster. He is a veteran leader and an experienced player who can provide stability to the team. He is an incredibly gifted player and will be an asset to the Panthers for years to come.

6. Filip Forsberg

Carl Filip Anton Forsberg is a Swedish professional ice hockey player and an alternate captain for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Forsberg is a highly skilled player who was selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

He was chosen 11th overall by the Capitals, showing the high regard they have for him as a player. Forsberg is known for his strong defensive play and his ability to move the puck quickly and accurately.

He often demonstrates a sense of calm in the defensive zone and is always looking to make the best play in any given situation.

He is also known for his great skating, which allows him to play a fast-paced game. Forsberg has been a key player for the Predators since he was drafted. He has helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 and the Western Conference Finals in 2018.

He has also been an alternate captain for the Predators since the 2018-2019 season. Forsberg is a highly skilled player and he has been an integral part of the Predators’ success. He is a great leader on the ice and is always looking to make the right play.

He is also a great role model for young hockey players, both in Nashville and around the world.

7. Elias Lindholm


Elias Viktor Zebulon Lindholm is an accomplished Swedish professional ice hockey player. He is an alternate captain for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Lindholm was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and played for the Hurricanes for the first five seasons of his NHL career. Lindholm’s strong skill set and leadership qualities have made him a valuable asset for the Flames.

He is a versatile player and can take on a variety of roles, from providing offensive support to playing solid defense. Lindholm has developed into a reliable two-way player, with the ability to contribute in both ends of the ice.

He has also been an important part of the Flames’ success, with his leadership and on-ice performance. Lindholm is a respected leader who is well liked by his teammates. He is a hard worker, with a positive attitude and a strong desire to get better.

He is a great role model for young players and sets a great example of what it takes to be a professional athlete. Overall, Elias Viktor Zebulon Lindholm is an important member of the Calgary Flames organization.

His skill set, leadership, and work ethic have been a valuable asset to the team. He is a great example of the type of player that the team looks for, and his influence on the team is undeniable.

8. Kaj af Ekström

Kaj af Ekström was a Swedish figure skater who made an impressive mark on the world of figure skating. He competed in both men’s singles and pair skating. His partner for the pair skating events was Elna Henrikson.

The pair was incredibly successful, and won bronze medals at two World Figure Skating Championships; the first in 1923 and the second in 1924.

Ekström and Henrikson were a formidable duo, and their success at the World Championships was a testament to their hard work and dedication. Though they were not able to take home the gold, their bronze medals were a significant achievement in the figure skating world.

Ekström and Henrikson’s success at the World Championships inspired other figure skaters, and their legacy continues to be respected today.

9. Bror Meyer


Bror Meyer was a Swedish figure skater who achieved great success in the early 1900s. In 1906, he won the Swedish national title in the sport and placed fourth at the European Championships in Davos, Switzerland.

He then went on to win the bronze medal at the World Championships in Munich, Germany. His influence in the sport was so great that a manual called Skating with Bror Meyer was published in 1921.

This manual provided an insight into the techniques and strategies used by Bror Meyer to become one of the greatest figure skaters of his era. It was a testament to the legacy he left behind in the sport of figure skating.

10. Johan Röjler

Johan Röjler is a Swedish athlete who has achieved impressive success in the world of ice speed skating. He has competed at the highest level, representing his home country in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

His Olympic debut was at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was followed by the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Throughout his career, Johan has demonstrated extraordinary dedication and passion for ice speed skating.

His commitment to the sport has been rewarded with numerous medals and accolades. His achievements at the Olympics have further cemented his legacy as a world-class ice speed skater.

11. Gösta Sandahl

Gösta Sandahl was an accomplished figure skater from Sweden. He achieved a great deal of success in the sport, becoming the European Champion in 1912 and the World Champion in 1914.

However, in 1916 he made the difficult decision to stop competing in figure skating due to religious reasons. Seven years later, Sandahl made a temporary return to the sport when he won the Swedish Championships in 1923.

This victory marked the end of his figure skating career, as he decided to focus on other pursuits. Gösta Sandahl was a highly respected figure skater in his time, and his achievements are still remembered today.

12. Göran Claeson

Rolf Göran Claeson was a former speed skater from Sweden who competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. Unfortunately, he did not place very well and finished in 20th place.

However, in 1969, Claeson achieved a new milestone when he participated in the first ever European Allround Championships and won the bronze medal. This marked the highlight of his career and showed that he was capable of great success, even when faced with adversity.

Claeson’s success in the European Allround Championships is a testament to his hard work and determination and serves as an example of how dedication and perseverance can lead to success.

13. Sigvard Ericsson

John Sigvard “Sigge” Ericsson was a Swedish speed skater who made his mark on the world of sports. He was known for his remarkable athletic achievements and his commitment to the sport. At the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, Ericsson showcased his skill and determination.

In 1952, he competed in the 1000m, 1500m, and 5000m events, but did not medal. However, four years later, Ericsson returned with a vengeance.

He won a gold medal in the 1500m and a silver medal in the 5000m, cementing his status as one of the greatest speed skaters of his era. Ericsson’s impressive performances at the Olympics earned him a great deal of recognition.

He was praised for his dedication to the sport, and his achievements are still celebrated today. Ericsson’s impressive legacy lives on, and his accomplishments serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes everywhere.

14. Marcus Björk


Marcus Björk is a world-renowned figure skater from Sweden. He has competed in events such as the 2012 World Junior Championships where he managed to reach the free skate. In addition to his competitive achievements, he is also a two-time national silver medalist.

In January 2019, he took up the role of chairman of the conservative and classical liberal student association Ateneum at Lund University. This prestigious position is a testament to both his skating and leadership abilities.

It is clear that Marcus Björk is an incredibly talented skater and a respected leader.

His accomplishments in the sporting field and in the academic arena demonstrate his commitment to excellence, and it is this passion and dedication that make him one of the most successful figure skaters in Sweden today.

15. Jan Ullmark

Jan Ullmark is a renowned figure skating coach living in Alberta, Canada. He is a former Swedish national figure skating champion who has dedicated his life to the sport and has since been coaching in the Canmore Club in Canmore and The Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton.

Jan Ullmark has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the figure skating world, and his students are able to benefit greatly from his expertise. Ullmark has been in the figure skating industry for a long time and continues to be a major influence in the Canadian skating scene.

After winning the Swedish National Figure Skating Championship, he went on to coach at the Canmore Club and The Royal Glenora Club.

Both clubs are located in Alberta, Canada and offer a variety of figure skating classes and programs designed to help skaters of all ages and levels. Jan Ullmark’s students have been able to benefit from his impressive background and experience.

He is known for his ability to connect with skaters on a personal level, providing them with the support and guidance they need to reach their goals.

He has the ability to recognize potential in his students and help them refine their skills so they can be successful in their skating careers. Thanks to his dedication and hard work, Jan Ullmark has been able to make a name for himself in the figure skating world.

He is a highly respected coach and has a great reputation for getting the best out of his students. He continues to be a major influence on the Canadian skating scene and is a great asset to the Canmore Club and The Royal Glenora Club.

16. Anton Strålman


Anton Strålman is a Swedish professional ice hockey player who currently plays for HV71 in the Swedish Hockey League. Strålman has been playing ice hockey since the age of five and has played professionally since 2003.

He began his career in the Swedish Elite League and then moved on to play for teams in the Kontinental Hockey League, the American Hockey League, and the National Hockey League.

Strålman is a defenceman, which means that he is responsible for playing defense and protecting his team’s goal. He has been a consistent presence on the ice, playing with an aggressive style that has earned him recognition from his peers and fans alike.

He has been an important part of HV71’s success, helping them win the Swedish Hockey League championship in 2011 and 2014. Strålman continues to be an integral part of the team, providing stability and leadership on the ice.

17. Mikael Backlund


Mikael Backlund is a prominent figure in the world of hockey. He is a Swedish professional ice hockey center and alternate captain for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Backlund was a highly sought-after prospect and was selected in the first round, 24th overall, of the Flames in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

After being drafted, he made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season, making an immediate impact on the team. Backlund has since become an integral part of the Flames’ success, playing in more than 500 games with the team.

He is known for his strong defensive play, excellent skating ability and impressive vision on the ice. He is also an alternate captain, which is a testament to his leadership skills and ability to inspire his teammates.

In his time with the Flames, Backlund has been a reliable two-way player and has tallied more than 200 points in his career. Overall, Mikael Backlund has been a great asset to the Calgary Flames and is a key member of the team.

His impressive record speaks for itself and he is a valuable asset to any team that he plays for.


Overall, Sweden has produced some of the world’s best skating players. These players have achieved great success, both domestically and internationally, and have helped to put Sweden on the map as one of the premier skating nations.

With a bright future ahead, there is no doubt that Sweden will continue to produce top-level skating talent and that it will continue to be a place where skaters can reach the highest levels of success.

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Aleksandr Smokvin

Working with competitive skaters at the national and international level can provide great experience. This experience plays an important role in developing skaters' on- and off-ice techniques and workouts; Compose programs according to international standards and requirements in single skating; Organizing and conducting ice-skating training camps. Committed to staying up to date with current developments and systematically strengthening my own knowledge and competence. LinkedIn