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Nicklas Lidstrom #5
Nicklas Lidström was drafted 53rd overall in the 1989 Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He made his NHL debut two seasons later in 1991-92 and was a NHL All-Rookie Team defenceman for scoring a rookie best 49 assists. That year, he won NHL Rookie of the Month honours twice (November and December), was the runner-up to the Calder Trophy and helped the Red Wings win the Norris Division season title. After scoring 41 points as a sophomore in 1992-93, Nicklas finished second on team defence scoring (to Paul Coffey) with 56 points as the Red Wings won the Central Division title. In the shortened 1994-95 campaign, Nicklas helped the Red Wings win the Presidents' Trophy in the regular season and the Clarence Campbell Bowl in the playoffs. In 1995-96, Nicklas finished second on the team in defence scoring for the third straight year (67 points to Coffey's 74) and participated in his first mid-season All-Star Game. That year, the Red Wings won an NHL record 62 games en route to their second consecutive Presidents' Trophy.
In 1996-97, Nicklas succeeded Coffey as the team's top scoring defenceman and finished third in the league with 57 points from the blueline. After the team finished second in the Central Division, Nicklas and the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup championship since 1954. In 1997-98, Nicklas led all league defencemen with 59 points and was the runner-up to the Norris Trophy. He participated in his second mid-season All-Star Game and was a year end First Team All-Star defenceman. The Red Wings again finished second in the Central Division and again won the Stanley Cup in the playoffs. In 22 playoff games, Nicklas led all defencemen with 19 points. Before the start of the next season, Nicklas ranked sixth on The Hockey News' Top-50 NHL Players list. In 1998-99, Nicklas finished tied for second in league scoring amongst defencemen with 57 points and led the Red Wings to a Central Division title. Nicklas played in his third All-Star Game, was a First Team All-Star and was a runner-up to both the Norris and Lady Byng trophies. After a year that ended with Nicklas scoring 10 points in 11 playoff games, Nicklas was ranked seventh on The Hockey News' Top-50 NHL Players list.
In 1999-2000, Nicklas led all NHL defencemen with 20 goals, 53 assists (team best), 73 points and four shorthanded goals (tied for team best). For the third straight year, he played in the mid-season All-Star Game, was a year-end First Team All-Star and was the runner-up to the Norris Trophy. He also ranked second in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy, finished sixth on The Hockey News' Top-50 NHL Players list and was the first Swedish-born defenceman to score 20 goals in an NHL season. In 2000-01, Nicklas paced the Red Wings with 56 assists and guided them to a Central Division title. He was voted by the fans to start in the mid-season All-Star Game held in Colorado and finished the year second amongst defencemen with 71 points. At the year end Awards Banquet, Nicklas was named a First Team All-Star and became the first Swede to win the Norris Trophy as top defenceman.
In 1987-88, Nicklas played three games for his hometown Västerås in the Swedish first division. In 1988-89, Nicklas joined Västerås at the Elitserien level and scored two assists. After scoring 16 points in 1989-90, Nicklas scored 23 points in 38 games in 1990-91.
In 1994-95 before the start of the NHL season, Nicklas played 13 games for Västerås and scored 12 points.
Nicklas first represented Sweden at the 1990 World Junior Championships. In 1991, he played at both the World Championships (gold medal) and Canada Cup tournaments. Three years later, he won a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships in Italy. In August 1996, he played for Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey. In February 1998, he was an Olympian at the Winter Games in Nagano.
On March 21, 2001, Nicklas was named to the 2002 Swedish Olympic team.