You may have heard of Bengt Gustafsson or Calle Johansson but what about Peter Andersson, Rolf Edberg, Andreas Salomonsson, or even Jonas Johansson. They all have something in common, they have all worn a Capitals sweater and they are all born in Sweden.
The Washington Capitals will hold a press conference on Monday signing Nicklas Backstrom to a three year, entry level contract to play in the NHL. But the Capitals have had many Swedish players of note that have donned the Caps sweater.
Who could not think of Calle Johansson on the Capitals blue line or of Michael Nylander's brief stay, now of recent New York Ranger fame helping the Rangers reach round 2 in the Playoffs this year. And of course Bengt Gustafsson, second only to Calle Johansson in number of games played by Swedish players for the Caps, he was the head coach for Sweden at the World Championships and maybe even convinced the teenager Backstrom to play in the States next year. The Capitals have had some of Sweden’s best play for them.
Then there are less know players like Leif Svensson who played two seasons and recorded 40 assists, or Rolf Edberg who had 103 points in 3 seasons for the Capitals. Many Caps’ fans will know of Josef Boumedienne, with a name like Boumedienne how could you not. But the last Sweden player was a not very well known; Johas Johansson who played one game in the ’05-’06 season.
Some really good Swedish players have gone through the Caps’ clubhouse and that won’t seem to change with Backstrom signing for next year. He is highly touted as the best player to come from Sweden since Peter Forsberg. Some of those reports out of Sweden state that he may even be better. There was concern that Nicklas would stay in Sweden for yet another season.
Swedish Players in a Capitals' Uniform: