|Born:||July 30, 1973||Draft:||Penguins 1991, #16 Overall|
|Known For:||West Coast Express||Shoots:||Left|
Markus Sten Näslund (born 30 July 1973) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player and former general manager for Modo Hockey of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL, formerly named Elitserien). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Rangers, as well as in the Elitserien with Modo Hockey. Nicknamed “Nazzy” by Canucks fans and “Macke” or “Mackan” in his native Sweden, he was known for his offensive skills, particularly his wrist shot and stickhandling.
After playing junior hockey within the Modo organization, Näslund turned professional with the club’s Elitserien team in 1990–91. Selected in the first round, 16th overall by the Penguins in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, he joined the NHL in 1993–94. After his tenure with Pittsburgh, Näslund was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 1996, where he spent 12 years, including a team-record eight as captain. He received the Cyclone Taylor Trophy as the Canucks’ most valuable player five times and the Cyrus H. McLean Trophy as the leading point-scorer for seven consecutive seasons—both club records—en route to becoming the franchise leader in goals and points.
During the 2000-01 season, Naslund joined forces with Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison to form one of the most dangerous lines in Canucks history, the West Coast Express. The trio hit their peak during the 2002-03 season when Naslund and Bertuzzi recorded career-highs in goals with 48 and 46 respectively. They never got close to those numbers again, but for three seasons, they were one of the best lines in the NHL.
Internationally, Näslund has competed with the Swedish national team in two European Junior Championships, two World Junior Championships, four World Championships, two World Cups, and one Winter Olympics. He holds the World Junior record for most goals scored in a single tournament, scoring 13 in 1993, while also winning back-to-back silver medals at the competition. In World Championship play, he won a silver medal in 1993 and two bronze medals in 1999 and 2002. On 21 April 2014, Näslund was inducted into the Swedish Hockey Hall Of Fame.
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- Won the Ted Lindsay Award in 2003 (Vancouver Canucks)
- Won the Viking Award in 2004 (Vancouver Canucks)
- 3x All-Star (2002, 2003, 2004)
- Played in five All-Star Games (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
- Naslund had his jersey (#19) retired by the Canucks in 2010
- Team captain for the Canucks from 2000-2008
- Won a silver medal with Team Sweden at the 1993 World Championship
- Won a bronze medal with Team Sweden at the 1999 and 2002 World Championship
- Played for Team Sweden at the 2002 Winter Olympics and 2005 World Cup of Hockey
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.