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From The Ice

Sweden sets record for Europeans in NHL

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Sweden produced NHL players at a record pace in 2015-16, breaking its own mark for most participants in the league from a European nation with 87 either born or trained in the country.

The previous record of 78 was set by Sweden two seasons ago. The country also produced the most first-year players among European nations this past campaign with 13, ranking third overall behind Canada (70) and the United States (44).

The Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins, who are one victory away from capturing the fourth Stanley Cup championship in franchise history have three Swedes on their roster in forwards Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist and Oskar Sundqvist. The San Jose Sharks, who are representing the West in the Final, boast center Melker Karlsson.

A total of 263 European players appeared in at least one NHL regular-season contest in 2015-16, which is 37 shy of the record set in 2003-04. Russia ranked second this campaign with 41 participants, while Finland and the Czech Republic each produced 39 players.

Switzerland (15), Slovakia (12), Germany (nine) and Denmark (seven) made their presence felt in the league while Austria (three), Latvia (three), France (two) and Norway (two) also were represented. At one player apiece, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania and Belarus rounded out the European nations.

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