There was no shortage of world class hockey players produced in the small town of Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden for Daniel Sedin and twin brother Henrik to aspire to: Anders Hedberg, Peter Forsberg, and Markus Naslund to name just a few. But growing up, it was Daniel and Henrik’s older brothers Peter and Stefan they looked up to most.
“They would always include us when they played with their friends,” remembered Daniel, “so they were probably the ones we competed against the most and looked up to.”
Whether it was games of street hockey or backyard soccer, Daniel and Henrik quickly learned that to compete with their older brothers, they had to work together to win. The road to becoming the two greatest Vancouver Canucks in history over 17 NHLseasons was paved in these early street hockey games out front of the Sedin family home.
After co-winning the Swedish Elite League’s MVP award in his second of three seasons with MoDo, Daniel was drafted second overall by the Canucks in the 1999 NHL Draft. Despite early struggles, glimpses of the breathtaking on-ice magic Daniel and Henrik were capable of soon became the norm on a nightly basis. In 1,306 regular season games, Daniel accumulated 1,041 points—second in Canucks history. He remains the leading goal scorer in team history with 393 and with Henrik stands as the only two Canucks to total over 1,000 NHL points.
Daniel helped lead the Canucks to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, he propelled the Canucks to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and finished fourth in playoff scoring.
Daniel’s best individual season came in 2010-11, leading the NHL in scoring with 41 goals and 104 points to claim the Art Ross Trophy and received the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most outstanding player as judged by his peers. In 2018, he was the co-winner with Henrik of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Named to the NHL’s First and Second All-Star Team once each, he also played in three NHL All-Star Games. In 2011 he shared Sweden’s Victoria Scholarship as the national athlete of the year with Henrik, while also claiming the Viking Award as the best Swedish player in the NHL.
Add it all up and the Sedins must stand as two of the greatest hockey players ever to play in British Columbia. “We very fortunate to play our entire careers in one city and it turned out to be our home,” said Daniel. “Most players move around a lot and never really settle. Vancouver has always felt like it is our home.”
In international play, Daniel represented Sweden at three Olympic Games, helping the gold and blue to gold in 2006 and silver in 2014. He also has three world championship medals to his name: gold in 2013 and bronze in 1999 and 2001.
As great as they were on the ice, Daniel and Henrik proved even greater off it, never hesitating to give back to the community and charities. In 2010 with their families they donated $1.5 million to BC Children’s Hospital.
Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.