The Hockey Hall of Fame recently had its induction ceremony for the class of 2022. Each year, the class generally consists of four former NHL players whose careers are exceptional enough to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Their contributions on the ice deserve to be recognized among the rest of the game’s great players. This year, the NHL players who were inducted included Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Roberto Luongo.
Alfredsson was a long-time captain of the Ottawa Senators, wearing the “C” from 1999 through the 2013 season. During his tenure the team advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007, losing to the Anaheim Ducks.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin were twins from Sweden who both played for the Vancouver Canucks. During their time in Vancouver, the Canucks won two Presidents’ Trophies for the best record in the NHL in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012. The team also made an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, losing to the Boston Bruins in a series that went a full seven games.
During this run for the Sedin twins in Vancouver, the goalie of the Canucks was Roberto Luongo. He was vital to the success of Vancouver and emerged as one of the best goaltenders of his generation. In addition to Vancouver, he also spent time in Florida with the Panthers throughout his career.
The induction of a new class into the Hockey Hall of Fame provides an opportunity to look ahead to 2023 and what names might be included in this next group of Hall of Famers. There are many great candidates out there, some new names that are just now eligible for the first time and others who have been waiting for their chance to have their name enshrined in Toronto.
Here are three candidates who should hear their names called during next year’s induction ceremony:
Three Hockey Hall of Fame Candidates
The Swedish goaltender will be eligible for the first time when voters decide who should make up the 2023 class. Lundqvist ended his career as the most successful European-born NHL goaltender, having more wins than any other goalie born across the pond. His 459 career wins are sixth overall in NHL history and any goaltender that’s ahead of them is either currently playing or has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Predicting the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2023: Henrik Lundqvist appears to be a lock, but who else is en route to enshrinement? Here are the top 10 candidates. https://t.co/ycSEo9lF4T pic.twitter.com/ndKmB0rwRu
— JPDAILYSPORTS (@JCPGATA) November 14, 2022
Lundqvist spent his entire 15-year career with the New York Rangers. During his time in the Big Apple, he helped the Rangers experience a level of success not seen in New York since they won the Stanley Cup in the 90s. The Rangers went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2014 and won the President’s Trophy in 2015. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2012, an award given to the top goaltender in the league.
In addition to his success in New York, Lundqvist also won a Gold Medal with the Swedish National Team at the 2006 Olympics in Torino. During the tournament Lundqvist had a 2.33 GAA and .907 save percentage, playing a big role in Sweden’s gold medal performance.
The career stats for Lundqvist put him among the game’s best. In addition to wins, his save percentage of .918 is the 10th-best in NHL history. Any goalie with a better percentage is still an active goaltender, isn’t yet eligible for the Hall of Fame, or has already been inducted. Lundqvist’s career GAA is 2.43.
Of all the first-year eligible players, Lundqvist is the one who has the best chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in their first year.
Mogilny has been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2009 and hasn’t gotten in yet. However, his career stats put him among some of the game’s best players and show that he is deserving of having his name forever enshrined in Toronto.
The Russian forward played most of his career in Buffalo, Vancouver, and Toronto. While he never won the Stanley Cup with those teams, he was able to hoist it with the New Jersey Devils in 2000. In addition to the Stanley Cup, he has also won Olympic Gold in 1988 with the Soviet Union and a World Championship in 1989. This puts him in the “Triple Gold” club, a feat only achieved by 30 players in hockey history.
When evaluating Mogilny’s career statistics against some other players his merits for the hockey hall of fame are clear. Mogilny’s 473 career goals are 55th all-time in the NHL. It is 36 more than forward Pavel Bure, who played during a similar era as Mogilny and has a place in the hockey Hall of Fame. Additionally, Mogilny’s 1032 career points are 81st all-time in the NHL. Canadian forward Martin St. Louis has one more point and is in the Hall of Fame.
Zetterberg played his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings. During his time in the Motor City, he won the Stanley Cup in 2008 and was the captain from 2012 to 2018. In the Stanley Cup run of 2008, he was the Comm Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player for the Red Wings during the playoffs.
His career numbers stand out for an organization that is oozing with history and has plenty of Hall of Famers within their franchise leaders. Zetterberg is currently fifth in the Red Wings’ history in goals (337), assists (623), and points (960). Each player listed above Zetterberg is a member of the hockey hall of fame.
Numbers aren’t the only thing to be impressed with in Zetterberg’s career. Perhaps more importantly he was a winner. In addition to winning the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, he also won Olympic Gold with Team Sweden and a World Championship in 2006. Along with Mogilny, he is one of 30 players to be in the IIHF’s Triple Gold club.
Great list, Tyler. You should do one specifically for long overdue inductees – like Osgood 🐙