Swedish Women’s Hockey- SDHL 2018/19 Pre-season Preview

Swedish Women’s Hockey- SDHL 2018/19 Pre-season Preview

31 Aug 2018 | Brit On Thin Ice
 

Swedish Women's Hockey League starts it's 11th year and the previous five seasons have been dominated by two teams - Linköping HC and Luleå HF. But things maybe about to change. Read on to here about some of the new players hoping to grab Gold in Sweden this year.

 
 
 
 

My money is on Luleå to do the double and win the league and championship, as they did last year because of the enormous competence across the team. But I think there will be a broader spread of teams vying for top spot against them, with Brynäs IF perhaps the strongest challengers.

Below I will take a look at some of the "leavers", the some "stayers" and new recruits who will seeking glory on Swedish ice this year. 


RETIRING - Denise Altmann (LHC)

The person who lies in second place in overall games played, with 306, is Austrian, Denise Altmann. However, the former Linköping HC player was a points scoring machine leading the way in Most Points, Most Goals and Most Assists in the history of the league. Now 30, she has amassed an unbelievable 539 points including 269 goals in ten years. That gives her a 1.77 PPG putting her on a par with players of the calibre of Wayne Gretzky in NHL history. She has set the records others have to break and can truly be thought of as one of greats of SDHL history.


BEST NEW IMPORT- Petra Nieminen (LHF)

Luleå is close to the Finnish border and is becoming a mecca for players from their national team. Not content with having Michelle Karvinen and Jenni Hiirokoski, they also have 19 year old back Ronja Salvolainen and 23 year old forward, Noora Tulus on the team. But this year they will be joined by yet another Olympic bronze medalist, Petra Nieminen. Only 19, she impressed in Pyeongchang, coming third in the team's internal points competition behind two veterans, Karvinen and 45 year old HV71 player Riikka Välilä.

Nieminen comes a season with Finnish club Team Kuortane in the country's top division where she was their second highest points getter. Playing alongside Karvinen might be exactly what she needs to take that next step and grow to replace her team mate as the best Finnish forward in the world today.


BEST UP AND COMING SWEDISH PLAYER - Maja Nyhlén Persson (LIF)

Nyhlén Persson is only 17 but has already played four (!) seasons in the top division with Leksand IF, was U18 national captain and shone in this year's Olympics. The defender notched up four points in six games, the same as Emma Nordin, and more than Pernilla Winberg, one of the few active players left from the 2006 team. In their match against hosts Korea, 29 year old Winberg scored twice whilst the younger player scored her first ever goal at senior level. So look out for her powerful shot from the blue line this coming season.


It all adds up to an exciting new SDHL season which starts on 7 September. There will also be the first ever chance to see how Swedish and North American teams compare to each other when the Metropolitan Riveters, winners of the American National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) take on Luleå in the Champions Cup later in September.

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