Henrik Zetterberg still stunned Red Wings drafted him

What a pick it turned out to be!



The Detroit Red Wings have been fortunate enough throughout their history to boast some of the greatest international talents that the National Hockey League has ever seen, from Nicklas Lidstrom to Sergei Fedorov to Henrik Zetterberg and plenty more in between. 

It was Zetterberg who burst onto the scene in the fall of 2002 in the wake of Detroit's 10th Stanley Cup championship the previous summer. As a highly touted rookie, he'd lead the NHL in rookie scoring and yet somehow finish 2nd in Calder Trophy voting to lumbering St. Louis Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman, who would go on to accomplish nothing of consequence over his career. 

According to the man himself, he still can't believe that he was even taken by the Red Wings.

“I think I was not a better player,” he explained to Finnish website when asked about his NHL career. “I’m happy someone took me. The rest is history, so to speak.”

The winner of the 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs most valuable player, Zetterberg currently ranks fifth on the franchise’s all-time list in goals (337), assists (623) and points (960) and sixth in games (960). He's also a member of the Triple Gold Club, having captured the gold medal with Team Sweden in the 2006 Turin Olympics as well as the Stanley Cup in 2008; he also helped Sweden to the IIHF World Championship in 2006. 

Unfortunately, his career would be cut short thanks to a chronic back injury, forcing him to hang up the skates prior to the 2018-19 season. The good news is that he's able to go through normal day to day life now with no back pain.

“My health is good now, and there is no pain in my back,’ said Zetterberg. “I can do everything else except professional hockey. I am involved in a couple of businesses, but mainly I just enjoy life.”