|Born||September 9, 1976 |
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||229 lb (104 kg; 16 st 5 lb)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning|
|National team||Template:Country data SWE|
|NHL Draft||13th overall, 1994|
Mattias Ohlund (born Kenneth Mattias Ohlund on September 9, 1976) is a former Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman currently under contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Prior to joining the Lightning, he played eleven seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
Mattias played two seasons in the Swedish Allsvenskan, the second highest tier of hockey in Sweden with Piteå HC before being selected by the Canucks thirteenth overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
Then, Mattias joined Luleå HF of the Elitserien, the highest league in Sweden, winning the Le Mat Trophy as league champions in 1996. He began his NHL career with Vancouver in 1997–98, the start of an eleven-year tenure with the club.
A serious eye injury before his third NHL season was the first of many injuries Mattias has sustained over his career and he has only played a full season twice in eleven years.
A four-time winner of the Babe Pratt Trophy as the team's best defenceman, he is the Canucks' all-time leading goal and point-scorer among defencemen.
Internationally, Mattias has represented Sweden in numerous tournaments, beginning with three World Junior Championships that included Best Defenceman honours as part of a silver medal effort in 1996.
He has since competed in three World Championships, earning gold in 1998 and three Winter Olympics, earning gold in 2006.
Playing Career in Sweden
Mattias began his playing career with Piteå HC in his hometown, playing two seasons with the team.
As a large, mobile defenceman, he was heavily scouted by scouts from several NHL teams during his final season with Piteå.
He was the Vancouver Canucks' first pick (13th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
Rather than join the Canucks, Mattias stayed in Sweden as a result of a dispute over his contract with the team. He joined a new team, Luleå HF of the top Swedish league, the Elitserien.
In his first season in the premier league in Sweden, Mattias scored 16 points in 34 games. The following season, he had 14 points in 38 games as Luleå won the Le Mat Trophy as champions of the Elitserien, their first league championship.
Appearing in 47 games with Luleå during the 1996–97 season, he scored seven goals and had an additional nine assists.
Four years after being drafted by the Canucks, Mattias was set to be eligible to re-enter the NHL Entry Draft when he signed a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on August 1, 1997.
Worth US$10 million over five years, including a signing bonus of $7.5 million, it was considerably more than the maximum rookie contract of $850,000 per year the Canucks (as the team that drafted him) were allowed to offer.
Under league rules, the Canucks were given one week to either match the contract or trade Mattias's NHL rights to the Maple Leafs.
Rather than lose him, the Canucks agreed to the contract on August 7, 1997.
As part of a promotion for the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first to allow NHL participation in the ice hockey tournament, the Canucks opened the 1997–98 NHL season with a pair of games against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Tokyo. Öhlund thus played his first NHL game in Japan on October 3, 1997. He scored his first goal against Felix Potvin of the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 9, as well as earning his first assist in that game.
Playing 77 games as a rookie, he tied Jyrki Lumme for the team lead in scoring among defencemen with seven goals and 30 points.
In recognition of his play during the season, he was awarded the Babe Pratt Trophy, given to the Canucks' best defenceman.
In addition, Mattias was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie in the league, finishing second in voting to Sergei Samsonov of the Boston Bruins with 11 first-place ballots to Samsonov's 43.
His 30 points (the fifth best total among first year players and highest by a rookie defenceman) helped him earn a position on the NHL All-Rookie Team.
In his second season in the NHL, Mattias was selected to the annual NHL All-Star Game as a replacement for an injured player.
Playing for the World team, composed of NHLers from outside North America, Mattias scored one goal and had an assist as the North American team won, 8–6.
With nine goals and 35 points in 74 games, he led the Canucks' defencemen in scoring and placed fifth overall on the team.
Prior to the start of the 1999-00 NHL season in a pre-season game against the Ottawa Senators on September 21, 1999, a puck deflected off Mattias's stick and struck him in the right eye.
The injury forced Mattias to miss the first 38 games of the season. He underwent surgery to correct his vision and returned to the Canucks the same season and scored 20 points in 42 games, again winning the Babe Pratt Trophy as the Canucks' best defenceman.
The following year, he missed an additional 17 games after undergoing surgery once more to relieve building internal pressure on his eye.
Playing in his first game back in the lineup on November 28, 2000, Mattias scored the game-winning goal for the Canucks in a 4–1 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Mattias played the final 65 games of the season, scoring eight goals and 28 points. He also made his NHL playoff debut, recording four points in four games.
The 2001-02 NHL season saw Mattias play 81 games and record a career-high 36 points, with an additional two points in six playoff games.
A knee injury during the 2002–03 season led him to miss several games while he only scored 2 goals in the 59 games he played in, he set a career-high in assists with 27. That was followed by appearing in a career-high 13 playoff games where he had three goals and four assists for seven points.
In 2003–04, Mattias tallied a career-high 14 goals and played in all 82 games with Vancouver for the first time in his career. For his efforts, he was named the winner of the Babe Pratt Trophy.
Like many other NHL players, Mattias played in Europe, joining his former team, Luleå HF, on December 21. However eight days later, after playing two games with the team and scoring one goal, Öhlund left the team.
As well as briefly playing in Sweden, Mattias took part in a charity hockey match set up by Canucks teammate Brad May and held in Vancouver on December 12, 2004. Including several NHL players, the game raised nearly $1 million for charity.
The NHL resumed play for the 2005-06 NHL season; Mattias recorded 33 points in 78 games, including leading Canucks' defencemen with 13 goals, winning the Babe Pratt Trophy for the fourth time in his career.
Early in the 2007-08 NHL season, Mattias received a four-game suspension (the first of his career) for an incident near the end of a November 16, 2007, game against the Minnesota Wild.
In the third period, Wild forward Mikko Koivu hit Mattias in the head with his elbow and he retaliated by slashing Koivu in the leg with his stick, breaking Koivu's fibula.
After returning from the suspension, Mattias became the Canucks' all-time leader in goals among defencemen, scoring the game-tying goal against the Edmonton Oilers on December 15, 2007, to pass former teammate Jyrki Lumme with 84 goals.
After bone chips were detected in his knee in early March of 2008, Mattias underwent knee surgery on March 13, 2008 and missed the remainder of the season.
The leading scorer amongst Canuck defenceman at the time of the surgery, he finished second amongst defenceman with 24 points in 53 games.
With the departure of Markus Naslund in the 2008 off-season, Mattias became the longest serving player on the Canucks' roster.
Due to the limitations of having a goalie as captain, Mattias was designated the captain's traditional duty of taking ceremonial faceoffs.
Beginning the season 22 points behind Jyrki Lumme and Dennis Kearns for the franchise's all-time point-scoring record for a defenceman, Mattias surpassed the mark on March 15, 2009 with an assist in a 4–2 win against the Colorado Avalanche for his 322nd point as a Canuck.
He played all 82 games for the second time in his career and finished tied for third on the team for points by a defenceman with 25.
Over 11 seasons with the Canucks, Mattias registered team records of 93 goals and 325 points as a defenceman. His 232 assists ranked fourth among all-time Canucks defencemen while his 770 games played was second among defencemen and fifth overall.
In his latter years with the Canucks, Mattias served as a mentor while being paired with fellow defenceman and Swedish native Alexander Edler, who was beginning his NHL career.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Becoming an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, Mattias signed a seven-year, $26.25-million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 1, 2009.
Mattias's first game with the Lightning was on October 3, 2009 against the Atlanta Thrashers; he had one assist in the game.
The following month, Mattias suffered an ankle injury after catching his skate into ice during a game against the Los Angeles Kings on November 14, 2009. He returned after missing 7 games.
In March of 2011, Mattias re-injured the ankle after colliding with Christian Hanson during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, causing him to miss an additional 8 games.
Mattias finished his first season with the Lightning with no goals and 13 assists in 67 games. Offensively, it marked the lowest point total of his career and the first time he did not score a goal during the regular season during his NHL career up to that point.
Despite his reduced offensive statistics, Mattias remained a key defenceman on the Lightning roster, leading the team with 22 minutes and 47 seconds of average ice time per game and 116 blocked shots.
In the off-season, Mattias underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Though he aggravated the knee at the beginning of the Lightning's training camp in September 2010, he continued to play in pre-season games.
Due to inflammation and fluid build-up in the knee, Mattias was sidelined for the first 8 games of the 2010–11 season. Later in the season, he began suffering from a deep bone bruise on his left knee that he continued to play in spite of.
In late-February and early-March 2011, Mattias was subsequently sidelined two games with a lower-body injury. He failed to score a goal for the second consecutive regular season in 2010–11, recording 5 assists in 72 games, a career-low.
His ice time reduced significantly as he ranked sixth among team defencemen with an average of 18 minutes and 43 seconds per game.
After finishing 12th overall in the Eastern Conference the previous season, the Lightning qualified for the 2011 playoffs as the fifth seed.
In Game 2 of the opening round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Öhlund registered his first goal as a Lightning, scoring into an empty net in a 5–1 win. He added two assists over the course of a career-high 18 post-season games as Tampa Bay were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
In an interview the following year, Mattias recalled the 2010–11 season as "the most fun [he] had playing hockey, ever."
Prior to the start of the 2011-12 NHL season, Mattias began experiencing inflammation in his right knee. The Lightning placed him on injured reserve on October 4, 2011. A week later, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees.
After there was optimism that he was close to returning to the lineup in December, Mattias suffered a setback with his left knee and underwent further surgery in February of 2012.
During his recovery, he told reporters with Swedish newspaper Expressen that he was unsure he could continue playing.
Mattias' contract with the Lightning expires July 1, 2016.
He is still listed on the team roster, but has been on injured reserve since 2011, with hockey experts citing him alongside Chris Pronger and Marc Savard as players who have not officially retired while letting their contracts continue, but who will not play in the NHL again.
According to Mattias (in the "Tampa Tribune") in April of 2013:
"For a long period of time I've been trying to get better and better, but clearly the longer you don't play, the likelihood of playing again gets smaller and smaller each day, especially at my age. I don't know long term what my situation will be, but I'm sure it will be figured out shortly."
Regular season and playoffs
|2009–10||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||67||0||13||13||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||72||0||5||5||70||18||1||2||3||8|
|Junior int'l totals||21||1||7||8||38|
|Senior int'l totals||48||7||10||17||40|
All-Star Game Statistics
|Competitor for Template:Country data SWE|
|World Junior Championships|
|Silver||1996 United States|
|Silver||1994 Czech Republic|
Early in his career, Mattias was selected to play in three World Junior Championships for Sweden.
Beginning in 1994, he contributed two assists in seven games as part of a silver medal effort. As the medals were determined by a round-robin format, Sweden fell one point short of Canada, losing 6–4 to them in their final and deciding game.
After a bronze medal in 1995, he returned for a third straight World Junior tournament in 1996 to record five assists and was named the tournament's Best Defenceman. He was additionally named to the Tournament All-Star Team as he captured his second World Junior silver medal.
Mattias made his debut for the Swedish senior national team in 1997 at the World Championships, his first of three appearances in the tournament. He scored two goals and added an assist in 11 games as Sweden captured a silver medal.
Mattias returned the following year in 1998 to match his previous statistical output while earning his first gold medal with Sweden. In his third World Championship appearance, the 2001 World Championships, Öhlund tallied five points to help Sweden to a bronze medal.
The 1998 Winter Olympics was the first of three consecutive Olympic games Öhlund appeared in. He played in all four games for Sweden and registered one assist as Sweden finished in a tie for fifth place, out of medal contention.
Four years later, Mattias was selected for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
However, in pre-Olympic drug testing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), he tested positive for the banned substance acetazolamide. The substance was inadvertently ingested after he took Diamox, a drug he had used previously while undergoing eye surgery. As the ingestion was unintentional, he was cleared to play.
After a dominant round-robin, Sweden was eliminated by Belarus in the quarter-final game—considered one of the biggest upsets in international hockey history and the darkest moment in Swedish hockey history.
Mattias finished the tournament with two points in four games.
In the following Olympics, Öhlund helped Sweden to the 2006 gold medal in Turin. After earning two assists in six games, Mattias was forced out of the tournament after getting hit into the boards and fracturing his ribs during a game against Switzerland. Unable to play in the final against Finland, he nevertheless received a gold medal from the IOC.
Canucks teammates, Daniel and Henrik Sedin (who also played on the championship team) offered to give Mattias one of their gold medals if the IOC would not give him one while his replacement on the team, Niklas Kronwall, made the same offer.
Additionally, Mattias competed in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey (which preceded the 2004–05 NHL lockout). In four games, he recorded one goal and one assist.
Awards & Achievements
- NHL All-Rookie Team (1998)
- World Junior Championships Best Defenceman (1996)
- World Junior Championships All-Star Team (1996)
Vancouver Canucks Team Awards
- Babe Pratt Trophy (1998, 2000, 2004 and 2006)
- Vancouver Canucks' franchise goals leader among defencemen (93)
- Vancouver Canucks' franchise points leader among defencemen (325)
Growing up in Piteå, Mattias idolized fellow Swedish defenceman Borje Salming, who played 17 seasons in the NHL.
He is married to his wife, Linda and has a daughter, Hannah & a son, Viktor. They reside in Tampa during the hockey season and return to Mattias' hometown of Piteå, Sweden, in the summer.