36 years ago today, in Bromma, Sweden, the 18th captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs was born. While it took some time for the Leafs' faithful to warm up to him he is now viewed with the same affection as previous captains. After picking up his 700th assist on Saturday he continues his assault on the Leafs' record books tonight against the Islanders.
I could go on and on about Mats' place in hockey (HHOF) and in the annals of Leafs' history but here is a list of his achievements as well as a couple of commercials and highlights from a pair of recent tour de force performances.
Awards & achievements
- Swedish Champion in 1990.
- First European born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL entry draft.
- Named to the Elitserien World All-Star Team in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1998.
- Named to the World Championships All-Star Team in 1992 and 2003.
- World Championships' Best Forward in 1992.
- Named to the Canada Cup All-Star Team in 1991.
- Named to the World Cup of Hockey All-Star Team in 1996.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (injured) and 2004.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2002 and 2004.
- Named to the Olympic Tournament All-Star Team in 2002.
- Gold medal at the Olympic Tournament in 2006.
- Achieved 500 goal plateau on October 14th, 2006.
- Achieved 1,200 points on December 26th, 2006.
- Currently holds the NHL record for most overtime goals with 15
- Longest serving European captain of an NHL franchise in league history
- First Swedish player to reach the 500 goal milestone
- Most career assists by a Swedish hockey player
- Most career goals by a Swedish hockey player
- Most career points by a Swedish hockey player
- Most consecutive 70-or-more point seasons (13) (excluding the shortened 1994-95 NHL season) (shared with Wayne Gretzky)
- Most assists in a period by a Toronto Maple Leaf (3) (tied with Darcy Tucker)
- Fastest overtime goal- 6 seconds (tied with Alexander Ovechkin and David Legwand)
- 38th highest career points
- 31st highest career goals
- 2nd all-time in goals scored for the Toronto Maple Leafs