PlayerBorn Gothenburg, Sweden, December 11, 1972
Alfredsson is arguably the greatest player developed by the legendary Frolunda team in Sweden, but his impressive play as a teenager at home caused barely a ripple in the eyes of NHL general managers. Indeed, he was never selected to play for Sweden’s World Junior team either.
Scout John Ferguson of Ottawa, however, convinced the Senators to draft young “Alfie.” Incredibly, he was but the 133rd selection in 1993, and he opted to return to Frolunda for one more season.
When he came to Canada in 1994, he was a year older and physically stronger and wasted no time in rewarding Ottawa’s faith in him. Alfredsson had 26 goals and 61 points as a rookie and won the Calder Trophy. The team missed the playoffs, but Alfredsson played for Tre Kronor for the first time, at the World Championship, helping his team to a silver medal in Stockholm. He scored the overtime winner, his second goal of the game, against Canada in a 3-2 semi-finals win to take Sweden to that gold-medal game.
Alfredsson improved to 71 points in his second year with the Senators and played at both the World Championship and World Cup in 1996. He then ran into injury problems before developing into a bona fide superstar in the NHL. At the height of his powers, he was a great skater who could score and pass with equal skill, and he was a natural leader whose sportsmanship was second only to his competitive fire. It was no surprise that he was named team captain in 1999, and he wore the “C” for the next 14 years, becoming the heart and soul and face of the team for a generation.
A consistent performer throughout his career, Alfredsson reached the zenith of success in the middle years of the first decade of the 21st century. In 2005-06, he set personal records with 43 goals, 60 assists, and 103 total points in the NHL’s regular season, and midway through the year he was part of Sweden’s historic gold-medal team at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Alfredsson had three assists in the team’s 6-2 win over Switzerland in the quarter-finals and a goal and an assist in the 7-3 win over the Czechs in the semis.
A year later, he took the Senators to the team’s first—and still only—trip to the Stanley Cup finals, losing to Anaheim in five games. Incredibly, each member on his line—himself, Jason Spezza, and Dany Heatley—tied for the playoff lead in scoring with 22 points.
In all, Alfredsson’s record speaks for itself. Both in length and achievement, few players in the game’s history have accomplished as much. In Alfie’s case, that means five Olympics (gold, silver), two World Cups, and seven World Championships (two silver, two bronze).
In the NHL, his 1,157 career points in 1,246 regular-season games go with 124 playoff games. He missed the playoffs only three times in 18 years, and the Sens retired his familiar number 11 when all was said and done.