Profile: Nicklas Enstrom

Profile: Nicklas Enstrom

 
Nicklas Enstrom is a player in the International Hockey Association. He currently plays for the Washington Stars.

Enstrom was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and began playing hockey at the age of six. Although talented, he was never the strongest player. He continued to play hockey through high school, but was training to become a metal worker. Being drafted into the IHA was a “big surprise.”
Enstrom was drafted by the St. Paul Saints with their third-round pick in the entry draft. Enstrom had been eligible for two years prior, but hadn’t ranked very high in scouting reports for the prior two years. His play in Sweden’s KHL (Koenig’s Hockey Liga) the year prior had brought him to the attention of the Saints, who had connections with former player-turned-scout Filip Jansson, who had been scouting players in Sweden’s various hockey leagues.
Before being drafted by the IHA, Enstrom had played at various tiers in the Swedish system and had represented Sweden at two junior championships and one Worlds. He was in contention for the Olympic team the year he was drafted. He ultimately earned a spot on the Swedish Olympic roster, but did not play due to a contract dispute between the Saints, the IHA, and the IOC. The dispute did not affect Enstrom’s ability to play in the IHA, but it did restrict his out-of-country play and his ability to travel outside of the US.
Enstrom remained with the Saints for the next three seasons. During this time, he was a consistent performer for the Saints, averaging approximately 20 goals per season. After his third season, he became an unrestricted free agent. The Saints allegedly rejected salary requests from Enstrom during the season, so although he would have preferred to remain in Minnesota, he signed with the Detroit Lions during the off-season.
Enstrom joined the Lions on their playoff run that year, but the Lions were suffering from a serious lack of salary cap space and had contract negotiations with their star players. In order to clear the cap space to keep their stars, the Lions dealt Enstrom to the Chicago Nighthawks, despite solid play. Enstrom signed a one-year deal with the Nighthawks. Enstrom suffered a torn ACL during a match on January 23 that year, ending his season.
The Nighthawks opted not to re-sign Enstrom, who then entered into negotiations with several teams. He ultimately signed a three-year, $10-million contract with the New York Americans. The Americans had previously tried to conduct a trade with the Nighthawks, but negotiations had fallen through.
Quick Facts
Birthdate: November 14 (Age: 31)
Height: 6’0 (183 cm)
Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Draft: 34th overall (Minnesota; 3rd Round)
Teams: Washington Stars (IHA); New York Americans (IHA); Chicago Nighthawks (IHA); Detroit Lions (IHA); St. Paul Saints (IHA
Enstrom played well for the Americans, averaging approximately a point per game with the team during his tenure. The Americans made two playoff runs during Enstrom’s first three-year deal. Enstrom’s consistent play was rewarded with a new two-year deal, this time worth $12 million.
During the second year of the deal, Enstrom, now twenty-nine, showed signs of faltering. He endured a long slump, during which he scored no goals, between December and February of that year. The Americans dealt him just before the trade deadline on February 28, in exchange for several players from the Washington Stars.
Enstrom played only six games for the Stars after the trade deadline, before suffering a broken tibia while blocking a shot during a match with the LA Knights, effectively ending his season. Pending free agency, he re-signed with the Stars prior to July 1 that year.
Enstrom returned to play in September, but was plagued by groin injuries throughout the season, which limited him to just thirty-four games in the eighty-two game season. The Stars missed the playoffs again. In his twelfth season, and his second full season with the Stars, he returned to the ice healthy following surgery the previous summer. He played sixty-four of eighty-two games, following a sprained MCL early in October and an undisclosed injury in January. He returned to the line-up in late March and joined the Stars on their playoff run.
Enstrom is considered one of the best Swedish players of his generation, although his production has been dropping in recent years. He had won several awards and been featured as the IHA Player of the Week eighteen times over the course of his career.

International Play

Enstrom is considered one of the best Swedish players of his generation. Prior to being drafted into the IHA, he had represented Sweden at two juniors tournaments and one World Championships. He was also considered for the Olympic team that year, but was unable to take part in the tournament due to a contract dispute, despite being selected to play.
Enstrom was selected to Olympic teams in the subsequent three tournaments, including the most recent Winter Olympics, where Sweden advanced to the gold-medal game, but lost to Russia in overtime, receiving the silver medal instead. Prior to that, Enstrom had never medalled at the Olympics, with the best finish being a quarter-final loss.
Enstrom has won gold three times with Team Sweden at the World Championships and earned one bronze medal. In all other tournaments, Sweden failed to make it to the podium.
Personal Life
Enstrom has one younger brother, Pers, who played hockey as well. Enstrom married long-time sweetheart Victoria Larsson in a lavish ceremony on June 8, 2012. The couple had previously welcomed daughter Linnea in October 2008 and a son, Oskar, in July 2010. Victoria subsequently gave birth to twin girls on March 14, 2014, and a second son on December 4, 2015. The couple recently announced their separation, owing to Victoria’s desire to pursue a career in fashion and Enstrom’s difficult work schedule. Enstrom has retained custody of their five children, although the children spend much of the school year with their mother in Sweden, as per a joint decision about their education.

Scoring

IHA

Season Age TM GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH
1 20 MIN 65 22 33 55 -1 10 15 7 5 11 22 10 1
2 21 MIN 72 21 28 49 0 14 11 6 4 2 20 4 4
3 22 MIN 61 24 24 48 -1 16 15 5 4 2 18 5 1
4 23 DET 82 24 22 46 -1 22 18 3 3 5 10 10 2
5 24 CHI 61 24 24 48 -1 16 15 5 4 2 18 5 1
6 25 NYA 82 26 30 56 0 26 15 11 0 5 20 7 3
7 26 NYA 76 21 25 46 -2 18 15 5 1 6 17 5 3
8 27 NYA 76 23 28 51 0 12 18 3 2 5 18 8 2
9 28 NYA 74 20 20 40 -1 8 20 0 0 3 18 1 1
10 29 WSH 54 17 13 30 -2 7 4 3 10 7 10 2 1
11 30 WSH 78 22 44 66 +1 22 11 6 5 11 26 12 6
12 31 WSH 80 20 32 52 0 18 12 6 2 5 20 10 2
Career 861 264 323 587 +1 192 169 60 37 64 234 78 27

International Play

LG
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
WJ
17
SWE
6
3
5
8
0
2
WJ
18
SWE
5
3
5
8
+1
8
WC
20
SWE
7
8
4
12
+1
14
O
24
SWE
8
4
2
6
0
2
O
28
SWE
7
5
5
10
+1
6
O
32
SWE
9
6
8
14
+1
2
Career
42
31
29
60
+1
34
 

Awards and Honors

  • IHA Player of the Week (x18)
  • IHA Player of the Month (x10)
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