The fact the absolute leader in the hockey sport is Canada is not a surprise not only to the fans of hockey but also to the majority of people who are not interested in this topic at all. The tradition of hockey and the number of successful players coming from this country has a world fame and it seems everyone knows about it very well.
Of course, there are also other countries which have many successful players, although they have somewhat worse statistics than Canada. Some of these leaders are not so obvious even to the hockey devotees. This article will tell you more about the countries which have outstanding talents in hockey.
One of the least known leaders of this sport is Latvia. Actually, this country has a well-developed infrastructure and facilities for hockey which helps this country to produce great players. Some of the most well-known players coming from this country who made NHL career are Karlis Skrastins, Sandis, Ozolinsh and Sergei Zholtok. Right now, NHL has two active players coming from Latvia who are Ronalds Kenins and Zemgus Girgensons.
This country’s success in hockey might not be thus famous since this country has still not got any medals at the Olympics, however, it has already shown itself as a country with a large potential especially during the match against Canada in 2014.
The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is another relatively small European country with a great potential for hockey. Two of its most famous hockey players are Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias. Actually, the first player is still playing in the league even though his debut took place in 1991. The career of Elias has lasted for 19 years. There are many other prominent players coming from The Czech Republic such as Martin Straka, Bobby Holik and Peter Sykora.
Unlike Latvia, The Czech Republic has managed to win gold at the Olympiks of 1998 which was a tremendous success as the rivals of the country were the major leaders of the sport such as Canada and Russia. Another medal earned by this country was bronze received in 2006 in Turin.
Switzerland has several successful players in NHL at the moment. These prominent players are Yannick Weber, Jonas Hiller, Nino Niederreiter and Roman Josi. Yet, unlike The Czech Republic, this country’s success at the Olympics took place a long time ago. The team of this country earned a bronze medal in 1948. So far, there has been no new achievements of Switzerland when it comes to the Olympics, however, the players of this country enjoy are world-famous careers.
Other leading countries in hockey with more modest careers than the ones celebrated by Canada and Russia are Germany, Slovakia, The USA, Sweden and Finland.