Markus Naslund talks Sedins’ ascension and who’s next for Canucks

Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin received a silver puck and got a sensational reception from fans hitting a major milestone earlier in the week, registering his 1000th NHL point.

It was a welcome return, even if he wasn’t actually in the building.

Vancouver Canucks fans heard from former captain Markus Naslund when the retired player voiced the tribute for Daniel Sedin, marking the twin’s 1,000th NHL point in a ceremony Saturday night at Rogers Arena. By the end of the 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 37-year-old Swede had 1,002 points.

Naslund praised his compatriot that night in a video celebration and again today in a phone interview with Andrew Walker and Scott Rintoul on Sportsnet 650. He said he was honoured to participate in the ceremony and remembers the Sedin twins as teens before they were drafted second and third overall in 1999. In Sweden, he said, they broke records and played at the highest level of the game at a young age, showing their “extreme potential” all the way through.

“The commitment they’ve got for the sport and what they have done throughout their career is what’s really taken them to another level. That is tough to predict ahead of time, but it’s been a tremendous career for them both,” he said.

Markus Naslund on Sedins, Pettersson and not being in hockey's hall of fame
December 04 2017

Daniel has frequently said he and brother Henrik looked to Naslund as a mentor, but the senior skater who retired in 2009 at 35 years of age said he wasn’t the role model he could have been.

“I almost feel bad that I didn’t give them enough attention because I saw them as so mature at an early age. They didn’t ask for a lot of help,” said Naslund, who had 869 points over 16 seasons, including 12 of those in Vancouver. The Canucks retired his No. 19 and he understands how it feels to sense your own “NHL mortality” in the twilight of your playing days.

“You see a lot of guys who get older and still have egos, which neither Daniel or Henrik has.”

Naslund is not troubled by the fact he is not a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “I don’t think I played at a high level long enough and didn’t win a Stanley Cup and didn’t reach the plateaus you need to be considered,” he said. “I’m happy with my carer but I don’t look at myself in that category.”

At the other end of his NHL career, Elias Pettersson is only beginning his ascent and has “great potential” as a highly-skilled player now leading the Swedish Hockey League. The upside is also promising with Jonathan Dahlen, he added.

“The Canucks have two very interesting players coming up here.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.