Växjö Lakers

Växjö Lakers Hockey Club (often referred to as the Växjö Lakers or VLH) is a Swedish ice hockey club from Växjö in Sweden. The club play at the Vida Arena and plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL; formerly Elitserien), the top-level league of Swedish ice hockey, and made its debut there in 2011–12. Since entering the SHL the club has become known as one of the premier clubs winning the Le Mat Trophy as Swedish national Champions three times in 2015, 2018 and 2021 (the most of any SHL clubs since their promotion).[1] forwards Erik Josefsson, and Robert Rosén, are the only players to be part of all 3 Championship teams.

Växjö Lakers
Växjö Lakers logo.svg
CityVäxjö, Sweden
LeagueSwedish Hockey League
Home arenaVida Arena
General managerHenrik Evertsson
Head coachJörgen Jönsson
CaptainErik Josefsson
Le Mat Trophy2015, 2018, 2021
Current season


The club was founded in 1997, after Växjö HC went bankrupt that year. Växjö Lakers originally played in Växjö Ishall as their home arena, but prior to the 2011–12 season they moved to Vida Arena. The construction of the Vida Arena was finished in summer 2011.

The club began play in the 1997–98 season. Starting in Division 4, four divisions below the Elitserien/SHL, Växjö worked its way to HockeyAllsvenskan within 6 years, being promoted 3 times. With a perfect record in the 2003 HockeyAllsvenskan Kvalserien, the club qualified for HockeyAllsvenskan. Sensationally, during their debut season in HockeyAllsvenskan, the club acquired Shjon Podein, an NHL-merited North American player who played 699 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. The acquirement was described as "årets värvning" (acquirement of the year) by some people.[2] During Podein's years in Växjö he became a crowd favorite.[3] Prior to the following season, the 2004–05 season, the team also acquired Brad DeFauw, another NHL-merited North American player who played 9 NHL games and 154 AHL games. Both Shjon Podein and Brad DeFauw left the team after the 2004–05 season.

The club would spend 8 seasons in HockeyAllsvenskan and, during that time, reach the Kvalserien qualification for Elitserien three times. Växjö did not manage to promote to Elitserien in the 2009 and 2010 respective Kvalserien qualifications, but after winning the 2010–11 HockeyAllsvenskan season for the first time in club history and earning a third consecutive trip to Kvalserien, Växjö secured promotion to the top-tier league Elitserien in the eighth round (of ten) in the 2011 Kvalserien. The team finished the 2011 Kvalserien with 26 points, which is a record in the Kvalserien history.

The team formerly used red, yellow and blue as its colours, both in the team's logo and the team's jerseys. On 18 April 2011 it was announced that the club had changed the colours of their jerseys to blue and orange prior to the 2011–12 season.[4] At that time it was also announced that the club's logo had been changed to an orange shield containing the name of the club beneath a lion holding a crossbow – an image from the Småland coat of arms.

Elitserien/Swedish Hockey LeagueEdit

Växjö's home venue Vida Arena.

The club's first game in the Elitserien league was played on 13 September 2011, losing 0–2 to Frölunda HC in front of an outsold Scandinavium. Two days later, the club historically took their first points in Elitserien, beating Luleå HF on away ice 3–2 in a shootout, despite trailing by two goals in the third period.[5] Their first home game was played on September 17, against Linköpings HC, in front of an outsold Vida Arena. Linköping won the game 4–2. Former Växjö Lakers crowd favorite Shjon Podein watched the game in the arena.[6] Their first home points and regulation-time win came on September 27, when the Lakers won 4–1 against Modo Hockey.[7] The Lakers' first shutout came on away ice when Modo were beaten 2–0 on 25 October 2011.[8]

Växjö Lakers played the first Småland derby game in Elitserien history, which was on away ice against reigning regular-season champions HV71, on 8 October 2011 in front of an outsold Kinnarps Arena—exactly 7,000 spectators—in Jönköping.[9] Växjö Lakers came out on top with a 3–2 victory in a shootout. Växjö Lakers forward Mike Iggulden scored three penalty shot goals in the game, two of them counted in the statistics.[10]

Season-by-season recordEdit

Season Level Division Record Avg.
Position W-T-L
This list features the five most recent completed seasons. For prior seasons, see List of Växjö Lakers seasons.
2017–18 Tier 1 SHL 1st 34–6–2–10 4,658
Swedish Championship playoffs 12–1 5,629 Won finals, 4–0 vs Skellefteå AIK
2018–19 Tier 1 SHL 7th 22–3–10–17 4,691
Eighth-finals 2–0 4,579 Won 2–0 vs Örebro HK
Swedish Championship playoffs 1–4 5,223 Lost in quarterfinals, 1–4 vs Luleå HF
2019–20 Tier 1 SHL 10th 20–26–4–2 4,835
Swedish Championship playoffs Playoffs cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2020–21 Tier 1 SHL 1st 34–11–6–1
Swedish Championship playoffs 11–3 Won finals, 4–1 vs Rögle BK
2021–22 Tier 1 SHL 5th 28–17–5–2 3,691
Swedish Championship playoffs 0–4 Lost in quarterfinals 0–4 vs Frölunda HC

Players and personnelEdit

Current rosterEdit

No. Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
62   Manuel Ågren LW L 29 2022 Oskarshamn, Sweden
70   Adam Åhman G L 23 2021 Västervik, Sweden
32   Lukas Bengtsson D R 28 2022 Stockholm, Sweden
86   Joachim Blichfeld RW R 24 2022 Frederikshavn, Denmark
2   Oskar Cederqvist C R 20 2022 Skara, Sweden
8   Ludvig Claesson D L 30 2021 Ljungsarp, Sweden
21   Brian Cooper D L 29 2022 Anchorage, Alaska, United States
37   Glen Gustafsson C L 24 2021 Stockholm, Sweden
28   Hugo Gustafsson C L 23 2021 Södertälje, Sweden
7   Hardy Häman Aktell D L 24 2020 Kåge, Sweden
89   Jayden Halbgewachs LW L 26 2022 Emerald Park, Saskatchewan, Canada
60   Erik Josefsson (C) C L 36 2008 Gislaved, Sweden
26   Joel Kellman C L 28 2021 Karlskrona, Sweden
55   Miika Koivisto D L 32 2019 Vaasa, Finland
11   Kalle Kossila C L 29 2022 Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
19   Amil Krupic D L 27 2021 Halmstad, Sweden
33   Emil Larmi G L 26 2021 Lahti, Finland
4   Keegan Lowe D L 30 2022 Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
27   Martin Lundberg (A) F L 32 2017 Skellefteå, Sweden
41   Ludvig Nilsson LW L 29 2019 Stockholm, Sweden
94   Joel Persson (A) D R 29 2020 Kristianstad, Sweden
22   Tobias Rieder C L 30 2021 Landshut, Germany
87   Robert Rosén (A) C R 35 2020 Alvesta, Sweden
15   Dan Sexton RW R 35 2022 Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
46   Jakub Štancl LW L 17 2022 Prague, Czech Republic
9   Victor Stjernborg C/LW L 19 2020 Malmö, Sweden

Updated 4 March 2023[11][12]

Team captainsEdit

Honored membersEdit

Växjö Lakers retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
14 Stefan Nilsson F 1990–1991, 1997–2003
38 Johan Markusson RW 2005–2014

Franchise records and leadersEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

These are the top-ten point-scorers of the Växjö Lakers since their promotion to the SHL in the 2011–12 season. Figures are updated after each completed season.[13]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game;   = current Växjö Lakers player

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Robert Rosén C 386 111 168 279 .72
Liam Reddox LW 386 72 78 150 .39
Richard Gynge C 191 72 76 148 .78
Joel Persson D 203 28 112 140 .69
Erik Josefsson C 555 68 65 133 .24
Tuomas Kiiskinen LW 206 58 72 130 .63
Cory Murphy D 208 28 89 117 .56
Tomi Kallio RW 204 43 73 116 .57
Emil Pettersson C 131 41 58 99 .75
Andrew Calof C 125 43 50 93 .74

Trophies and awardsEdit


Le Mat Trophy

  • 2014–15, 2017–18, 2020–21


Coach of the Year

  • Sam Hallam: 2017–18

Honken Trophy

Rookie of the Year


  1. ^ Anders Feltenmark (24 April 2015). "Växjö Lakers HC svenska mästare" (in Swedish). Swedish Ice Hockey Association. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Änderson om avund" (in Swedish). LakersLakejer.net. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2011-06-25.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Shjon Podein har landat i Växjö" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio'. 2004-10-19. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  4. ^ "Orange revolution i Växjö Lakers" (in Swedish). Smålandsposten. 2011-04-18. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
  5. ^ Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-15). "Kallio fixade historisk vinst" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  6. ^ Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-16). "Invigningsöverraskningen: Podein på plats i VIDA Arena" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  7. ^ Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-27). "Första segern i VIDA Arena". Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  8. ^ Jonas Gustavsson (2011-10-25). "Seger – och första nollan" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  9. ^ Bosse Johander (2011-10-08). "Historiskt derby i Småland" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
  10. ^ Per Johansson (2011-10-08). "Iggulden straffade HV71 i smålandsderbyt" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
  11. ^ "Växjö Lakers roster" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers. 2023-03-04. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  12. ^ "Eliteprospects.com - Växjö Lakers". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  13. ^ "Växjö Lakers - All Time SHL leaders". quanthockey.com. 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-05-31.

External linksEdit