I’m gonna let you in on a secret, Elite Prospects and EP Rinkside, are owned by a Swedish company.
We may be the English-facing part of the network, but the company was built and grown in Sweden.
Keep that in mind. When we were thinking about an end-of-the-year review here at EP Rinkside, I thought it would be fun to look at the viewership data for players and teams that were most viewed on Elite Prospects in 2022.
Turns out team pages are dominated by our Swedish users, (the player pages, coming tomorrow, don’t follow that trend) which gave me a chance to sharpen up my Swedish hockey history while compiling this list.
Here are the top-20 viewed teams of 2022 by page views at Elite Prospects.
1. HV71 – For the first time since the 1980s, HV71 was relegated to the second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan at the end of the 2020-21 season.
It was a short stay.
HV71 dominated the second tier, winning the regular season crown by 10 points and cruising to the championship series. In the final HV71 defeated IF Björklöven in six games, advancing back into the SHL with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 6 on a goal by Fredrik Forsberg.
Winning promotion, getting back into the SHL, and now battling to avoid the relegation zone this season – it’s been a fascinating team for EP viewers to keep tabs on.
2. Djurgårdens IF – Promotion and relegation move interest… maybe North American sports should take notice…. and while HV71 came up, Djurgårdens IF went the other way, losing to Timrå IK in the relegation play-out to fall back into the HockeyAllsvenskan.
Thus far Djurgårdens IF have put themselves in a position to try to climb back into the SHL, currently sitting in second in the second tier.
3. Brynäs IF – Brynäs have been in the top tier of Swedish hockey since 1960, the longest continuous stretch in Swedish hockey history.
The team has also had its share of relegation escapes, either within the regular season or in the final play-out. It looks like they’ll need to do it again to stick around in the SHL in 2023… currently Brynäs sits two points above HV71 in the relegation zone.
4. Färjestad BK – The 2022 SHL champions, unsurprisingly, were one of the most-viewed teams this season at Elite Prospects.
Going from sixth in the regular season to a title will do that.
5. Leksands IF – A mid-tier team again this season in the SHL, Leksands are currently eighth after Christmas and have a goal differential of just plus-two (69 goals for, 67 against) that is well representative of their overall play.
Leksands has gotten a late push on views thanks to the play of Lian Bichsel, who has been turning heads for the Swiss at the World Junior Championships
6. Detroit Red Wings – Our first non-SHL team is one of the most iconic brands in hockey. It also happens to have one of the most Swedish-heavy rosters…
7. Colorado Avalanche – Yes, the Avs won the cup, but if you’ve picked up on the theme of viewership here, the fact it was a Swedish captain lifting the cup, Gabriel Landeskog, and the franchise’s long history in the country, thanks Foppa, that also elevated viewership.
8. Frölunda HC – Back to Sweden and the team that has typically led the SHL in yearly attendance for more than a decade.
Frölunda also changed the logo this season, which had its own set of drama after the initial re-design, which was almost immediately scrapped, was accused of plagiarism and looked much too similar to a swastika.
9. Timrå IK – Timrå have bounced back and forth between the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan the past couple seasons, but have taken a turn and moved into the playoff conversation rather than the relegation battle this season.
10. Luleå HF – The finalists from the 2022 SHL Championship series, Luleå have been a fixture in the SHL since 1985 and since that promotion have never been in a spot where they had to play in a relegation series.
11. Rögle BK
12. MoDo Hockey
15. Skellefteå AIK
16. IF Björklöven
17. New York Rangers
18. Edmonton Oilers
19. Linköping HC
20. Södertälje SK