Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Lars-Erik Sjoberg
At under 5'8", the compact player managed to become the Swedish national team's leading defenseman in the late 1960s and early 1970s because of his excellent skating skills and persistent training. His talent for choosing the right position, combined with effective bodychecking, made him a virtually impenetrable force to opposing forwards. At the same time, he managed to avoid foul play and behaved with the dignity befitting a true athlete.

During his career, Sjoberg played for the provincial Leksand, for Stockholm's Djurgarden and Gothenburg's Vastra Frolunda. At the 1974 World Championship in Finland, he was voted the best defenseman. That same year he turned professional, joining the WHA's Winnipeg Jets, where he spent six seasons. He was highly regarded in Canada and was the first Swedish hockey player to be elected a captain. In Winnipeg, they referred to him affectionately as "Professor" or "Little General." He was the captain of the Swedish team in the 1976 Canada Cup and was 75th on the "Great Men" list, playing 134 official games for Tre Kronor.

After he left hockey, Sjoberg became a successful businessman. In 1980 he returned to Sweden and settled in the old university town of Uppsala. Acting as the New York Rangers' overseas scout, Sjoberg recognized a future hockey star in a young, tall and awkward Kjell Samuelsson and promoted him in Canada despite the doubts of skeptics. Samuelsson went on to become one of the NHL's most enduring leading defensemen.

When Sjoberg died in 1987 at just 43, eulogies arrived in Uppsala from all over the world.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1962-63 Leksands IF Sweden 6 1 0 1 0
1963-64 Leksands IF Sweden 14 0 2 2 2 7 1 1 2 0
1964-65 Leksands IF Sweden 14 1 2 3 2 14 0 1 1 4
1965-66 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 20 1 3 4 0 3 0 1 1 0
1966-67 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 21 4 7 11 2 3 0 1 1 0
1967-68 Leksands IF Sweden 21 3 3 6 7 1 3 4 2
1967-68 Sweden Olympics 7 0 0 0 4
1968-69 Leksands IF Sweden 19 6 2 8 4 7 0 1 1 0
1968-69 Sweden WEC-A 9 3 2 5 2
1969-70 Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg Sweden 14 2 1 3 10
1969-70 Sweden WEC-A 10 1 1 2 0
1970-71 Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg Sweden 13 8 4 12 6
1971-72 Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg Sweden 27 4 11 15 4
1971-72 Sweden Olympics 6 1 1 2 2
1971-72 Sweden WEC-A 10 1 1 2 0
1972-73 Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg Sweden 14 1 6 7 0
1972-73 Sweden WEC-A 10 1 2 3 2
1973-74 Vastra Frolunda HC Goteborg Sweden 41 4 35 39 21
1973-74 Sweden WEC-A 9 1 0 1 2
1974-75 Winnipeg Jets WHA 75 7 53 60 30
1975-76 Winnipeg Jets WHA 81 5 36 41 12 13 0 5 5 12
1976-77 Sweden Can-Cup 5 0 3 3 6
1976-77 Winnipeg Jets WHA 52 2 38 40 31 20 0 6 6 22
1977-78 Winnipeg Jets WHA 78 11 39 50 72 9 0 9 9 4
1978-79 Winnipeg Jets WHA 9 0 3 3 2 10 1 2 3 4
1979-80 Winnipeg Jets NHL 79 7 27 34 48 -35
NHL Totals 79 7 27 34 48


Swedish Player of the Year (1969)
WEC-A All-Star Team (1974)
Named Best Defenseman at WEC-A (1974)
WHA First All-Star Team (1978)
Dennis A. Murphy Trophy (Outstanding Defenseman - WHA) (1978)
Signed as a free agent by Winnipeg (WHA), May 23, 1974. Rights retained by Winnipeg prior to Expansion Draft, June 9, 1979.