Mattias Ohlund was one of the bright young talents on the improved Vancouver Canucks when he entered the NHL in the late 1990s. A talented young defenceman, Ohlund overcame a serious eye injury early in his career to become one top defenders in the NHL.
The native of Pitea, Sweden played two years with his hometown club and was noticed by a host of scouts. His size, mobility, and unteachable instincts had many NHL teams drooling. Ohlund represented Sweden at three consecutive World Junior Championships beginning in 1994.
The young phenom was drafted 13th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1994 then enjoyed three excellent seasons with the Lulea Club of Sweden. After helping his country win the silver medal at the World Championships in 1997, he was unable to come to terms with the Canucks. He signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Maple Leafs but Vancouver matched it and had Ohlund in the line up on opening night.
Ohlund scored 30 points and had a plus/minus score of +3 on a disappointing Vancouver squad. He also served as an alternate captain for the club and participated on the Swedish Olympic team at the Nagano Games in 1998. The next year Ohlund established a career high in points with 35, however, the Canucks struggled and failed to make the playoffs. Once his NHL season came to a close, Ohlund joined Team Sweden at the 1998 World Championships.
Ohlund was asked to represent his country once again in the 2002, and 2006 Winter Olympics. In the 2006 Winter Olympics, he helped his country win their first Gold Medal since NHL players were allowed to play in the games. He also represented Sweden at the World Cup in 2004 and three World Championships (1997, 1998, 2001).
After 11 years in Vancouver, he left the only team he ever known to sign a seven year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 1, 2009.
Due to knee problems, Ohlund has not played an NHL game since 2010-2011 season. His contract with the Lightning ends on July 1, 2016 where it is expected he will retire.