About the League
8th annual Junior Club World Cup will kick off in Sochi on August 18th. Junior Hockey League presents the participants of the tournament. Today we’re going to talk about HV71 Jönköping from Sweden.
HV71 is the name for both professional and major junior teams from the city of Jönköping. Jonas Holmström is the head-coach of the junior team.
HV71 hockey club was founded in 1971 as a merger between two teams – Huskvarna and Vätterstads IF. The club first entered the top Swedish league, Elitserien, in 1979 was soon relegated. They won promotion again in the 1985-86 season and have remained in the top division ever since.
In 1995 the team won their first Swedish national championship title with a dramatic overtime-winner in Game 5 of the final series against Brynäs. Johan Lindbom scored the series-clinching goal, while goaltender Boo Ahl put on incredible performance in the playoffs. Since then HV71 have won four more Swedish national championship titles – the latest came as recent as in the 2016-17 season. Notably, HV71 faced Brynäs in the finals again and clinched the series in deciding Game 7 with yet another overtime-winner.
As for their major junior team, which competes in junior Swedish SuperElit division, also have won five championship titles. Last season Jönköping beat in Växjö Lakers.
Jönköping is located in southern Sweden, at the south coast of Vättern Lake. It is one of the largest cities in historical province of Småland. Due to its location, the city has been a major trade center for a long time. In the 19th century it had developed bake goods trade, operational match factory and paper mill, as well as a harbour on Vättern Lake. Huskvarna district is located in the Eastern part of the city – it used to be a separate town until 1971. That’s where the beautiful armory and Swedish sewing-machine factory are located.
Today Jönköping also includes Huskvarna industrial center located further to the East as well. Jönköping is also a large educational center. Built in 1977 Jönköping University is ranked first in international university category among all Swedish higher education facilities. Many international students come here every year, including Russians.
Moreover, ever since 1994 Jönköping has annually held one of the biggest cybersport championship DreamHack.
Since 2001 HV71 professional and major junior teams have played their home games Kinnarps Arena. The club owns the arena. Aside from hockey games, it also hosts many exhibitions, festivals and concerts. The arena has a capacity for 7,038 fans.
The club’s first home arena was Rosenlundshallen. It was the first artificial ice arena in Sweden. It was built in 1958.
Goaltender Stefan Liv is among most famous alumni of the team. He was Olympic and world champion. He also won 3 national championship titles in Sweden. In September 2011 Liv passed away in tragic air catastrophe with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Fredrik Stillman is one of the club’s legends and a Jönköping native. As a member of Team Sweden he won Olympic goal and two more gold medals at IIHF World Championship. He also wo national championship title with his hometown team. After retiring, Stillman worked as assistant coach on the team and then was HV71 general manager for a long time. In 2015 he moved to Vladivostok where he was on Admiral’s coaching staff for three seasons before landing the head-coach position with the team in the 2017-18 season. After he was fired from Admiral, he moved to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod coaching staff.
Stefan Erskog played almost his entire career for HV71, won national championship title with the team, Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals at IIHF World Championships. He currently works at HV71 academy coaching their U16 team.
Pär Gustafsson is a 4-time Swedish champion as a member of HV71 and a silver medalist at IIHF World Championship. Björn Melin won three national championship titles with the team before winning the gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2006 IIHF World Championship. He retired just where his career began – in his hometown of Jönköping.
Several Stanley Cup champions are among HV71 alumni – Fredrik Olausson, Anders Eriksson, Niklas Hjalmarsson. Several others won gold medals at IIHF World Championships – Andreas Karlsson, Mika Hannula, Kenneth Kennholt, Esa Keskinen, etc.
Top-scorer – Joakim Stjern Svensson. 43 games, 15 goals, 25 assists
Most goals – Max Wennlund. 42 games, 18 goals
Top defenseman – Alfons Malmström. 34 games, 2 goals, 10 assists
Top goaltender – Adam Åhman. 26 games, Goals Against Average – 3.28.