Want to learn all about the hockey leagues in Sweden?
In this post, we’re going to go through each hockey league in Sweden to give you a sound idea on each league.
We'll move from the SHL down to the lower divisions....let's get started.
Sweden Hockey Leagues vary greatly in skill level across the different leagues.
It’s often misunderstood by many just how good the level of play is in the 2nd and 3rd leagues (Allsvenskan and HockeyEttan). Even Sweden Division 2 hockey has some solid organizations with decent budgets.
So, how good are Sweden Hockey Leagues?
They're good...let's start at the very top and make our way through the lower tiers one league at a time.
The Swedish Hockey League is the premier hockey league in Sweden.
The SHL was originally founded back in 1975, but hockey in Sweden dates back much farther than that.
Outside of the NHL (National Hockey League), the Swedish Hockey League is considered to be one of the premier hockey leagues in the world alongside the KHL, National League (Swiss), and the AHL.
The level of play in the SHL is quite high.
HockeyAllsvenskan (formerly Allsvenskan) is the second highest hockey league in Sweden.
Allsvenskan was founded back in 2005 and is considered by many one of the strongest 2nd leagues in the world for how skilled the leagues players are.
Promotion and relegation is an important aspect to understand within the top hockey leagues in Sweden.
Each season, the bottom two clubs in SHL rankings compete in series with the top 2 clubs from Allsvenskan to determine who will be promoted and who will be relegated.
The same takes place between the bottom clubs in Allsvenskan and the top 2 clubs in HockeyEttan each season too in what is called Kvalserien.
Let's cover the 3rd highest league, HockeyEttan, next on the list.
HockeyEttan- Division 1
HockeyEttan (known to many as Division 1) is the 3rd highest level of hockey in Sweden.
Don't let the fact that it's the third hockey league in Sweden fool you.
Not only do many talented up and coming Swedish players develop their game in HockeyEttan, but it's also an attractive league for imports playing hockey in Europe. Sweden is known for its high standard of living. Playing hockey in Europe here is a perfect setup for many.
HockeyEttan is a large league with a vast number of teams that range from the south around Stockholm (Sweden's capital) to clubs up near the Arctic Circle.
Clubs here on most clubs expect high caliber import players for their organizations.
If you haven't played pro yet and you aren't coming out of NCAA, USports, or major junior, it's going to be much harder to interest a team in you from afar.
There are always exceptions and we've helped place a number of players with lighter resumes in HockeyEttan, but it's important to note that clubs here are looking for a higher level of player each season who they can bring in with confidence.
Before we continue to the next league, it's important to make note of how passionate fans across Sweden are about European pro hockey in the top leagues (pictured below).
Moving down from HockeyEttan, you have Sweden Division 2 hockey.
Sweden Division 2- Hockeytvåan
The 4th level of hockey in Sweden is called Hockeytvåan, but many commonly refer to the league as Sweden Division 2 or Sweden Div2.
Since the level of hockey in Sweden is so high, many Sweden Division 2 hockey clubs could compete quite well with higher level clubs in other countries where hockey is not the dominant sport. The same can be said about Finnish hockey leagues next door.
A few decades back, Hockeytvåan was actually the 2nd highest level of hockey in Sweden and then the 3rd league. Over the years, its gotten pushed down as the SHL (formerly Elitserien) was created as well as when Allsvenskan came about.
Much like HockeyEttan, the Sweden Division 2 hockey league is quite large in the number of teams it consists of.
Financial budgets & sponsors for Hockeytvåan teams can vary greatly from one club to the next...
One club may be able to pay their local players and imports a certain level of salary/compensation to play there. Another Sweden Division 2 club may have less financial means available to spread out amongst the organization and players.
Regarding imports playing in Hockeytvåan, you'll find a good mix of hockey players that hold either good junior level experience or who've come out of NCAA/USports and come to a good arrangement with a club.
A number of Sweden Division 2 hockey clubs are known for carrying a nice variety of import players from both N. America and Europe. Players might have an arrangement where they are additionally coaching or working a little alongside hockey.
Moving down from here, you have what's referred to as Sweden Division 3 hockey.
Sweden Division 3 Hockey- Hockeytrean
Hockey in Sweden Division 3 is still somewhat competitive in the sense that there are quality players spread throughout the league. Some clubs may even carry a small number of professional players who previously played in a higher league and still want to play matches, but not at the same elite level.
Hockeytrean can offer locals and imports alike a great opportunity to continue play hockey in Sweden.
Lastly, we'll move from Sweden Division 3 down to Division 4.
Sweden Division 4- Hockeyfyran
Similar to Division 3, most clubs in HockeyFryan carry local players with varying level of skills. Budgets here don't allow for many imports to play here, but there have been a few imports we've heard of that have joined clubs here.
It's quite a stark contrast between the Sweden Hockey League and the lowest divisions. With how strong of a hockey country Sweden is, the top several leagues provide players (and fans alike) with a high caliber brand of hockey.
Based on the information we've covered on the various leagues in Sweden, I hope you have a better sense of the level of play here at the varying levels. Sweden is a great hockey country with a high standard of living in Scandinavia off the ice.
The question now if you're a player is, are you good enough to play in Sweden?
Whether at one of the highest leagues such as Allsvenskan or one of the mid-level leagues such as HockeyEttan or Sweden Division 2.
If so, send us a message. We'll let you know if we feel that you could potentially play in Sweden based on your ability, expectations, and your position.