Jan Kovar… Tyler Spooner… and Marcus Krüger! Well, it certainly can be said that the National League welcomed several “big names” this summer. Today we want to talk about the last one mentioned, the Swede Marcus Krüger. The ZSC Lions want to make it up after a disappointing season that saw them missing the playoffs. And as usual, they searched for very talented players. Marcus Krüger is one of them. In fact, a precious gem joined the Lions and our league.
Let’s get to know more about him.
Date of Birth: May 17th, 1990
Two Stanley Cups… A gold and a silver medal at the World Ice Hockey Championship… A silver medal at the Olympic tournament… A bronze medal at the U20 Worlds… well, it’s safe to say that Marcus Krüger knows what it means to win. He can be a great addition for the Lions now coached by Rikard Grönborg.
Marcus Krüger was born in Stockholm and played hockey in his youth for the Huddinge IK… just to say, the same team for which a certain Michael Nylander and a certain Linus Klasen played in their youth.
THE SHL… AND THEN BLACKHAWKS
Marcus Krüger approached professional hockey while playing for Djurgardens IF in Sweden between 2006 and 2011. Firstly he played for the U18, then for the U20 (where he was even the team’s captain) and finally for the first team. He immediately turned out to be a great player, so much that the Chicago Blackhawks picked him during the 5th round (149 overall position) at the 2009 NHL draft.
Marcus spent two more seasons in Sweden playing for Djurgardens IF though, including the second one as alternate captain. Then, once finished the 2010-11 SHL season, he crossed the ocean and joined the Chicago Blackhawks for the remaining of the season.
A BRILLANT NHL CAREER
Marcus Krüger immediately made a name for himself in Illinois. From the beginning, he became an NHL regular. Only during the 2012-13 season, he played a couple of games with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL. After 7 seasons spent in Chicago then, the only “complicated moment” came… During the 2017-18 season in fact, Marcus Krüger was involved in several trades. And finally, during that season he played in the NHL for the Carolina Hurricanes but also in the AHL for the Charlotte Checkers.
BACK TO CHICAGO… AND SWITZERLAND
After that “troubled” season, Marcus moved back to Chicago where he played last season. And finally, this summer, he decided to come back to Europe. More precisely, he moved to Switzerland where he’s hoping to help the ZSC Lions become Swiss Champions again!
Marcus Krüger… well, it’s a “big name”. We’re pretty sure that many of you just can’t wait to see him in action. Yet, not all of us (including us…) follow the NHL regularly, therefore don’t know what to expect from him.
In order to get to know more Marcus Krüger then, we got in touch with someone who’s been following him from close in the recent past. We had therefore the pleasure to meet Jimmy Linch, co-owner and Chief editor of “Under The Lights”. Below, his impression on Marcus Krüger.
Marcus Kruger spent 8 years with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning 2 Stanley Cups in that time.
Kruger was instrumental in the Stanley Cups and much of the Chicago Blackhawks success over the last decade. Kruger is not the guy you want on the ice when you are looking for a big power play goal, instead you will find him in other roles.
Sometimes you need a player that can kill a penalty, or maybe win a faceoff. Some players main task is to shut down the other teams top guys, that is Marcus Kruger.
Kruger was the Blackhawks top penalty killer for the ‘Hawks 2013 Stanley Cup and held that title until being traded from the team in 2017. Kruger is a role player, doing whatever he needs to do to help the team. Winning faceoffs and killing penalties is what earned him a contract of over 3 million dollars, something a fourth line center never earns in the NHL.
Kruger is also a selfless teammate. In 2016 the Blackhawks traded for Andrew Ladd. Ladd was a member of the Blackhawks from 2007-2010 and in that span he won a Stanley Cup with the team. At the time of Ladd being traded to the Blackhawks Kruger had been a member of the ‘Hawks for the last 6 years. Kruger being the selfless player he is gave up his number that was previously worn by Andrew Ladd so that he could have it back. That was not something a player like Marcus Kruger needed to do. But Kruger gave up the number he wore his entire career for a veteran player like Andrew Ladd.
I wish there was more I could share about Marcus Kruger, from watching him the last few seasons all I can say is he is someone you can put in any situation and he will do his part. Kruger has made a career as a forward in the defensive zone, the Lions gained a great defensive forward.
Thank you very much Jimmy!
A great defensive forward, who can win faceoffs and is a good penalty killer. Moreover, from what Jimmy told us, we can just assume that he’s also a great person and a leader. We mean, he’s not a selfish star and he can play a key role in Zürich on and off the ice. Let us not forget, moreover, that he’s a winner and this is something that can make the difference. Our first impression is that the Lions made a great deal here…
Welcome to Switzerland, Marcus!
* When playing for Djurgardens, Marcus Krüger played alongside Daniel Brodin. The latter is the new import of Fribourg Gottéron! Always when playing for Djurgardens, moreover, Marcus was a teammate of other players who are known over here in Switzerland. We’re talking about Nicklas Danielsson (former Rapperswil and Lausanne) and Dick Axelsson (former Davos).
* Marcus Krüger made his NHL debut on March 23rd, 2011. On that day, his Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Florida Panthers and earned a 4-0 win. To note that the goals were scored by Brent Seabrook, Tomas Kopecky and… Viktor Stalberg (former Zug and now at Fribourg Gottéron!) and Patrick Kane (former Bienne!). At the same time, Michal Repik (former Zug, 7 games during the 2014-15 season) was playing for the Florida Panthers.
* Marcus Krüger scored his first NHL point on April 22nd, 2011… that was a playoffs’ game and the Chicago Blackhawks earned a 5-0 away win in Vancouver. Marcus Krüger set up Duncan Keith for the second goal of the night. To note that Mason Raymond (former Bern) and Maxime Lapierre (former Lugano), were playing for the Canucks that day!