Finnish winger Niklas Hagman today announced his retirement from professional hockey at age 38, ending a 20 year career spent in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Russia and his native Finland, where he spent his last four seasons.
Hagman, the son of Finnish trailblazer Matti Hagman, the first Finn to play in the NHL, started with HIFK’s junior team before being promoted to the senior squad in 1997, spending time with HIFK, Espoo and Kärpät before making the jump to the NHL in 2001. Hagman spent ten seasons in the NHL, with stints in Florida, Dallas, Toronto, Calgary and Anaheim, before returning to Europe in 2012, joining Lokomotiv of the KHL. Hagman bounced around Europe, with tenure in the KHL, Liiga and Swiss NLA before returning to Helsinki in 2014, suiting up for two seasons with Jokerit. He returned to Liiga for his final pro season, starting with Kärpät before joining HPK mid-season for his final 24 games.
Hagman joined the Leijonat junior team in 1994, suiting up for his first World Juniors in 1998, winning Gold with the Juniors in a shocking victory on home ice. Hagman joined the senior men’s team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, later playing in six World Championships, three Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, winning silver at the 2006 Turin Games and bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, along with a second-place finish at the World Cup.
Hagman won a total of eight IHLC titles during his career, his first at the aforementioned 1998 World Juniors, with his final title coming on home ice once again at the 2013 Karjala Tournament. We wish Niklas and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!