Niklas Kronwall (born January 12, 1981, in Stockholm), is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. He has gained notoriety for being an open ice hitter. He is sometimes jokingly referred to as "Nick Jr" (in reference to fellow Swede and Red Wing Nicklas Lidström). His brother Staffan Kronwall plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.
Niklas Kronwall was selected in the 1st round, 29th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He continued to play for Djurgårdens IF until he came to North America in 2003. He played 20 games for Detroit in the 2003–04 season, scoring 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points, to go along with 16 penalty minutes.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Kronwall played a complete season for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' top affiliate in the American Hockey League. He notched 13 goals and 40 assists in 76 games while also playing a solid defense. For his efforts, Kronwall was awarded the Eddie Shore Award as the top defenseman in the AHL.
In late 2005 he was named member of the Swedish Olympic Team but dropped out in early 2006 because of his injured knee. When Mattias Öhlund was injured against Switzerland, Kronwall was called in to replace him.
He also played at the IIHF 2006 World Championship to win the other international gold medal. This makes him one of only eight players who have won both Olympic and WC gold the same year. He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, inducting him into the Triple Gold Club. He also led all defensemen in scoring with 15 points in the 2008 playoffs.
|2003–04||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||20||1||4||5||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||25||2||11||13||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||76||13||40||53||53||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||27||1||8||9||28||6||0||3||3||2|
|2005–06||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||68||1||21||22||54||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||65||7||28||35||25||22||0||15||15||18|