May 12, 2016

Marcus Ragnarsson

Marcus Ragnarsson always was one of the most underrated defensemen of his generation.

Ragnarsson was mostly a finesse defenseman. He could be susceptible to strong forecheck but never backed down. He controlled a lot of breakouts for the Sharks, making strong first passes out of the zone and, using his quick feet and good read of opposition, sometimes rushing the puck to center ice.

Ragnarsson was built solidly at six-foot-one and 200 pounds. He was never a physical defender, but he could handle a lot of minutes. He and regular defense partner Mike Rathje often faced the opposition's top lines night after night while in San Jose. The two complimented each other nicely.

Ragnarsson was given a lot of responsibility on the power play. His offensive production did not always match expectations of his upside, but he was serviceable point man. He did not have an intimidating shot but he could get pucks past shot blockers and to the front of the net.

Ragnarsson was nice player for Sweden at the international level, too. In 1995 and 1997 he helped Sweden win silver medals at the World Championships. He was also a member of Sweden's blue line at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

In total Marcus Ragnarsson played in 632 career NHL games, not including the 2001 NHL All Star Game. He scored 37 times, assisted on 140 others and had 177 total points.

After leaving the NHL in 2004 he continued his hockey career in Sweden for many more seasons, winning two national championships with Djurgardens. He would have to retire in 2011 due to a shoulder injury.

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