Top 10 Best Ice Hockey Countries

The Top Ten
1 Canada Canada is a country in North America that is next to the United States, and it's the 2nd largest country in the world by area (size is 9.985 million km²). This country has 10 provinces, and 3 territories. Canada became a dominion on July 1, 1867. Its 10 provinces are: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec,... read more

Well, the best player in the world is from far Eastern Canada, a place called Nova Scotia, Canada. I think every province in Canada contributes to it being the best hockey country in the world. People are saying if this, if that the USA would be better than Canada. You can't say that because it's not. Canada's passion for hockey demolishes every other place in the world, and nothing will ever change that. We care too much.

Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty. That's all that really needs to be said. The best center, Sid. The best defensive player, Drew Doughty. The best goalie in the world, Carey Price. That's almost every position you play in hockey, and Canada has the best player in the world at each one of those spots. End of discussion.

Watch the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Canada vs USA, and in that game, you can see what Canada is all about when it comes to hockey. I didn't even mention Connor McDavid, who could very well end up being better than everybody when they look back at the history books.

2 Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe.

It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square kilometers (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third-largest... read more

I think it's time for people to understand that this country right here produces many great players for many leagues out there. Sweden has a population of 10 million and still has so many NHL stars. Their national team has won two World Championships in a row (2017 & 2018), and players such as Erik Karlsson and Henrik Zetterberg weren't even on the team those years. Deserves respect!

Sweden is the second best in the world because of medals. Quality over quantity. It is a small country compared to Canada, Soviet (now Russia), and the USA. Russia/Soviet is the best in the world. They have played in their own league, GodsLeague (above any other country), and are the chosen ice hockey team by God, sent from heaven!

3 Finland Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bothnia to the west and the Gulf of Finland across Estonia to the south. Finland covers an area of 338,455... read more

Only one country besides Canada has more than one percent of its general population listed as registered hockey players, and that is Finland. Moreover, ever since the NHL has been involved in the Winter Olympics (beginning in 1998), the country winning the most medals in men's hockey has been Finland. Indeed, since 1988 (the last seven Winter Olympics), Finland has won more Olympic medals in men's hockey than any other country. It also receives the most attention of any sport in the Finnish media, and fan support is very strong. So, in my opinion, there are only two great hockey nations on earth: Canada and Finland. The USA and Russia don't even come close.

4 United States The United States of America, or the U.S.A. for short, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, 48 of them are contiguous states. There are two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, which are north and south of the contiguous states, respectively. The United States declared its independence from the... read more

The USA should be no. 2. Ontario, where 46.9% of all Canadian NHL players are from, is basically northern Michigan/New York/Minnesota. Go there, and you will see Canada is empty 100 miles north of the border. USA players do not have as many frozen ponds available to them as young players in Canada, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Norway, and the other high-producing European countries, yet the U.S. consistently ranks among the best. We beat Russia in 1980 with a bunch of college guys from Massachusetts and Michigan.

5 Russia Russia, or the Russian Federation (RF), is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17,125,191 square kilometres (6,612,073 sq mi), and encompassing one-eighth of Earth's inhabitable landmass. Russia extends across... read more

I am Russian (Viperium). I agree with all the points stated so far. It is clearly obvious that Russia should be ranked first. However, that doesn't mean everybody should say that Canada is bad. I have watched a lot of hockey in my lifetime and I believe that Russia's extensive experience in hockey makes it the best. Canada and the USA have young teams. For them to beat Russia is like a miracle, but do not forget that it did happen in the 1980s Olympics. I think Russia should have won against the USA in the Sochi league. When we scored a goal, they found out that 'the goalpost was moved, so there was no point.' Really? Coincidence or what? On purpose, we will never know.

6 Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also called Czechia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Czech Republic has a hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,871... read more

The Czech Republic, per capita, in regard to medals, significantly outperforms all five countries ranked above them. With only 10 million people, they still rank in the top three for medals in world competition. If the two countries of former Czechoslovakia were still united, they would have consistently secured the Gold or Silver in the Olympics and World Championships for the last 20 years, even with a population under 18 million. Russia's prowess in hockey is largely due to the communist occupation of Czechoslovakia, during which Czechoslovakian coaches were compelled to train their teams. Canadians live and breathe hockey. So, it's expected that a vast country with a large population, where it is freezing for nine months of the year, would excel at the sport.

If the Czech Republic were as large and populous, the world might just give up on competitive hockey due to the Czechs' consistent winning of gold every year. The USA, Sweden, and Finland are formidable as well, but when looking at the results from past years in world competition, the Czechs outshine them considerably. It's not even a contest! And this is without even touching on other sports. Besides hockey, the Czechs have historically excelled at soccer, reaching the World Cup finals. They are also prominent in individual sports such as tennis and consistently win numerous medals in both the Winter and Summer Olympics.

Beyond sports, they produce the best beer in the world! If there were a world competition in beer drinking, that would be an automatic gold for the Czech Republic!

7 Slovakia

Slovakia is making strides year by year. Many valuable players have been drafted in recent years, such as Slafkovsky, Dvorsky, and Nemec, among others. It's definitely one of the top hockey countries at this time, boasting a huge fanbase.

Slovakia has definitely had its highs and lows, but I think that in the past few years, they've been improving at a very fast (almost terrifying) pace. Give them maybe a decade, I think they have a chance to get into the top 5. Also, I noticed that the fans in Slovakia are extremely passionate, and that's always a reason for the players to keep getting better and better!

8 Switzerland Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities... read more

Switzerland has good goalkeepers like Patrick Aebischer, Martin Gerber, and others. Team Switzerland wears red and white, and in the center of their jersey is a beautiful cross.

Switzerland has several NHL players, boasts one of the best leagues with the most viewers, and has the biggest fan culture in Europe. It is ranked 7th in the "IIHF World Ranking", keeps up with the big ones, and won WC silver in 2013 (unbeaten until the final).

Switzerland is the most up-and-coming nation and will soon be part of the "Big 7", displacing Slovakia. They had 13 NHL players in the 2015-2016 season, and the count is rising.

9 Latvia Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia... read more

Despite the low number of Latvian NHL players, (due to a population of two million), Latvia is one of the most dedicated countries to hockey.

I'm Latvian, and proud of it. Ice hockey is like our religion. We live, breathe, and dream ice hockey!

Latvia is the best! We have our team, players, and hearts. Just look at Minsk. We are all over it!

10 Germany Germany was formally united in 1871 under the initiative of Bismarck with King Wilhelm of Prussia as emperor. The previous 'Holy Roman Empire', basically a continuation of the empire of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse was dissolved in 1806... read more

Germany is a very underrated ice hockey country. Hockey is very overshadowed by more prominent sports like football, but the hockey played here should not be underestimated. With a third-place finish in the Olympics a few years back, this team is getting better. The DEL is growing, and this country is refining its hockey teams. Let's not forget Germany has produced several good NHL players: Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Marco Sturm, Dennis Seidenberg, Grabovski, and more.

Germany has the potential to reach more athletes because of their high population.

The Contenders
11 India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad... read more

We have always been one of the best hockey-playing nations in the world, and I believe in terms of skill we are still the best, surpassing Australia and the European countries.

India is the best at hockey. We have skills and what it takes to beat any country. They never give up. Go India!

How is India 11th? They should be at least in the top 5.

12 Denmark Denmark is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark, a constitutionally unitary state that includes the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean. European Denmark is the southernmost... read more

Why the heck is Denmark down here!? They aren't good, but they're better than half of these teams that basically don't even play hockey! (Okay, Denmark doesn't really either) And where's Norway? Norway should be higher than Denmark!... One Canadian's point of view.

Denmark has a bright future in producing good players. Just look at NHLers like Ehlers, Eller, and Frans Nielsen. Also, there are more players who play in the Swedish junior leagues, which ensures a consistency of good players.

Although not a very good team, they are way better than the United Kingdom, China, the Netherlands, and Japan for sure. They should be placed higher.

13 United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain is a Sovereign State located of the Northwestern coast of Europe. It is a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy currently lead by Monarch Queen Elizabeth II and its current prime minister is... read more

The United Kingdom invented the game of hockey and ice hockey as we know it today. An interesting fact: they won a World Championship in Ice Hockey in 1956. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding, they now only play the field version. I would like to see them competing again with the bigger ice hockey nations. The people of the United Kingdom have given us so many amazing sports. It's a shame they're not as competitive as before.

If I were a member of the British Hockey Association, I would try to get a KHL team from London to spread the market in the UK. Which in time may lead to a better future for the game of hockey.

14 Slovenia Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. Slovenia is mostly mountainous and forested, covers 20,271 square kilometres... read more

Slovenia stunningly defeated Slovakia 3:1 at the Olympic Games in Sochi! I believe this country should be ranked much higher.

A small country with a lot of good players.

15 Italy Italy (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) is a sovereign state and unitary parliamentary republic in south-central Europe.

Italy covers an area of 301,338 km². With almost 62 million inhabitants, it is the third most populous EU member state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares... read more
16 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area... read more

China just got a team in the KHL. They are a hockey program on the rise, and I am already looking forward to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

That's sad. They scored six times against Russia.

They try, but they are not there yet.

17 France France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to... read more

France was in the World Championship 2013 winning match opposite Russia. It was a shock in the WCH years 2013. France has had great hockey teams for many years. In the NHL, their goalkeeper Christobal Huet is a historical keeper and an intellectual goalie. France has a super attack, goalie, and defense.

18 New Zealand New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
It is situated 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington,... read more
19 Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic located in North America. The country is located between the U.S. and Central America, and is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, and jungles.

They are OP. Seriously, their hockey program is growing and might be in the Olympics in the next decade.

20 Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard... read more

Norway isn't the best. They are maybe the 10th best hockey nation in the world, by some ranking, but they have improved a lot in the last 10 years.

Norway has been in the quarterfinals twice over the last five years in the World Cup, men.

This team is no lower than 13th in ice hockey.

21 Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.
22 Mongolia Mongolia is a landlocked unitary sovereign state in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state.

Ha ha, I'm Mongolian and agree with this ranking.

23 South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. South Korea claims... read more

South Korea is amazing. They do a lot of sports, but they also have the most cutest guys and singers such as K-pop groups like EXO, BTS, Seventeen, etc.

They made it to the World Hockey Championship in 2018!

24 Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia. Ruled by the Dutch for over 300 years and Japan for 3 years and 6 months, the country gained independence in 1945, or exactly in 17th August 1945. Jakarta is the capital city, located in the island of Java. Major languages... read more

I'm from Canada and I can tell you Canada is the best, way better than this team.

25 Ukraine Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country, covering approximately 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi), and has a population of around 40 million people. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; by Belarus to the north; by Poland, Slovakia, and... read more
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