Former NY Islanders captain Kenny Jonsson was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals
New York Islanders v Washington Capitals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Former New York Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson was inducted into the International Ice Hockey (IIHF) Hall of Fame on Sunday along with seven others, including another former Islander, Ryan Smythe, who was part of the 2020 class but wasn't recognized in person until this year.

“It is a great honor and with enormous pride that I stand here today," said Jonsson. "That my name would be associated with the very best players of all time is a little unreal to me. My motto was to have fun on the ice and do my very best every time I put my skates on."

Jonsson represented Sweden three times at the Winter Olympics, winning gold twice alongside his brother, Jorgen. The first came as an amateur at the Lillehammer, France games in 1994 and then again in 2006, playing against NHL stars in Turin, Italy. When the owners locked out the players for the entire 2004-05 season, Jonsson returned home to play for Rogle BK Angelholm, where he would finish his professional career. Nevertheless, he proved he was still among the best defensemen in the world at the 2006 Olympics, where he was voted "Best Defender of the Tournament."

Drafted 12th overall in 1993, Jonsson was acquired by Isles GM Mike Milbury from Toronto on Mar. 13, 1996, in a deal that sent Wendel Clark and Mathieu Schneider to the Maple Leafs. The Isles also received Toronto's 1997 first-round pick in the trade, which ended up being fourth overall. The team selected future Hall of Famer goaltender Roberto Luongo with the pick.

Jonsson went on to play the rest of his NHL career with the Islanders. Serving as the anchor of the blue line, the understated and often underappreciated Swede was named an All-Star in 1999. He served as the team's captain for two seasons before relinquishing the "C" to Michael Peca before the start of the 2001-02 season. The organization recognized his contributions by inducting him into the Islanders Hall-of-Fame on Feb. 11, 2012.

The annual IIHF ceremony held in Prague also honored Natalie Darwitz (USA), Jaromir Jagr (CZE), KeIgor Liba (SVK), Petteri Nummelin (FIN), and Jaroslav Pouzar (CZE). Canada’s Mel Davidson was also inducted as a Builder.