Mikael Wikstrand (born November 5, 1993), often stylized as Mikael Vikstrand, is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing with Färjestad BK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He had previously been suspended from playing professionally by the National Hockey League and the International Ice Hockey Federation after leaving the 2015–16 pre-season training camp of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and returning to Sweden without informing the club of his intentions.
|Born|| November 5, 1993
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)|
|NHL Draft||196th overall, 2012
In 2010–11, Wikstrand made his debut in professional hockey, playing 28 games for Mora IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan, getting one assist. The following year, Wikstrand played 47 games for the club, getting 3 points.
Wikstrand was ranked 23rd amongst European skaters in the 2012 NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final rankings, however he was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Senators, 196th overall.
In 2012–13, Wikstrand played 45 games for Mora, getting 22 points. That year, he tied for fifth among Allsvenskan defensemen in scoring, and lead all the Mora defensemen in scoring. There were several trade rumours surrounding Wikstrand at the time, with Frölunda being particularly mentioned.
In 2014, Wikstrand signed a three-year entry-level contract with Ottawa. He attended the Ottawa Senators training camp, but played the season in Sweden with Frölunda HC on loan from Ottawa.
Wikstrand caused controversy when he abruptly left the Ottawa Senators' 2015 pre-season training camp without permission, not even notifying team officials of his departure from camp until he was at the airport about to board a flight back to his native Sweden. Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced shortly afterward that Wikstrand had been suspended by the team. Since Wikstrand is under contract with the Senators, the NHL's affiliation with the IIHF meant that he was prohibited from playing professional hockey for Färjestad BK or any other club in a league affiliated with the IIHF.
On January 20, 2016, the Ottawa Senators announced that they had come to terms with Wikstrand that would allow him to play professional hockey in his native Sweden, while the Senators retained his North American rights. Wikstrand has been loaned to Färjestad of the SHL, which will allow him to play hockey while staying close to his family home in Karlstad, where Wikstrand's brother is reportedly battling leukemia.
Wikstrand has represented Sweden at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship, as well as at the 2013 World Junior Championship, leading all Swedish defensemen with 4 points.