Eventually other greats will crack the top ten such as current superstar Patrick Kane when his career comes to a close. Debates can be made for many other generational greats but these ten gentlemen certainly come to mind when you think of the best American hockey players to ever lace them up.
How would you rank your top 10?
Who would be your #1?
- Mike Modano
Born: June 7, 1970 (Age 45.027) in Livonia, Michigan
Draft: Minnesota, 1st round (1st overall), 1988 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2014
Career: 1499 GP, 561 Goals, 813 Assists, 1374 Points
Playoffs: 176 GP, 58 Goals, 88 Assists, 146 Points.
Modano is the top U.S.-born scorer ever, regular season and playoffs. He was also a true icon for the Minnesota/Dallas Stars franchise and would go on to win a Stanley Cup in 1999.
- Brett Hull
Born: August 9, 1964 (Age 50.329) in Belleville, Ontario
Draft: Calgary, 6th round (117th overall), 1984 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2009
Career: 1269 GP, 741 Goals, 650 Assists, 1391 Points
Playoffs: 202 GP, 103 Goals, 87 Assists, 190 Points
I know, I know you’re probably thinking he wasn’t actually born in the U.S.A., but Brett competed for the country internationally and adopted it as his homeland. He won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 1991, which was also the same year in which he recorded 86 goals, the most ever for a player not named Wayne Gretzky. Hull was also a huge factor of the team that knocked off Canada to win the 1996 World Cup. He won two Stanley Cups including one with Mike Modano in 1999.
- Chris Chelios
Born: January 25, 1962 (Age 53.160) in Chicago, Illinois
Draft: Montreal, 2nd round (40th overall), 1981 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2013 (Full List)
Career: 1651 GP, 185 Goals, 763 Assists, 948 Points
Playoffs: 266 GP, 31 Goals, 113 Assists, 144 Points
Won three Norris Trophies and three Stanley Cups.
- Brian Leetch
Born: March 3, 1968 (Age 47.123) in Corpus Christi, Texas
Draft: NY Rangers, 1st round (9th overall), 1986 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2009
Career: 1205 GP, 247 Goals, 781 Assists, 1028 Points
Playoffs: 95 GP, 28 Goals, 69 Assists, 97 Points
Leetch was the total package as a defenseman. He won a Stanley Cup and two Norris Trophies.
- Joe Mullen
Born: February 26, 1957 (Age 58.128) in New York, New York
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2000
Career: 1062 GP, 502 Goals, 561 Assists, 1063 Points
Playoffs: 143 GP, 60 Goals, 46 Assists, 106 Points
The three-time Stanley Cup champion was the first American to score 500 goals in the NHL.
- Frank Brimsek
Born: September 26, 1915 in Eveleth, Minnesota
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1966
Career: 514 GP, 252 Wins, 2.70 GAA, 40 SO
Playoffs: 68 GP, 32 Wins, 2.54 GAA, 2 SO
Brimsek achieved a very rare triple in the 1938-39 Season: a Calder, Vezina and Stanley Cup. He added a second Cup and Vezina with Boston in 1941.
- Pat LaFontaine
Born: February 22, 1965 (Age 50.132) in St. Louis, Missouri
Draft: NY Islanders, 1st round (3rd overall), 1983 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2003
Career: 865 GP, 468 Goals, 545 Assists, 1013 Points
Playoffs: 69 GP, 26 Goals, 36 Assists, 62 Points
LaFontaine is the best American ever in terms of points per game (1.17).
- Tom Barrasso
Born: March 31, 1965 (Age 50.095) in Boston, Massachusetts
Draft: Buffalo, 1st round (5th overall), 1983 NHL Entry
Career: 777 GP, 369 Wins, 3.24 GAA, .892%, 38 SO
Playoffs: 119 GP, 61 Wins, 3.01 GAA, .902%, 6 SO
Much of Barrasso’s success came very early in his career, earning Vezina and Calder honors in Buffalo. That was followed by back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and ‘92, when he was as a critical member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 369 wins are second only among American goalies to John Vanbiesbrouck’s 374, but Barrasso got his in 105 fewer games.
- Phil Housley
Born: March 9, 1964 (Age 51.117) in St. Paul, Minnesota
Draft: Buffalo, 1st round (6th overall), 1982 NHL Entry
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2015
Career: 1495 GP, 338 Goals, 894 Assists, 1232 Points
Playoffs: 85 GP, 13 Goals, 43 Assists, 56 Points
Housley is the top-scoring American defenseman of all-time, and fourth among all NHL blueliners.
- Jeremy Roenick
Born: January 17, 1970 (Age 45.168) in Boston, Massachusetts
Draft: Chicago, 1st round (8th overall), 1988 NHL Entry
Career: 1363 GP, 513 Goals, 703 Assists, 1216 Points
Playoffs: 154 GP, 53 Goals, 69 Assists, 122 Points
Know as J.R., Roenick recorded three 100-point seasons.