This high school All-State right winger from Warroad, Minn. begins our countdown of great NHL players who grew up in the U.S. and learned or developed their games there. Thus, no Brett Hull, a Canadian-born-and-raised with dual citizenship who cut his hockey teeth in Penticton, BC. Christian starred at North Dakota and recorded eight assists in seven games for the 1980 Olympic Miracle on Ice team. Drafted 40th overall by Winnipeg in 1979, he spent 16 seasons in the NHL, topping 20 goals in a season 10 times while compiling 340 and 773 points. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
2 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
The speedy winger from Hingham, Mass., and Boston University broke in with Doug Weight and had a 35-goal campaign for the Rangers in 1991-92, the first of his eight 30-plus tally seasons. Now in his 16th season, the five-time All-Star has passed the 900-point mark.
3 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
The slick-passing center from Warren, Mich., and Lake Superior State broke in with the Rangers in 1991 and is now approaching 1,000 career points. The three-time All-Star has topped 50 assists in a season seven times and hoisted the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.
4 of 20Werner Schulze/Imago/Icon SMI
Nicknamed "Wolfman," the lanky, bearded backliner from Flint, Mich., was an All-America at Bowling Green and member of the 1980 U.S. Miracle on Ice team. Gold medal in hand, he joined the Islanders in time for the first of their four successive Stanley Cups (1980-83). The steady, stay-at-home Morrow was a mainstay on the Island for 10 seasons and inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.
5 of 20Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images
Born in Detroit to hockey royalty, he skated with his illustrious father Gordie at Red Wings training camps as a kid and later as a pro with the Houston Aeros of the WHA (1973-74). So versatile he could play forward and defense well, the four-time All-Star tallied 742 points in 16 NHL seasons with the Whalers, Flyers and Red Wings. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
6 of 20AP
Now playing his 18th season, the big, edgy power forward from Melrose, Mass., and Boston University is within 25 of the 500-goal mark and will likely top 1,000 points sometime this season. The four-time All-Star had successive 50-goal campaigns in 1995-96 and '96-97 and has bettered 30 goals five times.
7 of 20Glenn Cratty/Getty Images
The beloved Beezer grew up in Detroit and starred on Broadway with the Rangers for nine seasons. The three-time All-Star and 1985-86 Vezina-winner also backstopped the upstart Panthers to the 1996 Cup Final and was the second American goalie to reach 300 wins (one month after Tom Barrasso). He finished his 18-year career with 374 and a 2.97 GAA and was a 2007 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee.
8 of 20Mike Powell/Getty Images
The Roseau, Minn., native was a main man on Minnesota's 1979 NCAA title team and was drafted by his home-state North Stars that year. He skated for the 1980 Miracle on Ice team and won the 1980-81 Hobey Baker Award before starting his 17-year pro career. Broten was the first American to top 100 points in a season (1985-86) and he won a Stanley Cup with the Devils (1995) before finishing with 289 goals, 923 points and enshrinement in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (2000).
9 of 20Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI
Mike Modano and this outspoken center from Boston are the only Americans to reach 400 goals and 600 assists. Now skating in his 19th season, Roenick is on the threshold of becoming only the third American to join the 500-goal club. The seven-time All-Star was the eighth overall pick by Chicago in 1988 and had successive 50-goal seasons while powering the Blackhawks to the 1992 Cup Final.
10 of 20Lou Capozzola/SI
The rugged power forward from St. Albans, Vt., was a four-year star at the University of Vermont. Drafted by Montreal in 1987, he scored two game-winning goals in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final, won by the Canadiens. Best known as a member of the Flyers' Legion of Doom line, LeClair scored 51 goals in 1995-96 on his way to becoming the first American to record three 50 campaigns.
11 of 20Ian Tomlinson/Getty Images
The Minnesota blueliner hit the NHL with the Sabres right out of St. Paul High School in 1982. Over the course of 21 seasons he became America's all-time leading scorer (1,232 points) while skating for eight teams. The seven-time All-Star had a seven 20-plus goal seasons, including a career-high of 31 in 1983-84 and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
12 of 20Steve Babineau/Getty Images
Yes, the hardworking defensive defenseman was born in Taiwan by virtue of his dad's military career, but he grew up in Randolph, Mass., where he began playing hockey at age 13. A star at the University of New Hampshire, Langway later won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1979. Traded to Washington in '82, the U.S. and Hockey Hall of Famer won two Norris Trophies before retiring in 1998.
13 of 20Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Injuries plagued and cut short the brilliant career of this flashy center, who was born in St. Louis but raised in Detroit. Drafted third overall by the Islanders in 1983, he scored 468 goals and 1,013 points in 15 seasons, which included a streak of six 40-plus goal campaigns for New York and Buffalo. He was inducted into the U.S. and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
14 of 20Lou Capozzola/SI
A standout at Northwood Prep in Lake Placid, N.Y., and the University of Wisconsin, Richter was taken in the second round of the 1985 draft by the Rangers. In 1994 he went 42-12-6 with a 2.57 GAA, helping end New York's 54-year Cup drought. The three-time All-Star retired in 2003 with 301 wins and a 2.89 GAA.
15 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
The netminder from Stowe, Mass., entered the NHL out of high school at age 18 and promptly won the Calder and Vezina trophies with a 26-12-3, 2.84 GAA slate for Buffalo in 1983-84. He later backstopped the Penguins to two Stanley Cups and became the first American goalie to reach 300 career wins. He retired in 2003 with a total of 369.
16 of 20AP
Nicknamed "Mr. Zero" for the 40 shutouts in his career total of 252 wins, Brimsek was the pride of Eleveth, Minn. Known to nonchalantly lean against his net as shooters rushed him, Brimsek won the Calder Trophy in 1938-39 with 33 wins and a 1.56 GAA and backstopped the Bruins to the Stanley Cup -- the first of the two that went along with his pair of Vezinas and 2.69 GAA. His career was interrupted by a military stint, but he resides in the U.S. (1975) and the Hockey Hall of Fame ('66).
17 of 20Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
A product of Hell's Kitchen in New York City, Mullen started in roller hockey, blossomed at Boston College, and finished with 502 NHL goals, a career record that was eclipsed by Mike Modano last March. With six 40-goal seasons, including 51 in 1988-89, Mullen stands as the first American to rack up 500 tallies and 1,000 points. He won two Cups with the Penguins (1991, '92) and was inducted into the U.S. ('98) and Hockey Hall of Fame (2000).
18 of 20Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images
Born in Livonia, Mich., where he began playing at age 7, Modano was the top overall pick of 1988, by the Minnesota North Stars. The veteran center has had nine 30-plus goal seasons (including 50 in 1993-94) for the franchise, and is now the NHL's all-time leader in goals and points among American-born players. He also boasts a Cup (1999) and six All-Star appearances.
19 of 20Lou Capozzola/SI
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but schooled in New England (Avon and Cheshire, Conn; Boston College), the offensively-gifted blueliner won the 1988-89 Calder Trophy with the Rangers. In 1994 he became the first American to win the Conn Smythe, the leading playoff scorer as New York won its first Stanley Cup since 1940. The nine-time All-Star retired last May with 1,028 points.
20 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
The 45-year-old backline stalwart is an NHL sea turtle, now playing his 24th season. Born in Chicago, Chelios was a standout at Wisconsin before launching his NHL career, which includes more than 900 points, 11 All-Star appearances, three Norris Trophies and two Stanley Cups.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!