Over the course of its history, the NHL has showcased the talents of hockey players from all over the world.
Let’s take a look at my Top Five European Players to play in the NHL.
5. Teemu Selanne:
“The Finnish Flash” played a total of 1,451 games, and scored a total of 684 goals and 773 assists for a total of 1,457 points.
Winning the Calder in 1993 as Rookie of the Year, Selanne instantly made an impact in the NHL a member of the Winnipeg Jets.
After being traded to Anaheim, Selanne continued his impressive run, playing in 10 All-Star Games, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy in 1999 as the league’s leading goal scorer, and most importantly, bringing a Stanley Cup to the city of Anaheim in 2007 by defeating the Ottawa Senators,
4. Jari Kurri:
Coming over from Finland, Kurri joined Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers, winning total of five Stanley Cups with Edmonton.
Kurri played a total of 1,251 games, scored 601 goals, and had 797 assists for a total of 1,398 points.
Add to that nine All-Star Games, and a Rocket Richard Trophy in 1986 as the league’s leading scorer.
3. Stan Mikita:
Born in Slovak Republic, Mikita would move to Ontario as a young boy as his family escaped the Communist controlled Czechoslovakia.
Mikita would play an instrumental role in Chicago’s success in the sixties, including a Stanley Cup in 1961.
He would go on to play a total of 1,394 games, scoring 541 goals, and 926 assists for 1,467 points, while making a name for himself as a physical player at the same time.
Add to that nine All-Star Games, four Art Ross Trophies for league’s most points, and two Hart Memorial Trophies as the league’s MVP.
Most impressively, Stan Mikita is the only player in NHL history to win the Lady Byng, Hart Memorial, and Art Ross Trophies in the same year; he did so back-to-back years in 1967, and 1968.
Not bad for a player who played against Gordie Howe much of his career.
2. Nicklas Lidstrom:
The Swedish Defenseman served as the face of the Detroit Red Wings for several seasons playing total of 1,564 games all in Detroit.
As a Defenseman, Lidstrom recorded 264 goals, and 878 assists for a total of 1,142 points.
Lidstrom played in 12 All-Star games, along with being awarded the Norris Trophy for Best Defenseman of the Year seven times.
Along with his individual accomplishments, Lidstrom also helped Detroit win four Stanley Cups, and was awarded the Conn Smythe in 2002 as Playoff’s MVP.
1. Jaromir Jagr:
Born in the Czech Republic, Jagr was a revolutionary player to the NHL playing in a total of 1,733 games.
Jagr instantly made an impact once he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mario Lemieux in 1990.
The dynamic duo would bring two Stanley Cups (back-to-back) to the city of Pittsburgh, however after that Jagr played on his fair share of NHL teams, nine to be exact.
Over the course of his career Jagr scored 766 goals, and 1,155 assists for a total of 1.921 points.
Jagr also played in 13 All-Star Games, won five Art Ross Trophies, and a Hart Memorial Trophy in 1999 as league MVP.
Jagr Stanley Cup: www.sportsnet.ca
Lidstrom Goal: www.gettyimages.com
Lidstrom Cup: www.NHL.com
Mikita Awards: www.hhof.com
Kurri Cup: www.hhof.com
Kurri Goal: www.gettyimages.com
Selanne Cup: www.ocregister.com