The Boston Bruins were the first American team in the NHL.
As the league continued to expand into the United States so did the sport of hockey.
Teams like Anaheim, San Jose, and Los Angeles have brought hockey to California, just as Tampa Bay, and the Panthers have brought hockey to Florida.
Let’s take a look at the Top Five American Born NHL Players. (Retired only)
Roenick recorded 513 goals, and 703 assists for 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.
Of those goals, 184 were power play goals, and 92 were game winning goals.
Jeremy Roenick had three 100+ point seasons in a row.
In 1992 53 goals, and 50 assists, 1993 50 goals, and 57 assists, and 1994 46 goals, and 61 assists.
Roenick also played in 9 all-star games.
Joe Mullen played in 1,062 games, and scored 502 goals, and 561 assists for 1,063 points.
The three time all-star, won a Stanley Cup in 1989 with Calgary, and then went on to win back to back Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh in 1991, and 1992.
Mullen had six 80+ point seasons, including 110 points in 1989 with 51 goals and 59 assists.
He was also awarded the Lady Byng Trophy in 1987, and 1989.
5. Chris Chelios:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Chris Chelios would be drafted 40th overall in the 1981 Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
Chelios would play 1651 games, and would score 185 goals and 763 assists.
Along with that Chelios retired with a plus-minus of 351.
The 11 time all-star recorded seven 60+ point seasons, including 73 points in 1989 and 1993.
Chelios would also be awarded the Norris Trophy as Defenseman of the Year in 1989, 1993, and 1996.
He would also be a part of three Stanley a Cup Championships, one with Montreal in 1986, and two with Detroit in 2002, and 2008.
Chris Chelios would retire after the 2010 season where he played 7 games with Atlanta.
4. Pat Lafontaine:
Growing up in Waterford, Michigan, Pat Lafontaine would be drafted 3rd overall in the 1983 Draft by the New York Islanders.
Despite his career being cut extremely short by concussions, Lafontaine still recorded 468 goals, and 545 assists in 865 games played.
Lafontaine’s 1.17 points per game is the best among American Born players to this day.
The five time all star had seven 40+ goal seasons, including 54 goals in 1990.
In 1992 he played just 57 games, yet recorded 93 points.
The next year, Lafontaine would record 53 goals, and 95 assists for a career best 148 points.
Had his career been longer, it would be insane to see what Lafontaine would have been able to accomplish.
3. Mike Modano:
Drafted first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1988 Draft, Mike Modano would play in 1499 games, scoring 561 goals, and 813 assists for 1,374 points.
Modano played in 8 all star games, and won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999.
Mike Modano would have seven 70+ point seasons in his career, including back to back 93 point seasons in 1993, and 1994.
He would even score 157 power play goals, and 92 game winning goals.
After 21 seasons in the NHL, Modano would retire in 2011 on a one day contract to retire a Dallas Star.
2. Brian Leetch:
Defenseman Brian Leetch grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut after being born in Texas.
Leetch would be drafted 9th overall in 1986 by the New York Rangers where he would spend 16 seasons.
In 1,205 games played, Brian Leetch scored 247 goals, and 781 assists for 1,028 points.
Leetch was also lethal on the power play with 111 power play goals in his career.
He would be awarded the Calder Trophy in 1989 as Rookie of the Year, and the Norris Trophy in 1992, and 1997 as Defenseman of the Year.
The Defenseman would also win a Stanley Cup in 1994, and would be awarded the Conn Smythe as Playoffs MVP as well.
Brian Leetch would have seven 70+ point seasons in his career, including a 102 point season in 1992 with 22 goals, and 80 assists.
1. Brett Hull:
Although he was born in Belleville, Ontario, Brett Hull grew up in Chicago as his father, Bobby Hull, played for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hull would have dual citizenship and would therefore be eligible to compete for the United States.
Brett Hull would be drafted 117th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1984 Draft.
He would score 741 goals, and 650 assists for 1,391 points in 1,269 games played.
Of those goals, 265 being power play goals, and 110 being game winning goals.
Hull would have three 70+ goal seasons, including 86 goals in 1991.
The eight time all-star was awarded the Ted Lindsay Award, and Hart Memorial Award in 1991 as most outstanding player, and most valuable player respectively.
Add to those individual awards the Lady Byng in 1990.
In 1999 Hull would score the controversial game winning goal in overtime to win the Stanley Cup for the Dallas Stars.
Hull would win another Stanley Cup in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings.
On October 15, 2005, Hull announced his retirement from the NHL with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Brett Hull: http://www.ushhof.com
Dallas Cup: http://www.si.com
Red Wings Cup: http://www.NHL.com
Conn Smythe: http://www.si.com
Modano Cup: http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com
Modano Dallas: http://www.imdb.com
Lafontaine NYI: http://www.NHL.com
Lafontaine Buffalo: http://www.dailyherald.com
Chelios MTL: http://www.pinterest.com
Chelios DET: http://www.usatoday.com
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