With the 2022 Winter Olympics quickly approaching, let’s take a moment to reminisce about some of the greatest Olympic hockey players of all-time. It’s one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics and features some of the most talented hockey players in the entire world.
Ice hockey has been a mainstay at the Winter Olympics since 1924, though it originally made its debut at the 1920 Summer Olympics. Since then, it has become the most anticipated and watched sport at the Winter Olympics, with millions of people from around the world tuning in.
This year’s Winter Olympics are a little different than in year’s past, largely due to the absence of NHL players. That means a majority of the countries will be without their best talent, but don’t let that fool you – we’re still in for some incredible and exciting Olympic hockey this year.
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Who Are the Best Olympic Hockey Players Ever?
Olympic hockey players are asked to put it all on the line for their country. While there are three medals at stake, there’s only one that’s deemed as the ultimate prize and that’s the gold medal. The silver and bronze are an honor to win, but there’s nothing quite like winning that gold medal.
We all know that Canada, the United States, the USSR, and Sweden are the four countries that always seem to dominate at the Winter Olympics – they own a combined 59 of the possible 90 medals since 1920. Canada is the true player here, with 13 gold medals and 22 total medals.
With that said, it’s no surprise that some of the best Olympic hockey players of all-time have come from one of those four countries. Some of the names are household names that enjoyed incredible careers in the NHL, but other names aren’t talked about quite as much – until now!
20. Marián Hossa – Slovakia
Marián Hossa played for Slovakia in the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics. He appeared in a total of 19 Olympic hockey games, recording 14 goals and 14 assists. His 28 career Olympic points ranks 13th all-time in Olympic hockey history. He was a right-winger.
Although Hossa never led his country to a podium finish, he came close in 2006 (fifth place) and 2010 (fourth place). That 2010 finish was a tough one – Hossa finished with one goal and one assist in the bronze medal game, but lost to Finland 3-5. He also played 19 years in the NHL.
19. Pavel Datsyuk – Russia
Pavel Datsyuk played for Russia in the 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 Winter Olympics. Although he’s currently a free agent in the NHL, he’s not expected to play in the 2022 Olympics, marking the first time since 1998 that the Russian national team will be without their center.
Datsyuk has appeared in 29 Olympic hockey games since 2002, scoring 5 goals and dishing 21 assists – his 26 points ranks 21st in Olympic history. After placing in third, fourth, sixth, and fifth place in his first four Olympic games, he finally helped Russia win a gold medal in 2018.
18. Daniel Alfredsson – Sweden
Daniel Alfredsson represented Team Sweden at the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 26 Olympic hockey games, recording 13 goals and 14 assists in that time – his 27 Olympic points ranks 16th all-time in Olympic history. He was a right-winger.
Alfredsson helped lead Sweden to a fifth place finish in his first two Olympic Games. In 2006, Sweden surprised everyone with a gold medal finish before placing in fifth once again in 2010. Alfredsson came close to his second gold medal in 2014, but lost to Canada and took silver.
17. Pavel Bure – Russia
Known as the ‘Russian Rocket,’ Pavel Bure represented Team Russia at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 12 games, recording 11 goals and one assist in that time – his 12 points ranks 161st all-time in Olympic history. He was a right-winger known for his speed.
Bure took the world by storm in 1998 when he recorded nine goals en route to a silver medal finish. He led all scorers that tournament, highlighted by his five-goal game in the semifinal against Finland. He returned in 2002 and helped lead the Russians to a bronze medal finish.
16. Saku Koivu – Finland
Saku Koivu played for Team Finland at the 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 28 Olympic hockey games, recording 9 goals and 21 assists in that time – his 30 Olympic points currently ranks 10th all-time in the Olympics. He played the center position.
Although Koivu doesn’t have a gold medal to his name, he does have three bronze medals and one silver medal. He won a medal in every Olympics that he appeared in and was a big reason why Finland was so dominant between 1998 and 2010 – that’s why they named him captain.
15. Nicklas Lidström – Sweden
Nicklas Lidström represented Team Sweden at the 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympics. He was Alfredsson’s teammate and captain during that time and appeared in 20 games – recording four goals and 10 assists in that time. He was a quality defenseman.
With fifth-place finishes in 1998, 2002, and 2010, Lidström helped lead Sweden to a gold medal in 2006. That year, he finished with two goals and four assists in eight games, marking the only time he scored more than one goal in the Olympics. His 14 Olympic points ranks 133rd all-time.
14. Erich Kühnhackl – Germany
Erich Kühnhackl played for Team Germany at the 1972, 1976, and 1984 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 17 Olympic hockey games, recording 16 goals and 15 assists in that time – his 31 points currently ranks seventh all-time in Olympic history. He played the center position.
Kühnhackl is widely regarded as one of Germany’s all-time greats in the hockey and sport world. He helped lead the team to a bronze medal in 1976, though they failed to finish at the podium the other two years. In 1976, he finished the tournament with five goals and five assists.
13. Valeri Kharlamov – Soviet Union (USSR)
Valeri Kharlamov was a 5’8’’ forward that represented the Soviet Union at the 1972, 1976, and 1980 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 18 games for the USSR, recording 15 goals and 21 assists in that time – his 36 points currently ranks fourth all-time in Olympic history.
Kharlamov helped lead the USSR to two golds and one silver between 1972-1980. He would’ve achieved much more than that, but was killed in a car accident in 1981 – just one year after his silver medal finish. The NHL’s Kharlamov Award is given to the league’s best Russian player.
12. Ilya Kovalchuk – Russia
Ilya Kovalchuk represented Team Russia at the 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 Winter Olympics. Although he won’t compete in 2022, he was named GM of the Russian national team. As a player, he appeared in 29 Olympic hockey games and recorded 14 goals and 7 assists.
Kovalchuk’s 21 Olympic points currently ranks 40th in Olympic history. After placing third, fourth, fifth, and sixth in his first four Olympic games, he finally led the Russians to a gold medal finish in 2018. That year, he was named MVP of the tournament with five goals and two assists.
11. Peter Forsberg – Sweden
Peter Forsberg played for Team Sweden at the 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympics. He is credited with one of the most famous goals in Olympic history when he scored the game-winning shootout goal against Team Canada en route to Sweden’s first ever gold medal.
In his four Olympic appearances, Forsberg played in 22 games, scored three goals, and dished 17 assists. His 20 points currently ranks 62nd all-time. After winning the gold medal in 1994, Sweden finished in fifth place in 1998 before winning yet another gold medal in 2006 in Turin.
10. Dieter Hegen – Germany
Dieter Hegen represented Team Germany at the 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympics. He was the pride of Germany in the 1980’s and 1990’s, though his team was never able to accomplish a podium finish. His best finish was fifth place in both 1984 and 1988.
In his five Olympic appearances, Hegen played in 33 games and recorded 16 goals and 7 assists. His 23 points currently ranks 29th all-time in Olympic history and he’s one of just six Olympic hockey players to play in at least 30 games. He played the left wing position.
9. Jaromír Jágr – Czech Republic
Jaromír Jágr represented Team Czech Republic at the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics. He came close to that 30-game milestone, appearing in 28 Olympic hockey games in his career. He recorded nine goals, 14 assists, and 23 points – ranks 34th all-time.
Jágr began his Olympic career with a bang, leading his team to a gold medal finish in 1998. He then placed fifth in 2002 before returning to the podium with a bronze medal finish in 2006. His final two Olympic appearances didn’t go as planned, but he didn’t have the best supporting cast.
8. Henrik Lundqvist – Sweden
Henrik Lundqvist is the first goalie featured on this list. He represented Team Sweden at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics. He appeared in 15 games over those three years and only lost three of those games – his 12 career Olympic wins currently ranks second all-time.
Lundqvist’s best performance came in 2006, his first Olympic appearance. He helped lead Sweden to a gold medal finish against Finland. He went 5-1 that year and only allowed 12 goals. After a fifth place finish in 2010, he returned to the podium in 2014 with a silver medal finish.
7. Peter Šťastný – Czechoslovakia/Slovakia
Peter Šťastný represented Czechoslovakia at the 1980 Winter Olympics, but returned 14 years later to represent Slovakia at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Although he only appeared in two Olympics and never had a podium finish, he was dominant in every Olympic game he played.
Šťastný appeared in 14 Olympic hockey games, recording 12 goals and 11 assists in that time. His 23 points currently ranks 32nd all-time. He had seven goals and seven assists for Team Czechoslovakia in 1980, then five goals and 4 assists for Team Slovakia in 1994.
6. Harry Watson – Canada
Harry Watson is a name that doesn’t get brought up much, but it should. He represented Team Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics – the first ever Winter Olympics. Although he has only played in five Olympic Hockey games, he recorded 37 goals – the most by any player all-time.
In case you read that wrong, Watson scored 37 GOALS in FIVE GAMES, which comes out to more than seven goals per game. Of course, the game was much different back then and competition wasn’t as fierce, but it goes to show just how advanced Team Canada was in 1924.
5. Viacheslav Fetisov – Soviet Union (USSR)
Viacheslav Fetisov represented the Soviet Union (USSR) at the 1980, 1984, and 1988 Winter Olympics. In 22 career Olympic hockey games, Fetisov recorded 12 goals, 21 assists, and 33 points – which currently ranks fifth all-time. For a defenseman, that’s pretty darn incredible.
After leading his team to a silver medal finish at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Fetisov led the Soviet Union to two-straight gold medals in 1984 and 1988. He returned to the team in 2002 as General Manager and Head Coach, leading the team to a bronze medal finish.
4. Dominik Hašek – Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic
Dominik Hašek is the second goalie to be featured on this list and for good reason. He played for Czechoslovakia at the 1988 Winter Olympics before representing the Czech Republic at the 1998, 2002, and 2006 Winter Olympics. He’s one of the greatest goalies of all-time.
Hašek appeared in 16 games for his country and went 9-5-1 over that span. His nine wins currently ranks sixth all-time. After placing sixth at the 1988 Winter Olympics, Hasek went 5-1 in 1998 to lead the Czech Republic to a gold medal finish. He also won a bronze medal in 2006.
3. Vlastimil Bubník – Czechoslovakia
Vlastimil Bubník represented Team Czechoslovakia at the 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964 Winter Olympics. After finishing in fourth, fifth, and fourth place in his first three Olympic appearances, he helped lead Czechoslovakia to a bronze medal finish in his final appearance in 1964.
Bubník appeared in 28 Olympic hockey games in his career and recorded 22 goals and 15 assists in that time. His 37 points is currently the third-most all-time. Believe it or not, he also played professional football (soccer), scoring four goals in 11 international appearances.
2. Vladislav Tretiak – Soviet Union (USSR)
Vladislav Tretiak represented the Soviet Union (USSR) at the 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984 Winter Olympics. The Soviets were difficult to stop with him in net, winning three gold medals and one silver medal with him on the roster. He’s the greatest Olympic goalie of all-time.
Tretiak was so dominant that he appeared in 18 games and went 16-0, never losing a game. His 16 wins is the most of any goalie in Olympic history and did so by allowing just 1.92 goals per game. He was Russia’s GM in 2010 and is the president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia.
1. Teemu Selänne – Finland
Teemu Selänne is the greatest Olympic hockey player of all-time. He represented Team Finland at the 1992, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics. He’s the only hockey player to appear in six different Olympics and holds the record for most games with 37 games played.
That’s not the only Olympic hockey record he owns. He also has the most points in Olympic history, recording 24 goals and 19 assists (43 points) between 1992 and 2014. The only thing he didn’t accomplish was a gold medal, but he does have three bronze and one silver medal.
Olympic Hockey Players to Watch in 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has ruined a lot of things in the past few years and the 2022 Winter Olympics are no different. While the Winter Olympics are still happening this year and ice hockey will certainly be a part of it, there will be absolutely no NHL players on the ice.
The NHL made the announcement in December and it was met with a lot of criticism from diplomatic officials, players, coaches, and fans. Without the world’s best talent, the rosters will look a lot different than what many people expected and it won’t be as enjoyable as year’s past.
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With that said, we’ll get to see a lot of the best young talent. Team USA and Team Canada have already announced their rosters and they include Owen Power, Mason MacTavish, Devan Dubnyk, Tyler Wotherspoon, Brian O’Neill, Nathan Smith, Strauss Mann, and Jake Sanderson.
25 Best American Hockey Players of All-Time
The best American hockey players of all-time will forever be remembered for their efforts on the ice. They represented their country better than anyone else, proved they belonged in the best league in the world, and will go down as some of the greatest players to ever skate in the NHL.
Although the NHL is largely based in the United States, a strong majority of players in the league weren’t born in the United States. For example, only 186 active and current NHL players were born in the United States — which is just over 25% of all NHL players in the league today.
And that’s largely been the case over the history of the NHL. It’s a sport that’s largely been dominated by foreign players, but that doesn’t mean the United States hasn’t produced its fair share of great players. In fact, the US has produced some of the most revered NHL players.
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Who Are the Best American Hockey Players Ever?
Every now and then, we witness an American-born player enter the NHL and put the league on notice with their skill, talent, leadership, intelligence, and complete dominance. These players are usually the ones we see representing Team USA at the Olympics every four years.
They bring honor and respect to the country they call home and embody everything this country is built on. With all the foreign players who have showcased their skill in the NHL, it’s the best American hockey players that will forever hold a special place in the hearts of American fans.
When you think of the best American hockey players ever, there are probably a few names that come to mind immediately — don’t worry, we’re all thinking of the same people. In fact, we’re going to list out 25 best American hockey players of all-time — so let’s get started!
25. RW Phil Kessel
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin
Seasons: 2006-present (16 seasons)
Teams: Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes
Career Stats: 1,127 games, 391 goals, 516 assists, 907 points, 247 blocked shots, 19:45 average time on ice
Phil Kessel was drafted fifth overall by the Boston Bruins in 2006 and made his debut that same season. He has been as consistent as anyone over the past 13 years, scoring more than 20 goals in 12 of those seasons and above 30 goals in six of them. He’s also a two-time champion.
24. G Tom Barrasso
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Seasons: 1983-2003 (19 seasons)
Teams: Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues
Career Stats: 777 games, 369-277-86 record, 19,695 saves, .892 save percentage, 3.24 goals against average
Tom Barrasso was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres with the fifth overall pick in 1983. He made an immediate impact on the team, winning more than 20 games in four of his first five seasons in the NHL. He went on to do that 11 times in his career, including a career-high 43 wins in 1992.
23. RW T.J. Oshie
Birthplace: Everett, Washington
Seasons: 2008-present (14 seasons)
Teams: St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals
Career Stats: 861 games, 261 goals, 351 assists, 612 points, 597 blocks, 18:32 average time on ice
T.J. Oshie was drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 24th overall pick of the 2005 draft, but didn’t make his first start until the 2008-09 season. He scored 70 goals in his first five seasons and more than 20 goals in six of the last eight seasons — including a career-high 33 in 2016.
22. G Ryan Miller
Birthplace: East Lansing, Michigan
Seasons: 2002-2021 (18 seasons)
Teams: Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues
Career Stats: 796 games, 391-289-88 record, 21,665 saves, .914 save percentage, 2.64 goals against average
Ryan Miller was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round of the 1999 draft and made his debut in 2002. His .914 save percentage ranks ninth among American goalies, but his 391 wins ranks first. He won 40+ games in two different seasons, including a career-high 41 wins in 2009.
21. C Mark Johnson
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Seasons: 1979-1990 (11 seasons)
Teams: New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Minnesota North Stars, St. Louis Blues
Career Stats: 669 games, 203 goals, 305 assists, 508 points, 19 game-winning shots, 658 shots on goal
Mark Johnson was a fourth round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1977 and made his debut during the 1979 season. He helped lead Team USA to a Gold medal in 1980 and was one of the star players during the ‘Miracle on Ice’ game. He scored a career-high 35 goals in 1983.
20. D Mark Howe
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
Seasons: 1979-1995 (16 seasons)
Teams: Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings
Career Stats: 929 games, 197 goals, 545 assists, 742 points, 23 game winning goals, 2,132 shots
Six years prior to joining the NHL, Mark Howe was lighting up the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1973-1979. He scored 208 goals over that span as a defender. He would carry that success over into the NHL, scoring the 30th-most points by an American-born NHL player.
19. D John Carlson
Birthplace: Natick, Massachusetts
Seasons: 2009-present (13 seasons)
Teams: Washington Capitals
Career Stats: 814 games, 115 goals, 409 assists, 524 points, 1,575 blocks, 23:24 average time on ice
John Carlson was selected 27th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2008 and made his debut the following season. He led the league in points by a defenseman in 2017 and 2019, and has been in the top-five the past four years. He recorded a career-high 60 assists in 2019.
18. RW Joe Pavelski
Birthplace: Plover, Wisconsin
Seasons: 2006-present (16 seasons)
Teams: San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars
Career Stats: 1,091 games, 395 goals, 450 assists, 845 points, 809 blocks, 18:53 average time on ice
Joe Pavelski is as consistent as they come, scoring more than 20 goals 11 times out of the past 15 years — including more than 30 goals four times and a career-high 41 goals in 2013. He makes the most of his minutes and currently has the 16th most points by an American player.
17. RW Tony Amonte
Birthplace: Hingham, Massachusetts
Seasons: 1991-2007 (15 seasons)
Teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes
Career Stats: 1,174 games, 416 goals, 484 assists, 900 points, 58 game winning goals, 3,260 shots
Tony Amonte was drafted in the fourth round in 1988, which was a steal considering he scored 35 goals in his rookie year (1991) and 33 goals in his sophomore season. He would go on to score more than 30 goals in eight different seasons, including more than 40 goals three times.
16. G Mike Richter
Birthplace: Abington, Pennsylvania
Seasons: 1989-2003 (14 seasons)
Teams: New York Rangers
Career Stats: 666 games, 301-258-73 record, 17,379 saves, .904 save percentage, 2.89 goals against average
Mike Richter is one of five American goalies to record more than 300 wins in their career. His .904 save percentage and 2.89 goals against average rank in the top-35 among American goalies. The second round draft pick spent his entire 14-year career with the New York Rangers.
15. RW Bill Guerrin
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts
Seasons: 1991-2010 (18 seasons)
Teams: New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues
Career Stats: 1,263 games, 429 goals, 427 assists, 856 points, 77 game-winning goals, 3,693 shots
Bill Guerin was drafted fifth overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1989 and made his debut three seasons later. After a slow start to his career, he would eventually score more than 40 goals in back-to-back years from 2000-2002. His 429 goals ranks seventh among American players.
14. C Neal Broten
Birthplace: Roseau, Minnesota
Seasons: 1980-1997 (17 seasons)
Teams: Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings
Career Stats: 1,099 games, 289 goals, 684 assists, 923 points, 34 game-winning goals, 2,313 shots
Neal Broten was drafted in the second round in 1979 and made his NHL debut the following season. He wouldn’t see regular playing time until 1981 and made the most of it, scoring a career-high 38 goals that season. His 634 career assists ranks 10th among American players.
13. G Frank Brimsek
Birthplace: Eveleth, Minnesota
Seasons: 1938-1950 (10 seasons)
Teams: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks
Career Stats: 514 games, 252-182-80 record, 40 shutouts, 1,403 goals against, 2.70 goals against average
Frank Brimsek is a Hall of Fame goalie, two-time Stanley Cup winner, eight-time All-Star, two-time Vezina Trophy winner, and also won the Calder Memorial Trophy. He won 64 games in his first two years in the league and had 252 career wins, despite only playing 10 seasons.
12. RW Joe Mullen
Birthplace: New York, New York
Seasons: 1981-1997 (16 seasons)
Teams: Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins
Career Stats: 1,062 games, 502 goals, 561 assists, 1,063 points, 73 game-winning goals, 2,787 shots
Joe Mullen was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2000 following an illustrious career, which included three Stanley Cup championships and two Lady Byng Memorial Trophy wins. He’s one of five American players to score more than 500 goals and his 561 career assists ranks 13th.
11. LW Keith Tkachuk
Birthplace: Melrose, Massachusetts
Seasons: 1991-2010 (18 seasons)
Teams: Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers
Career Stats: 1,201 games, 538 goals, 527 assists, 1,065 points, 72 game-winning goals, 3,530 shots
Keith Tkachuk was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets with the 27th overall pick in 1990. He scored 94 goals in his first four years in the NHL, but followed that up with 50 goals in 1995 and a career-high 52 goals in 1996. His 538 goals ranks third among American-born NHL players.
10. G Jonathan Quick
Birthplace: Milford, Connecticut
Seasons: 2007-present (15 seasons)
Teams: Los Angeles Kings
Career Stats: 669 games, 336-251-70 record, 16,400 saves, .913 save percentage, 2.41 goals against average
Jonathan Quick was a third round draft choice for the Los Angeles Kings and has proved to be a valuable one — spending his entire 15-year career with the team thus far. He won 33 or more games six times in his career and his 336 career wins ranks fourth among American goalies.
9. C Jeremy Roenick
Birthplace: Boston Massachusetts
Seasons: 1988-2009 (20 seasons)
Teams: Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings
Career Stats: 1,363 games, 513 goals, 703 assists, 1,216 points, 92 game-winning goals, 3,281 shots
Jeremy Roenick is one of five American players to score more than 500 goals, one of six American players to record more than 700 assists, and his 1,216 career points ranks fourth among American players. He scored 50+ goals in back-to-back seasons in 1991 and 1992.
8. D Brian Leetch
Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas
Seasons: 1987-2006 (18 seasons)
Teams: New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins
Career Stats: 1,205 games, 247 goals, 781 assists, 1,028 points, 38 game-winning goals, 3,640 shots
Brian Leetch was the Rangers’ ninth overall draft choice in 1986 and it paid off. He scored more than 20 goals four times in his career and more than 50 assists six times. His 781 assists ranks third among American players and he’s one of ten American players with 1,000+ points.
7. C Jack Eichel
Birthplace: North Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Seasons: 2015-present (6 seasons)
Teams: Buffalo Sabres
Career Stats: 375 games, 139 goals, 216 assists, 355 points, 25 game-winning goals, 1,324 shots, 203 blocks, 20:19 average time on ice
Jack Eichel hasn’t been in the league very long, but has proven to be one of the most talented players in the game right now. He has never scored less than 24 goals in a full season and is nearly averaging a point per game. If he’s traded anytime soon, his numbers should improve.
6. C Auston Matthews
Birthplace: San Ramon, California
Seasons: 2016-present (6 seasons)
Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs
Career Stats: 338 games, 200 goals, 152 assists, 352 points, 35 game-winning goals, 1,248 shots, 290 blocks, 19:15 average time on ice
Auston Matthews is off to one of the best starts to his career the NHL has ever seen. Despite only being in the league six years, he has already scored 200 career goals and 152 assists. Through his first five years, he scored more than 40 goals three times, including 47 in 2019.
5. D Phil Housley
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minnesota
Seasons: 1982-2003 (21 seasons)
Teams: Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs
Career Stats: 1,495 games, 338 goals, 894 assists, 1,232 points, 49 game-winning goals, 3,808 shots
No American player has ever recorded more career assists than Phil Housley. The former sixth overall pick scored more than 20 goals in seven different seasons and more than 40 assists in 13 different seasons. He currently has the third-most career points among American players.
4. D Chris Chelios
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Seasons: 1983-2010 (26 seasons)
Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Atlanta Thrashers
Career Stats: 1,651 games, 185 goals, 763 assists, 948 points, 31 game-winning goals, 3,627 shots
No American player has played more games in their career than Chris Chelios — who played 1,651 games in a 26-year career. In fact, that number ranks eighth among all NHL players. He didn’t score often (185 goals), but his 763 career assists ranks fourth among American players.
3. RW Patrick Kane
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York
Seasons: 2007-present (15 seasons)
Teams: Chicago Blackhawks
Career Stats: 1,034 games, 405 goals, 688 assists, 1,093 points, 65 game-winning goals, 3,421 shots, 217 blocks, 20:12 average time on ice
Patrick Kane helped the Chicago Blackhawks return to dominance, winning the Stanley Cup three times in his 15-year career. He has been one of the most consistent players in the league, scoring more than 20 goals from 2007-2019 — including a career-high 46 goals in 2015-16.
2. C Pat LaFontaine
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Seasons: 1983-1998 (15 seasons)
Teams: New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers
Career Stats: 865 games, 468 goals, 545 assists, 1,013 points, 59 game-winning goals, 2,664 shots
Pat LaFontaine was the third overall pick by the Islanders in 1983. He scored more than 40 goals in six straight seasons from 1987-1992, scoring 286 goals over that time. His 468 career goals ranks sixth among Americans and he’s one of ten Americans with more than 1,000 points.
1. C Mike Modano
Birthplace: Livonia, Michigan
Seasons: 1989-2011 (21 seasons)
Teams: Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings
Career Stats: 1,499 games, 561 goals, 813 assists, 1,374 points, 92 game-winning goals, 4,273 shots
Mike Modano was the first overall pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988 and he proved why, becoming one of the best American hockey players of all-time. He ranks second among American players in goals, assists, and points. He scored a career-high 50 goals in 1993-94.
Who Are the Best American Hockey Players Right Now?
Of the 25 best American hockey players listed above, seven of them were born in the state of Massachusetts. The only other states with multiple players are Minnesota with four players, Michigan with three players, and New York and Wisconsin both have two players.
That means 18 of the 25 best American hockey players were born in one of four states — which is incredible to think about. In fact, those same four states continue to produce some of the best American hockey players in the league right now and have some of the best hockey colleges.
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We mentioned some of the best American hockey players in the NHL right now in the list above — including Eichel, Matthews, Kane, Quick, Pavelski, Carlson, Oshie, and Kessel.
Some of the other best American hockey players right now include Quinn Hughes, Connor Hellebuyck, Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Kyle Connor, Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, and Zach Parise.
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