It's hard to believe that before the 1980s, there were only a handful of American-born players in the National Hockey League. The 1980 "Miracle On Ice" inspired a generation of Americans to play the game of hockey and changed the landscape of the game in the United States.
Now, American has a strong hockey tradition that is expanding beyond New England, Minnesota and Michigan.
Great American-born players continue to stream into the NHL and while it doesn't have the depth that Canada has, the United States can compete with Canada on the international stage as evidenced by their silver medal in the last Olympics in Vancouver which saw Canada go to overtime to win the gold.
So, here is a look at the top 50 American-born NHL players of all-time.
Feel free to comment on the list and name any players you feel I missed.
Tommy Williams was one of the first American-born skaters to succeed in the NHL.
After winning a gold medal with the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team, Williams joined the Boston Bruins in 1962-62. The following season, he topped the 20 goal mark for the first time in his NHL career. He spent eight seasons in Boston before moving on to the Minnesota North Stars in 1969-70 and the California Golden Seals in 1970-71.
In 1972-73, Williams signed with the New England Whalers of the WHA and was part of the league's first Avco Cup winning team.
Williams earned the nickname "The Mad Bomber" because he once joked with customs officials in Toronto that his suitcase had a bomb in it.
He rejoined the NHL in 1974-75, signing with the expansion Washington Capitals. He led the fledgling club in scoring with 22 goals and 58 points. Williams retired after the 1975-76 season, finishing his career with 161 goals and 430 points in 663 NHL games and adding 89 points in 139 games in the WHA.
Underrated Jeff Norton starred at the University of Michigan before beginning an NHL career that lasted 16 seasons and included stints with eight different NHL franchises. After representing the United States at the 1988 Olympics, he played for the Islanders, Sharks, Blues, Oilers, Lightning, Panthers, Penguins and Bruins.
Norton's best individual season came in 1992-93 with the Islanders when he scored 12 goals and 50 points. He helped the upstart Islanders reach the Eastern Conference Final that year, upsetting the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
The native of Acton, Massachusetts, was a slick passing defenseman who excelled on the power play.
He finished his NHL career with 52 goals and 384 points in 799 games.
Speedy Darren Turcotte had a successful NHL career with the Rangers, Whalers, Jets, Sharks, Blues and Predators between 1989 and 2000.
Turcotte had great speed and was able to play a variety of roles. He started his career with four straight seasons of 20-plus goals including a pair of 30 goal seasons. The Boston native played point on the power play and used his kill penalties.
Later in his career, he assumed more of a checking role and he excelled at that as well.
Turcotte finished with 195 goals and 411 points in 635 career NHL games.
Hartford native Craig Janney had a productive 12-season NHL career after playing hockey at Boston College.
Janney went from BC to the Boston Bruins where he had a pair of 20-plus goal seasons.
Janney's biggest strength was his passing and in 1992-93, he had a career-best 82 assists and 106 points for the Blues when teamed with snipers like Brendan Shanahan and Brett Hull.
Unfortunately, blood clots reduced his effectiveness and shortened his NHL career. He finished with 751 points in 760 NHL games.
Troy, New York, native Guy Hebert was the first string goalie in the early years of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks franchise.
Hebert was the first pick of the Mighty Ducks organization in the expansion draft and he didn't disappoint, remaining the club's starting netminder until the 2000-01 season when he was claimed on waivers by the New York Rangers.
Career highlights included being selected to the 1997 NHL All-Star Game and leading the Mighty Ducks to the playoffs for the first time that same season.
His best season came in 1998-99 when he won a career-high 31 games and had a 2.42 GAA and a .922 save percentage. All of those numbers were career bests.
Hebert has still started more games and made more saves than any other goalie in Ducks franchise history.
New York City native Brian Mullen had a successful NHL career after two years at the University of Wisconsin.
He topped the 20 goal mark in seven of his first NHL seasons and went on to score 260 goals and 622 points in 832 career games
Mullen played with Jets, Rangers, Sharks and Islanders and appeared in the 1989 NHL All-Star Game.
In the summer of 1993, Mullen suffered a stroke which prematurely ended his hockey career at the age of 31. He later worked for the league office after his retirement.
Ken Morrow became the first player to complete a unique accomplishment: winning an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup championship in the same year.
In 1980, Morrow was a key part of the "Miracle on Ice" team that shocked the world and won gold at Lake Placid. He then signed with the New York Islanders and helped them win the Stanley Cup roughly three months later. Morrow went on to win four straight titles with the Islanders.
The Flint, Michigan, native was a defensive defenseman but he scored clutch goals in the playoffs including an overtime game winner in the fifth and deciding game of the Islanders opening round playoff series against the Rangers in 1984.
Bad knees brought Morrow's career to a premature end in 1989. He finished his career with 17 goals and 105 points in 550 NHL games.
He presently works as the Islanders director of pro scouting and has been inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Livonia, Michigan, native Ryan Kesler has become a reliable center for the Vancouver Canucks, topping the 20 goal mark in each of the last five seasons.
His best year came in 2010-11 when he scored 41 goals and 73 points and was named to the NHL All-Star Game. He helped Vancouver win the President's Trophy with the league's best record and reach the Stanley Cup Final where they fell in seven games to the Boston Bruins. Kesler also won the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward that year and finished the year with a plus-24 rating.
Kesler was injured and was expected to miss the opening part of the 2012-13 season although the lockout may mean Kesler will be available when and if the new season gets under way.
Dave Christian was born to play hockey: his father and uncle were both members of the 1960 US Olympic team that won a gold medal at Squaw Valley.
Christian was part of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team and then started his NHL career off with a bang, scoring just seven seconds into his first NHL game with the Winnipeg Jets.
His best NHL season came in 1985-86 when he scored 41 goals and 83 points with the Washington Capitals. He was named to the 1991 NHL All-Star Game as a member of the Boston Bruins.
Christian finished with four seasons of 30 or more goals and had career totals of 340 goals and 773 points in 1,009 NHL games.
He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Detroit native Kelly Miller is one of three brothers who played hockey at Michigan State and went on to play in the NHL.
Miller was a checking forward who excelled at killing penalties for the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.
Miller scored a career high 24 goals for the Caps in 1990-91 and was a part of the Washington team that reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.
In his NHL career, Miller scored 181 goals and 463 points in 1,048 games.
He presently is an assistant coach for his alma mater in East Lansing.
Minnesota native Jon Casey had a solid NHL career after winning a pair of NCAA titles at North Dakota.
Casey helped lead the Minnesota North Stars to the Stanley Cup Final in 1991 and later played for the Bruins and Blues. He represented the North Stars at the 1993 All-Star Game.
Unfortunately for Casey, he is best remembered for allowing a highlight reel goal to Mario Lemieux in the 1991 Stanley Cup Final and Steve Yzerman's double overtime game winner in 1996 which gave the Red Wings a 1-0 win in Game 7 of their playoff series against the Blues. His fine NHL career should overshadow those two infamous goals.
Casey's NHL career lasted 12 seasons and ended in 1997.
San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski has been a consistent point producer for Team Teal since joining the club in 2006-07.
The Wisconsin native has topped the 20 goal mark in each of the last four seasons including a career-high 31 goals last season.
Pavelski was a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team that won a silver medal in Vancouver.
At 28, "Little Joe" is in his hockey prime and should be an integral part of the Sharks offense for years to come.
Defenseman Al Iafrate was best known for his booming slap shot and offensive touch. The Dearborn, Michigan, native set a record at the All-Star Skills Competition in 1993 with 105.2 mph which was not broken for 16 years.
Iafrate topped the 20 goal mark three times during his NHL career including a career-high 25 tallies and 66 points for Washington in 1992-93.
Injuries slowed down Iafrate and forced him to retire at the age of 32 while he was still in his prime.
In 799 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs, Capitals, Bruins and Sharks, Iafrate scored 152 goals and 463 points.
Tony Granato wasn't drafted until the 6th round of the 1982 NHL Draft, but the Downers Grove, Illinois, native went on to a successful 13-year, NHL career that included stints with the Rangers, Kings and Sharks.
Granato had good scoring touch and topped the 30-goal mark in four different seasons. He played in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game and won the Bill Masterton Trophy that same year for dedication to hockey.
Granato burst into the league, scoring 36 goals as a rookie and being named to the All-Rookie Team. Despite standing just 5'10" and weighing 185, Granato was not afraid to play a physical style. He accumulated 140 penalty minutes as a rookie and topped 100 penalty minutes in a season seven times during his NHL career.
In 774 NHL games, Granato scored 248 goals and 492 points. After his playing career ended, Granato became a coach with Colorado and Pittsburgh.
Today, he is best known as the brother of Cammi Granato, one of the first women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ed Olczyk had five NHL seasons which saw him top the 30 goal mark in a season including a career-best 42 with Toronto in 1987-88.
The Chicago native broke into the league with his home town Blackhawks and later played for Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Rangers, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
In 1994, he was a member of the Rangers Stanley Cup winning team.
After his playing career, Olczyk stayed close to the game of hockey, becoming a coach and later a broadcaster.
He finished his NHL career with 342 goals and 794 points in 1,031 games and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Massachusetts native Bobby Carpenter burst onto the NHL scene in 1981 after being the third overall choice of the Washington Capitals that summer. He was the first American to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft.
Carpenter scored 27 or more goals in each of his first five NHL seasons including a career-best 53 goals and 95 points in 1984-85 that made him the first American-born NHL player to eclipse the 50 goal mark.
Unfortunately, Carpenter clashed with his head coach in Washington and as his ice time and production dwindled, he was dealt to the New York Rangers.
His offensive production was never quite the same, but he did become a solid checking center capable of adding the occasional goal when called upon.
Carpenter won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995 before retiring at the end of the 1998-99 season.
In his NHL career, Carpenter finished with 320 goals and 728 points in 1,178 games.
Alaska's Scott Gomez has been a talented playmaking center for most of his NHL career. Gomez's skating and pinpoint passing were his best assets over the course of his career.
Gomez won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1999-2000 when he had 51 assists and 70 points for New Jersey.
He played in two NHL All-Star Games and helped the Devils win a pair of Stanley Cup titles before signing with the Rangers as a free agent. After a strong first season on Broadway, his production dipped and he was dealt to Montreal. Each subsequent year with the Habs his point total has gone down.
His best season came in 2005-06 when he scored 33 goals and 84 points for New Jersey.
So far, Gomez has scored 169 goals and 686 points in 902 career NHL games.
Minnesota native Jason Blake has scored more than 20 goals in five different seasons including a career-best 40 goals for the New York Islanders in 2006-07.
Blake represented the Islanders at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game and won the Masterton Trophy for dedication to hockey after playing with a treatable form of Leukemia.
He has played for the Kings, Islanders, Maple Leafs and Ducks over the course of his NHL career and has scored 213 goals and 486 points in 871 games.
Blake is unsigned as of the start of the lockout and will be a free agent once hockey resumes.
Big Kevin Stevens stood 6'3" and weighed 230 pounds and was the prototypical NHL power forward in the early 1990s.
The Brockton, Massachusetts, native's best years came while playing on a line with Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh. He had back-to-back 50 goal seasons with the Penguins and was a part of Stanley Cup winning teams in 1991 and 1992.
In 1991-92, Stevens scored 54 goals and a career-best 123 points which was the most points ever scored by an American in a single season up until that point.
Stevens is also one of only four players in NHL history to score 50 goals and to accumulate more than 200 penalty minutes in a single season.
After leaving Pittsburgh, Stevens played for the Bruins, Rangers, Kings and Flyers before returning to the Penguins to close out his NHL career.
In 874 NHL games, Stevens scored 329 goals and had 726 points.
Steady Mathieu Schneider played for 10 NHL teams over 22 seasons between 1988 and 2010. The New York native played for the Canadiens, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Kings, Red Wings, Ducks, Thrashers, Canucks and Coyotes during his stay in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup title with Montreal in 1993.
Schneider played in two NHL All-Star Games and had a career-high 21 goals and 59 points for Detroit in 2005-06.
He finished his career with 223 goals and 743 assists in 1,289 NHL games.
A quick look at Jamie Langenbrunner's statistics may not look all that impressive, but the 37-year-old Minnesotan has made a career of scoring goals in the clutch. 12 times in his career, Langenbrunner has scored playoff game winning goals including four overtime game winners.
Langenbrunner also adds leadership qualities. He has served as captain of the New Jersey Devils and of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team that took home a silver medal in Vancouver.
Goal scoring was never Langenbrunner's forte. He has only had two 20 goal seasons in the NHL, but his defense, checking and all-around game make him a valuable part of any team he's played for. He has been a part of two Stanley Cup-winning teams, once with Dallas and once with New Jersey.
In 1,105 NHL games, Langenbrunner has scored 243 goals and 662 points while adding 87 points in 146 playoff games.
Connecticut native Chris Drury had a unique accomplishment in 1998 and 1999, he became the first player ever to win the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey and the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Drury was a solid, two-way center and had nine seasons of 20 goals or more including a career-high 37 goals and 69 points in 2006-07. He was known as a clutch player who often came up with key goals in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Drury also served as captain of both the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers during his NHL career although he won his only Stanley Cup title with the Colorado Avalanche.
He represented the United States at the Olympics three times, in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
Injuries forced Drury to retire after the 2010-11 season. He finished his NHL career with 255 goals and 615 points in 892 games.
The best is yet to come for big Bobby Ryan. The native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey is only 25-years-old but he's already scored more than 30 goals in each of his four NHL seasons.
Despite his youth, Ryan was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team and won a silver medal in Vancouver after scoring one goal and one assist during the competition.
Ryan was a finalist for the Calder Trophy after his rookie year but did not win the award. He has been a modicum of consistency on Anaheim's top line along with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, scoring between 31 and 35 goals in each of his four NHL seasons.
Ryan has a very bright future ahead of him and should climb up this list before his career is finished.
Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel knows how to find the back of the net. The speedy Madison, Wisconsin, native broke into the NHL with the Boston Bruins and was traded to Toronto in a deal that included a lottery pick in the first round of the draft.
Kessel has four straight seasons with 30 or more goals including a 37 goals and 82 points in 2011-12.
His career got off to a rough start when it was announced that he had testicular cancer during his rookie season with the Bruins. Kessel had radiation treatments and returned to the lineup. That season, he became the first rookie ever to win the Masterton Trophy.
Kessel has played in a pair of NHL All-Star Games and was infamously the last pick in the first captain's draft in 2011. Kessel used it as a motivating tool and picked up his performance for the rest of the season.
In his NHL career so far, Kessel has 165 goals and 327 points in 456 games. Kessel has already played six full seasons in the NHL but is still just 25 and should move further up this list in the future.
Buffalo native Patrick Kane had high expectations on him after Chicago selected him first overall in the 2007 NHL Draft.
Kane has met those expectations on the ice even if he has experienced some bumps in the road off the ice.
In five NHL seasons, Kane has already accomplished a lot. He has won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics and been selected to play in three NHL All-Star Games.
In 2010, Kane also scored the Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to help end the Blackhawks 39-year Stanley Cup drought.
In 399 career NHL games, Kane already has 126 goals and 369 points. At 24, Kane should rocket up this list if he continues to produce at or beyond his current pace.
At 26, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has already established himself as one of the top goalies in the NHL today.
Last season, Quick proved he has arrived at the top of his profession. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after leading the Kings to their first ever Stanley Cup win. In the playoffs, the Milford, Connecticut, native posted a remarkable 16-4 record with a 1.41 GAA, a very impressive .946 save percentage. He also recorded three shutouts.
During the 2011-12 regular season, Quick had a 1.95 GAA and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie.
Quick is just entering his prime and will undoubtedly climb higher on this list if he continues to perform the way he has in recent seasons.
Brian Rafalski came a long way from his original status as an undrafted free agent. The former University of Wisconsin star ended up winning three Stanley Cups during his NHL career and playing in two NHL All-Star Games and representing the United States in the Olympics in 2010.
After his college career ended, no NHL team wanted to sign Rafalski so he spent a total of four years in Finland and Sweden. He became the first non-Finnish born player to be named league MVP.
The Dearborn, Michigan, native signed with the New Jersey Devils in 1999-2000 and was paired with future Hall of Famer Scott Stevens. Rafalski provided offense while Stevens was a rock in his own end.
As talented as Rafalski was early in his career with New Jersey, he grew more consistent and productive later in his career with Detroit. His career best season came in 2008-09 when he scored 10 goals and 59 points.
Back and knee issues cut Rafalski's career short and he retired after the 2010-11 season. He finished his career with 79 goals and 515 points in 833 NHL games.
Tim Thomas had a long and unusual route to the National Hockey League, riding buses for many teams in the minor leagues and playing in Europe for several years after starring for the University of Vermont.
But once the Michigan native reached the NHL, he proved he was a great goaltender who led the Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup title in 2011. That year he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's playoff MVP.
Thomas has also won a pair of Vezina Trophies as the best goalie in the NHL and a Jennings Trophy for giving up the fewest goals in a season. He has also been named to two postseason All Star Teams and played in four All-Star Games.
Late last season, Thomas announced he would be taking off the 2012-13 season which was his final year under contract to the Bruins.
He has indicated he may return to the NHL next season and would be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he does decide to play hockey again.
For five seasons, Vermont native John LeClair was among the best players in the game, scoring 40 or more goals for the Flyers as part of their "Legion of Doom" line along with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg. During that time he also became the first American-born NHL player to score more than 50 goals in three straight seasons.
LeClair started his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens after a successful run at the University of Vermont. He won a Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1993.
He was traded to the Flyers during the 1994-95 season and there became one of the game's dominant players. For five straight seasons he was named to both the NHL All-Star Game and one of the postseason All Star Teams. Despite the dominance of the Flyers and the Legion of Doom line, Philadelphia never won a Stanley Cup during LeClair's 10 seasons with the Flyers. They did reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1997 but were swept by the Red Wings.
After the 2004-05 lockout ended, the Flyers bought out LeClair's contract and he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. While he scored 22 goals and 51 points in his first year with the Pens, he struggled the following year and was released by the club in December, ending his NHL career.
LeClair finished with 406 goals and 819 points in 967 NHL games. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller has been a consistent netminder for the Buffalo Sabres over the past nine seasons.
After winning the Hobey Baker Award at Michigan State, Miller went on to join the Sabres and became their full-time starter in 2005-06. Since then, Miller has played in the NHL All-Star Game, been named to a post-season All Star Team and won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie.
He is known for his quiet meditation before games and for his hybrid style of goaltending.
In 2010, Miller started for the United States at the Olympics in Vancouver and helped the US win a silver medal. He was named MVP of the tournament and the best goalie at the tournament for his efforts.
Miller is 32 and should have several years of good hockey left in him. He has yet to lead the Sabres to the Stanley Cup Final, something he obviously is still hoping to accomplish.
Tony Amonte was a consistent goal scorer for the Rangers, Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flyers and Flames over the course of his 15-plus years in the National Hockey League.
The Hingham, Massachusetts native scored 30 or more goals in a season eight times during his NHL career including a career high 44 goals with Chicago in 1998-99. Five times Amonte was chosen to play in the NHL All-Star Game. He was a member of the 1993-94 Rangers team that won the Stanley Cup until the trade deadline when he was dealt to Chicago so he missed out on winning a championship that year.
The former Boston University star finished with 416 goals and 900 points in 1,174 NHL games which ranks him 11th all-time among American-born players.
Big Kevin Hatcher had size and offensive ability and it made the Detroit native one of the better defensemen of his generation.
Hatcher topped the 20 goal mark twice during his NHL career including a career high 34 goals and 79 points in 1992-93 with the Capitals. He later also played for the Stars, Penguins, Rangers and Hurricanes. He also dished out a lot of punishment, racking up more than 100 penalty minutes in eight seasons.
Kevin's brother Derian also played in the NHL although Kevin had the more successful career. He was selected to play in five NHL All-Star Games.
Hatcher retired after the 2000-01 season and finished his career with 227 goals and 677 points in 1,157 games.
He and his brother were inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
Zach Parise has been a consistent producer and leader for the New Jersey Devils since entering the NHL in 2005-06
Parise has scored more than 30 goals in each of his last five full NHL seasons including a career-best 45 goals and 94 points in 2008-09.
Parise also served as captain of the Devils as they reached the Stanley Cup Final last spring. He was an alternate captain on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team that won a silver medal in Vancouver.
This past summer, he and friend Ryan Suter signed a long term free agent deal with the Minnesota Wild.
Parise's father, J.P. Parise, played in the 1972 Summit Series for Canada and spent time with the North Stars, Islanders and Barons during his NHL career.
Thus far, Parise has scored 194 goals and 410 points in 502 career NHL games.
Detroit native John Vanbiesbrouck stood only 5'8" but he spent 20 seasons in the NHL and has won more games (374) than any other American-born goalie in NHL history.
"Beezer" started his career with the New York Rangers and won the Vezina Trophy with them in 1986. That same year, he took them on a long playoff run, reaching the Stanley Cup Semifinals despite just barely qualifying for the playoffs.
Vanbiesbrouck was selected by the Florida Panthers in the expansion draft and his solid goaltending helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1996. Beezer became the face of the franchise and was clearly their best player during their surprising march through the playoffs.
After leaving the Panthers, Vanbiesbrouck finished his career with stints with the Devils, Islanders and Flyers.
Vanbiesbrouck played in three NHL All-Star Games and was selected to one postseason All Star Team.
In addition to leading all American-born goalies in wins, he is tied for the lead with 40 career shutouts.
He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Bill Guerin played 18 seasons in the NHL. The Massachusetts native won two Stanley Cups, played in four All-Star Games and represented the United States in three different Olympics. In 2001, Guerin was named All-Star Game MVP.
Guerin scored a career-high 41 goals for the Bruins in 2001-02 and had five seasons of 30 or more goals in the NHL. He also became the first player in NHL history to score 20 or more goals with seven different teams.
After excelling at Boston College, Guerin played in the NHL for the Devils, Oilers, Bruins, Stars, Blues, Sharks, Islanders and Penguins. He served as captain of the Islanders during his two seasons with the club.
In 1,263 games, Guerin scored 429 goals and 856 points. He is presently working for the Penguins organization in player development.
Wisconsin native Gary Suter joined the NHL after two successful college seasons playing defense for the Wisconsin Badgers.
In 1985-86, Suter won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie after scoring 18 goals and 68 points with the Calgary Flames.
Suter spent 17 seasons in the NHL and also played for San Jose and Chicago. He was a talented, puck moving defenseman who was sharp on the power play and skilled at passing the puck.
His best season came in 1987-88 when he had 21 goals and 91 points. One year later, Suter was a member of the Flames only Stanley Cup winning team. He was named an All Star five times.
Suter retired after the 2001-02 with 203 goals and 845 points in 1,145 career NHL games. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Doug Weight played 19 seasons in the NHL after spending two seasons at Lake Superior State University in Michigan.
The Detroit native broke in with the New York Rangers and later played for Edmonton, St. Louis, Carolina, Anaheim and the New York Islanders.
Weight was a leader and served as captain of both the Oilers and Islanders during his career. Weight was a playmaking center and during his time in Edmonton, helped an undermanned Oilers' team pull early round playoff upsets.
Weight's best season came in 1995-96 when he had 25 goals and a career-high 104 points for Edmonton.
A Stanley Cup title eluded Weight until 2006 when he was traded to the Hurricanes at the trade deadline and helped Carolina win their first and only title, totaling 16 points in 23 postseason games.
Weight played in four NHL All-Star Games and represented the United States three times at the Olympic Games.
He retired after the 2010-11 season with 278 goals and 1,033 points in 1,238 NHL games.
Mike Richter spent his entire NHL career with the New York Rangers, playing on Broadway from 1989-2003.
Richter did what no goalie had done in more than 50 years: led the Rangers to a Stanley Cup title. In 1994, Richter had a career year. He established himself as the team's top goalie after splitting time with John Vanbiesbrouck the previous few seasons. He had 42 wins, the most of his career, and was named MVP of the All-Star Game which was played at Madison Square Garden. In the Stanley Cup Final, Richter stopped the Canucks Pavel Bure on a penalty shot that was a big part of the Rangers eventual win in Game 4 in Vancouver.
The Abington, Pennsylvania, native played in three NHL All-Star Games and won a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Team in 2002 at Salt Lake City. In 1996, Richter was the MVP of the World Cup of Hockey and backstopped the United States to a surprising and emotional gold medal.
Injuries shortened Richter's career but he still retired as the Rangers all-time leader in wins with 301.
Richter was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.
Joe Mullen was born in Hell's Kitchen in New York and ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Mullen accomplished a lot in his 16-year NHL career with the Blues, Flames, Penguins and Bruins. He won three Stanley Cups and played in three NHL-All Star Games. Twice, Mullen received the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play.
Six times Mullen topped the 40 goal mark in a season including a career-best 51 goals and 110 points during the Flames run to their first Stanley Cup title. He added 12 goals and 19 points in 21 playoff games.
Mullen was the first American-born player to score 500 career goals and reach the 1,000 point plateau. He finished his career with 502 goals and 1,063 points in 1,062 games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.
Boston native Tom Barrasso broke into the NHL straight out of high school in 1983-84, the first NHL player to never play in juniors, college or the minor leagues before becoming a full-time NHL player.
Barrasso started his career with the Buffalo Sabres and won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie in his rookie year. He also won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie and one year later, the Jennings Trophy for giving up the fewest goals of any team in the league.
Barrasso always played a feisty style of goal and occasionally clashed with fans or the press.
After playing more than five seasons in Buffalo, Barrasso was traded to Pittsburgh where he won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
After more than a decade in Pittsburgh, Barrasso finished his career with stops in Ottawa, Carolina, Toronto and St. Louis.
He retired with 369 career wins, second all-time among American-born goaltenders.
Barrasso was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 but is still awaiting a well-deserved call from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Jeremy Roenick lasted 18 seasons in the NHL while playing for five different NHL teams.
Roenick was always a colorful personality and was very fan and media friendly. After his playing career ended, the Boston native became a television analyst on NHL games.
Roenick played in nine NHL All-Star Games and twice represented the United States at the Olympics.
His best season came in 1992-93 with Chicago when he scored 50 goals and 107 points for Chicago. "J.R." also played for Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Jose.
In his career, Roenick became the third ever American-born player to score 500 goals in his career, finishing with 513 goals and 1,216 points in 1,363 games.
Phil Housley played for eight different NHL teams during his successful two decade NHL career. The defenseman from St. Paul, Minnesota stands second all-time among American-born NHL players with 1,232 points in 1,495 games with the Sabres, Jets, Blues, Flames, Devils, Capitals, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs.
Housley was a fast skating defenseman who could always help on the rush. He was selected to play in seven NHL All-Star Games during his career and had seven seasons with 20 or more goals.
His best offensive year came in 1983-84 with Buffalo when he scored a career-high 31 goals. Nine years later, he had 97 points for Winnipeg which included 79 assists.
Housley won a silver medal for the U.S. in the 2002 Olympics and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
Being Gordie Howe's son couldn't be easy on a young hockey player, but Mark Howe didn't let that pressure stop him from having his own Hall of Fame hockey career in both the WHA and NHL.
Mark started his pro hockey career with the Houston Aeros of the WHA and played on a forward line with his dad and his brother Marty. Houston won a pair of Avco Cup titles and Mark had five seasons of 30 or more goals in the WHA with Houston and New England including a 42 goal, 107 point season in 1978-79. He enjoyed this production despite a switch to defense by 1976-77.
After the NHL absorbed four WHA teams in 1979, Howe spent the rest of his career in the NHL. He spent 16 seasons playing for Hartford, Philadelphia and Detroit, ending his career where his father spent most of his time in professional hockey.
Howe's best season came in 1985-86 with the Flyers when he scored 24 goals and 82 points and finished the season with a remarkable plus-85 rating, all career highs.
Mark retired after the 1994-95 season, finishing his career with 197 goals and 742 points in 929 NHL games and 208 goals and 504 points in 426 WHA contests.
He joined his father in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Pat LaFontaine holds the record among American-born NHLers with 1.17 points-per-game. Unfortunately for the St. Louis native, LaFontaine's career was ended by concussions at the age of 33.
LaFontaine played for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team and then joined the New York Islanders while they were making their unsuccessful "Drive for Five" straight Stanley Cups. The Islanders reached the Stanley Cup Final before falling to the Edmonton Oilers and LaFontaine was immediately effective, scoring 13 goals in 15 games late in the 1983-84 season.
In 1987, LaFontaine scored his most famous goal, ending "The Easter Epic" in the fourth overtime of the 7th and deciding game of a playoff series against the Washington Capitals.
After a contract dispute with the Islanders, LaFontaine was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres where he enjoyed his most productive season. In 1992-93, he scored 53 goals and 148 points.
LaFontaine finished his career with the New York Rangers, playing one season with the Broadway Blueshirts before post-concussion syndrome forced him to retire from hockey.
In just 865 NHL games, LaFontaine scored 468 goals and 1,013 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
Minnesota native Frank Brimsek was one of the few American-born NHL players in the 1930s and 40s.
Brimsek was an immediate hit when he joined the Boston Bruins, recording 10 shutouts in his rookie season which earned him the nickname, "Mr. Zero." He went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Brimsek led the Bruins to Stanley Cup wins in 1939 and again in 1941. He also won a pair of Vezina Trophies as the league's best goalie and was named to eight postseason All-Star Teams.
He finished his career with 252 wins, 40 shutouts and a career GAA of 2.70.
Brimsek was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.
Minnesota native Neal Broten was a hometown boy made good. After starring on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team that won gold at Lake Placid, Broten joined the Minnesota North Stars and played 13 seasons there before following the franchise south the Dallas. He later played for the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings.
Broten holds a rare distinction. He won an NCAA hockey title at the University of Minnesota, an Olympic gold medal and then a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995.
During his NHL career, Broten became a steady offensive forward. He was selected to play in two NHL All-Star Games and had a career best 105 points for the North Stars in 1985-86.
In 1998, Broten was awarded the Lester Patrick Award for service to hockey in the United States.
Broten finished his NHL career in 1996-97 with 923 points in 1,099 games. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2009, Minnesota Wild fans voted him the best ever hockey player from the state of Minnesota.
Massachusetts native Keith Tkachuk used his 6'2", 235-pound frame to his advantage to become one of the top power forwards of the 1990s and 2000s over the course of his 19-year NHL career.
After playing a year at Boston University, Tkachuk turned pro with the Winnipeg Jets in 1991-92. His best statistical season came in 1995-96 when he scored 50 goals and 98 points.
A year later after the franchise moved to Phoenix, "Big Walt" scored a career high 52 goals and compiled 228 penalty minutes in the same season. The 52 goals led the league, making Tkachuk the first American-born player to lead the NHL in goal scoring.
Tkachuk played in five NHL All-Star Games and was named to a pair of postseason All Star Teams during his career. In addition to the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise, he also played for the St. Louis Blues and briefly for the Atlanta Thrashers.
He represented the United States at four different Olympics and won a silver medal at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.
By the time he retired from hockey in 2010, Tkachuk had scored 538 goals and 1,065 points in 1,201 NHL games.
He is eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame for the first time in 2013.
Brian Leetch joined the New York Rangers after competing in the 1988 Olympics and began a remarkable, 18-year NHL career that took him all the way to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Leetch won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1989 and twice won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman.
In 1994, Leetch became the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Award as the league's playoff MVP. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native scored 11 goals and 34 points in 23 games to help lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years.
Leetch played in 10 NHL All-Star Games and was named to a postseason All Star Team five times.
In 1991-92, Leetch became just one of five defensemen in NHL history to top the 100 point mark in a season when he scored 22 goals and 102 points in 80 games. The Rangers won the President's Trophy that year with the league's best record.
Leetch ended his career with brief stints in Toronto and Boston before retiring in 2006. The Rangers retired his number two shortly after he hung up his skates.
In 1,205 NHL games, Leetch scored 247 goals and 1,028 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Mike Modano lived up to the expectations that went along with being the top overall pick in the 1988 NHL Draft.
The Livonia, Michigan, native was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars and spent more than 20 years playing for the North Stars/Stars organization before closing out his career with one season in Detroit.
Modano is the all-time scoring leader among American born players with 561 goals and 1,374 points in 1,499 career NHL games.
In 1998-99, Modano helped lead the Stars to the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup championship.
He was a very consistent player, finishing with nine seasons of 30 goals or more during his NHL career. His best season came in 1993-94 when he scored 50 goals and totaled 93 points.
Modano played in nine NHL All-Star Games and represented the United States at three Olympic Games.
Modano holds nearly every career offensive record in the history of the Stars/North Stars franchise including games played, goals, assists and points.
He will be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.
Defenseman Chris Chelios had a remarkable NHL career that started in 1983-84 with the Montreal Canadiens and didn't end until 2009-10 when he was 48-years-old.
The Chicago native contributed a lot offensively in the first half of his career before becoming more of a defensive defenseman in his later years.
Chelios won three Norris Trophies at the NHL's top defenseman and played in 12 NHL All-Star Games and was named to seven postseason All Star Teams.
Chelios won three Stanley Cups during his career, one with Montreal in 1986 and a pair with Detroit in 2002 and 2008. He represented the United States at four Olympics and won a silver medal in 2002.
By the time he retired, Chelios had played in 1,651 NHL games with the Canadiens, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Thrashers. He scored 185 goals and 948 points while accumulating 2,891 penalty minutes. No defenseman in NHL history ever played more games than Chelios.
He will be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame for the first time in 2013.