Canada lays claim to players such as Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Toews.
The Russians have Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk.
Sweden sports the Sedin Twins (Henrik and Daniel), Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Lundqvist.
The list of superstars from varying countries could go on for pages it seems as the NHL is one of the most unique sporting leagues in the world, if for no other reason than diversity. Dominate players are born, raised and trained all over the globe, creating quite the melting pot of competition.
While the boys in the Stars and Stripes may not have the same storied history as some other nations, the number of high quality players from the United States continues to grow every year. Such was the purpose of Gary Bettman's southern and western expansion plans.
With teams in California and in states such as Texas, Florida and North Carolina there are now more kids being exposed to—and many growing up around and playing— hockey in the U.S. than ever before.
While countries may chortle at the notion of the United States ever becoming a superpower in the hockey world, evidence is beginning to show that scoffing may not be the appropriate response. Here are a few reasons why.