Every Canadian NHL Team's Best American Player
I think it is a well-known fact that Canada dominates the hockey world with players. Canadians make up most of the NHL and minor leagues in North America. Even a good amount fill up oversea leagues.
The United States has a good amount of players in the league today as well, but obviously not as many as Canada. At least a couple of Americans fill up each roster in the league and the number seems to be getting higher and higher. Even Canadian-based teams are starting to find the Americans more and more.
Here are the best Americans on each Canadian team.
Vancouver Canucks- Ryan Kesler
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Ryan Kesler had his breakout season last year with Vancouver all year long. He played in all 82 games and became a 40-goal scorer for the first time in his career, putting up 41 goals. All together, he was able to put up 73 points.
He kept that momentum going into the playoffs and was considered the best player in the world at one time in the post-season. He put up 19 points in 25 games and played amazing in all three zones of the rink.
Kesler is one of the best players on the Canucks and one of the best Americans and is even a fan favorite in a Canadian market.
Calgary Flames- David Moss
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David Moss has been on the Calgary Flames since the 2006-2007 season and has only been a Flame in his career. He has been a solid role player for the Flames in all six of his seasons with the team and has the ability to put up some points. His best season was in 2008-2009, when he put up 20 goals and 19 assists.
There is a reason that Calgary has not gotten rid of David Moss, despite trying to move some pieces around. That is because he is still a young, promising forward that has the potential to help this team win. Expect Moss to be in Calgary for a while longer and maybe turn out to be a career-long Flame.
Edmonton Oilers- Ryan Whitney
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Ryan Whitney is from the hometown of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. He even played college hockey for Boston University. He was drafted fifth overall in the 2002 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was then traded to the Anaheim Ducks in the 2008-2009 season and then was traded the next season to the Edmonton Oilers.
At only age 28, Whitney still has some great hockey left in him and is on the best team right now for young talent. He wants to be in Edmonton because he knows that team will be a contender for years to come.
Whitney puts up about 40 points a season, which is completely respectable for any defenseman in the league. Whitney has only played ten games and put up only one point for the Oilers this season, but expect him to get it going soon after returning from injury.
Winnipeg Jets- Dustin Byfuglien
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Dustin Byfuglien had his breakout year with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009-2010 season. The same year they won their first Stanley Cup since 1961. That summer, he was part of a blockbuster trade to the Atlanta Thrashers and now the team has relocated to Winnipeg to make him a Jet.
While he has had some off-ice troubles and some say "conditioning" problems, he is still the best defenseman on Winnipeg's roster. After a slow start to the season, he has turned it on and helped the Jets stay in the playoff hunt with about half the season to go.
This season, he has put up six goals and 18 assists, for 24 points in 35 games. It seems he is back to his original scoring ability and will have another great offensive year.
Toronto Maple Leafs- Phil Kessel
I think it was pretty obvious.
Montreal Canadiens- Brian Gionta
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Brian Gionta is from Rochester, New York and is the captain of the Montreal Canadiens. This is his third season with the team and could very well be his worst season with them. He has only managed to get eight goals and seven assists in 29 games this year and is one of the many parts of the struggling Montreal Canadiens.
Gionta spent seven seasons with New Jersey before coming to Montreal and includes a Stanley Cup in the 2002-2003 season. Gionta usually puts up points in the fifties, but this year he may struggle just to get 40.
Change may come in Montreal soon and the "C" could be taken away if the franchise sees it fit. However, this does not change the fact that he is the best American player on the roster.
Ottawa Senators- Nick Foligno
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Nick Foligno's hometown comes from the location of the Sabres in Buffalo, New York. This is his fifth season in the NHL and with Ottawa. He is usually around a 30-point scorer a season, but this year looks like he will have a career best and maybe hit the 50 point mark.
Foligno could probably be putting up better numbers if he had a better supporting cast around him. While the Senators have been somewhat of a surprise staying so close to the playoff hunt, they are still very young and inexperienced to make a serious playoff run.
The Senators need to keep young talent like Foligno because he is an essential key in their rebuilding process. Foligno could potentially be a consistent 50-60 point scorer a season and if Ottawa could find a big All-Star player to support his role, he could be a 70-point man.