Hockey is not the national pastime in America but these 27 players held their own with the greatest NHL players in the world and are the greatest American NHL players of all-time.
Coming up with a list of the 27 greatest American NHL players of all-time would have been a difficult task 25 years ago, but with the sport growing so much over the last two and a half decades, limiting the list to 27 was just as difficult.
Hockey in the United States is as strong as it’s ever been with a record 11 Americans drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, two World Junior Championships since 2010 and three of the last four Conn Smythe winners being American. This country has come a long way to close the gap on the Canadians and Russians and the USA could be close to their first Olympic gold medal since the Miracle on Ice team in 1980.
There are four active players on the list, including a pair of two-time Stanley Cup champions in Jonathan Quick and Patrick Kane, who I believe will be among the top five American players to every play in the NHL by the time his career is over.
If a similar list was done 15 years from now there would likely be an influx of players who are active today, but haven’t done enough yet in their careers to call for inclusion on this list.
Among the active players who are on the path toward becoming one of the greatest American’s in the NHL are Tyler Johnson, Joe Pavelski, Phil Kessel, Max Pacioretty, Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop and Cory Schneider. And then there’s Jack Eichel who is projected to be the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft who is the best draft prospect since Kane.
After reading through the list, please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below and let us know who you believe is the greatest American NHL history and who are the best Americans now in the NHL.
Without further ado, here are the 27 greatest American players to play in the NHL.
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