In honor of the fourth of July, we are going to rank the top five active American-born NHLers. Over the NHL’s history, we have seen plenty of great American-born players. Players such as Mike Modano, Brian Leetch, Pat LaFontaine, Keith Tkachuk, and many more. Which American will take home the top spot?
5. Quinn Hughes
Quinn Hughes comes in at number five in a tight race with the likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Kyle Connor, John Carlson, Seth Jones, and teammate Brock Boeser. Regardless the eldest Hughes brother is special. In two “full” seasons with the Vancouver Canucks Hughes has 97 points in 129 games. At the age of 21, he has already cemented himself as a cornerstone of the Canucks blueline, while also making an argument as the best defense on any of the seven Canadian teams. As Hughes’ game develops he will continue to climb the ranks of top American-born NHLers.
4. Jack Eichel
Despite a rough go in 2021, Jack Eichel is still a top-end NHL talent. A change in the offseason may prove that. The former NHL second-overall pick has seen his fair share of ups and downs through it his young career, but boneless Eichel is almost a point per game player throughout his young career. Tallying 355 points in 375 games over six NHL seasons. With high expectations and hopefully a long career to go fans can expect to always see Jack Eichel among the NHL’s to American-born players.
One of the NHL’s best between the pipes, it should not be a surprise to see Connor Hellebuyck’s name appear on this list. The two-time All-Star and former Vezina Trophy winner carries a career .916 save percentage, 2.63 goals against average, as well as 24 shutouts through 315 games. Hellebuyck will undoubtedly be team USA’s starter at the 2022 Olympic games (If NHL players can attend). He should also win a couple more Vezina Trophies and attend many more All-Star games when all is said and done.
2. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane could easily take the top spot, but unfourtantly he has been bypassed. Kane’s remarkable career includes one Olympic Silver Medal in 2010, an Olympic appearance in 2014, three Stanley Cups, one of which he was awarded the Conn Smyth, and nine All-Star appearances. A prolific goal scorer notching 404 goals in 14 seasons, Kane saw his goal totals dive in 2021 scoring just 15 goals in 56 games. A couple season’s ago Kane would have found himself in the top spot like he has for many years, but now he can chill in second with his hardware.
One of the NHL’s budding superstars Auston Matthews started his career on a high not scoring four goals in his first NHL game and finishing the 2016-17 season with 40 goals has shown to be one of the games best scorers. Through five seasons Matthews is yet to fail scoring less than 30 goals, totaling 199 goals and 351 points in 334. The 2021 Rocket Richard winner is developing a reputation as a regular season player, but at just 23 years old Matthews has stole the heart of Maple Leafs fans as well as hockey fans around the globe.
Up and Coming American Born Stars
There are many players who have a chance to make the top five American-born players list in the future. Players like Cole Caufield, Spencer Knight, Jack Hughes, and Luke Hughes just to name a few of many could be running not only the NHL but the international scene in the near. The future continues to be bright for USA hcokey.
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