Adam Kimelman at NHL.com fills out his roster of the greatest U.S. players ever, which includes former Rangers Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Mike Knuble, Pat LaFontaine, Chris Drury and Kevin Stevens.
Here’s what Kimelman had to say about Leetch…
“The first U.S.-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, he led the League in playoff scoring in 1994 with 34 points in 23 games en route to helping the Rangers end their 54-year Stanley Cup drought. Leetch, who was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but raised in Connecticut, won the 1989 Calder Trophy and never stopped playing at an elite level. He’s one of only five defensemen in NHL history to post a 100-point season (102 points in 1991-92), and he captained the 1996 World Cup team. He played in three Olympics, winning a silver medal in 2002.”
…for my money Leetch is the greatest American born player. Period.
…but Richter may have had the greatest performance by any American player during international competition with his 1996 World Cup performance. You know, other than that Jim Craig guy’s performance in 1980.
To see if Jeremy Roenick named Ryan Callahan to his team of top current American players click the “Read More” tab below.
Roenick left Ryan Callahan out of his list of top current Americans in the NHL.
…while it’s hard to argue against choices like Kane, Kesler, Kessel and Parise, he absolutely deserves to be in there over a player like Oshie.