Top 10 American Hockey Players – 2021

Back in the 1970s only 2.3% of NHL players came from the U.S. Fast forward to the present and almost 30% of players come from America. And, it is just not the sheer number of American players that are in the NHL, but the quality of player is outstanding. 

So having to choose only 10 American players to make a best of list from is difficult. There were some tough decisions, but, overall, the players below really represent an outstanding group of players to choose from. 

1) Patrick Kane

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Patrick Kane the most decorated American hockey player of all-time. He was taken 1st overall in the NHL entry draft, won the Calder trophy for Rookie of the year, the Hart trophy for Most Valuable Player in 2016, oh and he won 3 Stanley Cups including the MVP in 2013. Not bad!

All the accomplishments are simply the outcome of his unbelievable skill set. When you watch Kane play you will see an out-of-this-world skill set who controls the play, and creates offense everytime he touches the puck. And, his shot is fantastic!

Kane passed the 1000 point mark for his career in the 2019-20 season, and has a good chance at finishing as the top American scorer of all-time by the end of his career. 

2) Auston Matthews

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For a kid who grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, he has blown away expectations his whole life. Matthews was taken 1st overall in the  2016 draft year and he has not disappointed. In his first game with the Toronto Maple Leafs he scored 4 goals. 4 GOALS!

Matthews is already one of the top centers in the whole game, and is a pure of a goal scorer as there is. Look for him to win a few Rocket Richard trophies as top goal scorer in his career. And, possibly do the impossible of ending the Maple Leafs Stanley Cup drought since 1967.  

3) Jack Eichel

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Eichel was taken 2nd overall in his draft year behind Connor McDavid. It’s tough being compared to McDavid, but Eichel is not that far behind. He is clearly the Sabres best player, and trending to become a Top 10 player in the NHL. As the supporting cast gets better around him in Buffalo it will be fun to see him start making the playoffs. 

He is ultra-competitive player, who wants to prove his dominance in the game. He has practically carried the Sabres on his own shoulders at a young age. Look for him to enter the best player conversation in the next few years. 

4) John Carlson

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Carlson is having an unbelievable season in 2019-20. He lead the entire NHL in points for the first 2 months of the NHL season. That is unheard of for a defensemen to be getting that many points. Carlson may finish the year in the top 10 of scoring – again, this is so rare for a defensemen to get that many points in one season.

Carlson is not just a great offensive defensemen, but can do it all over the ice. His defensive game is underrated and he ticks all the boxes for what people want in a #1 defensemen. 

5) Johnny Gaudreau

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Gaudreau is one of those players that you would pay money to see. When he touches the puck fans will move to the edge of their seats. There is probably no better player in the NHL who works the edges of his skates and is able to zig-zag, spin, and deke around players. 

Gaudreau is an amazing passer who ignites the whole offence of the Calgary Flames, and is a point-a-game player. An interesting thing about Gaudreau’s stick is that it has the flex of a junior stick.

6) Matthew Tkachuk

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Tkachuk is the son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk, who would make the list of the Top 10 American Players of all-time. Tkachuk’s brother Brady also plays in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators.

Tkachuk is one of those players who is loved by all his teammates but hated by every team. Regularly booed in opposition rinks Tkachuk knows how to get under the skin of everybody he is playing against. Although he is not just an agitator, but has an extremely high hockey IQ and has an amazing hockey game defensively and is one of the best players in the NHL around the goal line.  

Tkachuk’s younger brother Brady plays for the Ottawa Senators

7) Kyle Connor

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Connor is a pure goal scorer. He is often forgotten about because of playing in Winnipeg, but all he does each year is score a bunch of goals. Often overshadowed by Laine on the Jets, Connor has become the Jets most consistent goal scorer. By the end of his career do not be surprised if he has had 10+ 30-goal seasons. 

8) Blake Wheeler

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He is the engine that makes the Winnipeg Jets go. The captain is one of the best passers in the league. He has tremendous size, reach, and possesses a good scoring touch. 

He does not get as much fanfare as other players, but he should. He is at his best when he has the puck on his stick and driving through traffic looking for a teammate to make a beautiful pass too. 

9) John Gibson

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Gibson is the only bright spot on an otherwise terrible Ducks team. Gibson may be the only reason that they have a chance on most nights. He was up and down between the minors and the NHL early on his career, but has solidified himself as one of the top goalies on the planet. 

He is big, he is positionally sound, and he is really hard to score on. If the NHL were in the Olympics he would most likely be the starting goalie for Team USA. 

10) Brock Boeser

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Boeser was a steal for the Vancouver Canucks when they took him 23rd overall in the 2015 entry draft. Since his rookie year all Brock has done is score. His shot is amazing. He has a quick release and the shot is amazingly hard. He is going to score a lot of goals in the NHL over his career. 

Honorable Mentions: Max Pacioretty, J.T. Miller, Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, Dylan Larkin, Ryan Suter, T.J. Oshie, Clayton Keller, Quinn Hughes, Phil Kessel 

2 Responses

    1. I’d agree with that! Him being named one of 3 Americans to the Olympic team says a lot. I will update the list!

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