What are the American NHL Teams?

American NHL teams have had a great impact in the NHL. When the NHL started in 1917 there were 4 teams and none of them were in the United States. So how many have been added since the start? 

How many American NHL Teams are in the NHL? There are 25 American teams in the NHL. These 25 teams make up the majority of NHL franchises in the 32 team league with the other 7 teams being from Canada. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of the 25 American teams, some of the key points about their history (with the most important: how many Stanley Cups have they won!), and an analysis of where they are right now in the competitive NHL landscape . 

How many American NHL Teams are in the NHL? 

There are 25 American NHL teams, and 7 Canadian NHL teams for a total of 32. When the NHL first started in the US all of the American teams were in the northern states. However, at present day they are spread all over the USA.

Let’s take a look at all 25 of the American NHL teams!

American NHL Teams Facts and Analysis

Anaheim Ducks

  • First NHL Season: 1993-94
  • Arena: Honda Center 
  • Stanley Cups: 1 – 2003
  • Notable Players: Paul Kariya, Scott Niedermayer, Adam Oates, Chris Pronger, Corey Perry
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 14
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Ryan Getzlaf 1019, Goals: Teemu Selanne, 457 Assists: Ryan Getzlaf 737

Analysis: The Ducks are in rebuild mode right now. They are in the bottom 10 teams in the league, but have some great young players to build around. The best of those young players is Trevor Zegras who is a human highlight reel. The Ducks are, at least, a few years away from competing as they try to acquire more young talent through the NHL draft before they take the next step to the playoffs.


Arizona Coyotes 

  • First NHL Season: 1979-1980 as the Winnipeg Jets, moved to Arizona for the 1996-97 season
  • Arena: Arizona State University
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • Notable Players: Shane Doan, Dale Hawerchuk, Phil Housley, Bobby Hull, Teemu Selanne
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 20
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Shane Doan, 972 Goals: Shane Doan, 402 Assists: Shane Doan 570

Analysis: After all the seasons of losing and mediocrity the Coyotes have blown the whole thing up and acquired a vast number of draft picks to rebulid through the NHL draft. This is what they needed to do for along time, and this is what they are finally doing. With all of the players they have traded away to get those picks it has left them with a thin talent level. This means that they will lose a lot of games this year, (and next, and probably the next few after that), but if they draft well they will finally have a legitimately good team to cheer for – hopefully in a new arena in Tempe!

Boston Bruins

  • First NHL Season: 1924-25
  • Arena: TD Garden
  • Stanley Cups: 6 – 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011
  • Notable Players: Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr, Gerry Cheevers, Johnny Bucyk, Rick Middleton, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron 
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 74
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Ray Bourque, 1506 Goals: John Bucky, 545 Assists: Ray Bourque, 1111

Analysis: The Bruins have a talented team that is coming to the end of their competitive window. Led by Patrice Bergeron, Brand Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy they have they talent to be a playoff team. However, do they have the talent to be a Stanley Cup? With this core of players I think they have the ability to make one more good run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Buffalo Sabres

  • First NHL Season: 1970-71
  • Arena: KeyBank Center
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • Notable Players: Gilbert Perreault, Pat LaFontaine, Dominik Hasek, Alexander Mogilny, Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 29
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Gilbert Perreault, 1326 Goals: Gilbert Perreault, Assists: Gilbert Perreault, 814 

Analysis: It feels like we have been saying this for a decade (because we have), but the Sabres are in rebuild mode. They have been, basically, a bottom 5 team in the NHL that whole time. It is too bad because the Sabres fans are great and deserve better. It seems like this time is different and they are finally being more patient at acquiring the young players to build your roster around and not forcing things by signing overprice free agents (hello Jeff Skinner).

Carolina Hurricanes

  • First NHL Season: 1979-80 as the Hartford Whalers, moved to Carolina in 1997-98
  • Arena: PNC Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 1 – 2006
  • All-Time Notable Players: Ron Francis, Rod Brind’Amour, Glen Wesley, Eric Staal
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 16
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Ron Francis, 1175 Goals: Ron Francis, 382 Assists: Ron Francis, 793

Analysis: The Hurricanes won the difficult Metropolitan division last year. They are one of the Top 10 teams in the NHL. Their defence is great, and they have a deep forward lineup highlighted by Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. They are probably one or two scorers away from that next level, but they will be around for the next 5 years as a team to pay attention too.

Chicago Blackhawks

  • First NHL Season: 1926-27
  • Arena: United Center 
  • Stanley Cups: 6 – 1933, 1937, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015
  • All-Time Notable Players: Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, Chris Chelios, Bobby Hull, Marian Hossa, Stan Makita, Denis Savard, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 63
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Stan Mikita, 1467 Goals: Bobby Hull, 604 Assists: Stan Mikita, 926

Analysis: Well, the once proud Blackhawks are the now eyesore of the NHL. This year they have blown-up the team trading anyone away of consequence besides Kane and Toews, who are likely not far behind in leaving. If the Blackhawks are not the worst team in the league they are at most the second worst team in the league. Their plan is clear – be terrible for years to come and draft high in the NHL draft and, hopefully, get some future superstars. It worked in drafting Kane and Toews, and they are trusting it will work again.

Colorado Avalanche 

  • First NHL Season: 1979-1980 as the Quebec Nordiques and moved to Colorado for the 1995-96 season
  • Arena: Ball Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 2 – 1996, 2001, 2022
  • All-Time Notable Players: Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Patrick Roy, Adam Foote, Peter Stastny 
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 27
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Joe Sakic, 1641 Goals: Joe Sakic, 625 Assists: Joe Sakic 1016

Analysis: What can you say about the Stanley Cup champs other than they are the best? Well, they are the best team in the NHL and they more than proved it in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In their run to winning the Stanley Cup they went 16-4 – an amazing record! And individually they have two superstars in Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar (some say he is the best defensemen since Bobby Orr). They are a deep, deep team with many talented players, and they are going to win more than one Stanley Cup in the next few years.

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • First NHL Season: 2000-01
  • Arena: Nationwide Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: Rick Nash
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 6
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Rick Nash, 547 Goals: Rick Nash, 289 Assists: Rick Nash, 547

Analysis: The Blue Jackets are always trying to win, but have had few successes in their history. However, this year they were able to lure the biggest free agent – Johnny Gaudreau – to be part of the team. Up to this point, they have had a hard time keeping their stars as they often leave for greener pastures. Columbus is hoping that Gaudreau has changed this and, hopefully, their fortunes on the ice. While improved Columbus still looks like a team that is on the outside looking in during the 2022-23 season.

Dallas Stars

  • First NHL Season: Minnesota North Stars in 1967 moved to Dallas for the 1993-94 season
  • Arena: American Airlines Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 1 – 1999
  • All-Time Notable Players: Ed Belfour, Dino Ciccarelli, Brett Hull, Mike Modano, Joe Nieuwendyk, Sergei Zubov
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 33
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Mike Mondano, 1359 Goals: Mike Mondano, 557 Assists: Mike Modano, 802 

Analysis: The Dallas Stars are one of those teams that are stuck in the middle of NHL talent – not a great place to be. They have a few amazing young stars in Miro Heiskanen and Jake Oettinger, but it is hard to see how they will score enough goals. Too good to pick low enough in the draft to get good young scorers, but not good enough to be a Stanley Cup contender. However, if they could get some more scoring – lookout!

Detroit Red Wings

  • First NHL Season: 1926 as the Detroit Cougars, 1930 as the Detroit Falcons, 1932 as the Detroit Red Wings
  • Arena: Little Caesars Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 11
  • All-Time Notable Players: Chris Chelios, Alex Delvecchio, Sergei Federov, Gordie Howe, Red kelly, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Steve Yzerman
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 64
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Gordie Howe, 1809 Goals: Gordie Howe, 786 Assists: Steve Yzerman, 1063

Analysis: With Steve Yzerman as your General Manager good things are going to eventually happen. Yzerman has patiently assembled some great young talent in Detroit – hello, Moritz Seider – and is now trying to surround them with the veteran presence to get them back into the playoff picture. It may not be this year, but the Red Wings are a team that is vastly improving

Florida Panthers

  • First NHL Season: 1993
  • Arena: FLA Live Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: Pavel Bure, Roberto Luongo
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 7
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Jonathan Huberdeau, 613 Goals: Aleksander Barkov, 220 Assists: Jonathan Huberdeau, 415

Analysis: Last year the Panthers asserted themselves as one of the best teams in the NHL, and now they are looking to turn their regular season success into postseason success. How are they going to do it? By trading for Matthew Tkachuk one of the leading power forwards and agitators in the game. It cost them their leading scorer in Jonathan Huberdeau, however the Panthers are hoping the increased grit will give them the push in the playoffs they so desperately want.

Los Angeles Kings

  • First NHL Season: 1967
  • Arena: Crypto.com 
  • Stanley Cups: 2 – 2012, 2014
  • All-Time Notable Players: Rob Blake, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, Luc Robitaille, Wayne Gretzky
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 30
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Marcel Dionne, 1307 Goals: Luc Robitaille, 557 Assists: Marcel Dionne, 757

Analysis: The Kings are one of the upcoming teams in the NHL. They had a number of down years, but have managed to draft and develop a great nucleus of young players. They have spent the past two offseasons bringing in veterans to surround and mentor their young core. To many they surprised and made the playoffs last year and look to build upon that and become a bonafide playoff contender instead of a bubble team. Will they take a step forward or back this year? With young teams you never know because development is never linear!

Minnesota Wild

  • First NHL Season: 2000
  • Arena: Xcel Energy Center
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: Marian Gaborik, Mikko Koivu
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 11
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Mikko Koivu, 709 Goals: Marian Gaborik, 219 Assists: Mikko Koivu, 504

Analysis: The Wild have a lot of things to like about their team. First they have Kirill Kaprizov one of the top dynamic young scorers in the league. Secondly, they have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league to build around. Finally, they have an all-around depth of team that is already a playoff contender.

However, they are in salary cap jail with the buyouts of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise – the extra cap payroll they lose from this could be really used to turn them in from good playoff team to Stanley Cup contender. Until this gets sorted out in a few years they will need to wait until being considered for the Stanley Cup.

Nashville Predators

  • First NHL Season: 1998
  • Arena: Bridgestone Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 14
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: David Legwand, 566 Goals: Filip Forsberg, 220 Assists: Roman Josi, 402

Analysis: The Predators have one of the best groups of defencemen in the NHL. With Roman Josi their star defenceman and Jussi Saros their star goalie the Preds are going to be in every game they play. However, where they are a little weak is in scoring goals. It was a definite plus for them to resign their leading scorer Filip Forsberg, but the Preds do lack the high-end scoring talent of other teams. They are well within the conversation as a playoff contender just not a Stanley Cup contender.

New Jersey Devils

  • First NHL Season: 1974 – Kansas City Scouts, 1976 – Colorado Rockies, 1982 – New Jersey Devils
  • Arena: Prudential Center
  • Stanley Cups: 3 – 1995, 2000, 2003
  • All-Time Notable Players: Scott Stevens, Patrik Elias, Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 23
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Patrik Elias, 1025 Goals: Patrik Elias, 408 Assists: Patrik Elias, 617

Analysis: I love the long-term outlook of the New Jersey Devils. They have two young high-end centers in Hughes and Hischier. They have young scoring wingers in Bratt and Mercer. They have young high-end defenceman in Hughes and Nemec (still a year or so away from the NHL). All they need is time to mature and put it all together. Look for the Devils to be more competitive than ever, but still need a year or more before contending for the playoffs.

New York Islanders

  • First NHL Season: 1972
  • Arena: UBS Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 4 – 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
  • All-Time Notable Players: Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom, John Tonelli, Billy Smith, Pat LaFontaine
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 27
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Bryan Trottier, 1353 Goals: Mike Bossy, 573 Assists: Bryan Trottier, 853

Analysis: The Islanders are looking to bounce back after a tough year. They had problems with a long, long road trip to start the year and missing a bunch of man games due to COVID. This led to them missing the playoffs. In 2 of 3 previous years they made it to the Eastern Finals. They still have a great core led by their high-end defence, but do not have future Hall of Fame coach Barry Trotz – I’m still not sure why they fired him. I am fascinated to watch which direction this team is going to take – it is probably one of the more puzzling teams in the NHL!

New York Rangers

  • First NHL Season: 1926
  • Arena: Madison Square Garden
  • Stanley Cups: 4 – 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994
  • All-Time Notable Players: Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Mark Messier, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Richter, Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle, Andy Bathgate
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 60
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Rod Gilbert, 1021 Goals: Rod Gilbert, 406 Assists: Brian Leetch, 741

Analysis: The Rangers have entered their window into Stanley Cup contention. Their are still teams better than them, but it would not be a surprise to see them win the Cup. When you have the best goalie on the planet – Shesterkin; one of the best young defencemen on the planet – Fox; and one of the top forwards – Panarian; you have the building blocks of a great team. I like the veterans and youth they have assembled around this team. The next five years will be fun to watch for Rangers fans.

Philadelphia Flyers

  • First NHL Season: 1967
  • Arena: Wells Fargo Center
  • Stanley Cups: 2 – 1974, 1975
  • All-Time Notable Players: Bobby Clarke, Peter Forsberg, Eric Lindros, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, Mark Howe
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 40
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Bobby Clarke, 1210 Goals: Bill Barber, 420 Assists: Bobby Clarke, 852 

Analysis: I’m trying to find something good to say about the Flyers but it is hard. It seems like they continue to make the wrong moves. I am not a big fan of their GM Chuck Fletcher, but their new coach John Tortarella should make them better. But better to what extent? Will they be good enough to make the playoffs? No. In my opinion they should blow this thing up and start young and find a new core to build around instead of trying to solve your problems by overpaying for other teams players.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • First NHL Season: 1967
  • Arena: PPG Paints Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 5 – 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, 2017
  • All-Time Notable Players: Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Mario Lemieux, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Jarmoir Jagr
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 36
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Mario Lemieux, 1723 Goals: Mario Lemieux, 690 Assists: Mario Lemieux, 1033

Analysis: The end is near. The Crosby and Malkin show is coming to an end. It still has a little bit of mileage left in it, but how much? They will be good for another 2 to 3 years, but after that I expect the team will spiral down to the bottom of the league. So Pens fans enjoy the next few years. I don’t think this team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup, but they could still make some noise in the playoffs.

San Jose Sharks

  • First NHL Season: 1991
  • Arena: SAP Center
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, 
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 21
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Patrick Marleau, 1111 Goals: Patrick Marleau, 522 Assists: Joe Thornton, 804

Analysis: The Sharks had a lot of great years and now they have a lot of old stars who have aged out. They have seemed to have finally started to move away from their past glory by trading Brent Burns, and now let the rebuild commence! The Sharks are far from the worst team in the league, and on most nights they will be competitive. However, this shouldn’t be confused with a playoff contending team, which they are not. The Sharks are years away from being part of the conversation of playoff teams.

Seattle Kraken

  • First NHL Season: 2021
  • Arena: Climate Pledge Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: TBD
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 0
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Jared McCann, 50 Goals: Jared McCann, 27 Assists: Vince Dunn, 28

Analysis: The Kraken acted like most expansion teams do in their first year: they struggled. Well, the struggle will continue for them this year, and that is a good thing. The best thing they can do is struggle for the first few years and draft great young players. They have drafted two great young centers in Beniers and Wright, and they need to just continue to surround them with other talented young players and a few good veterans to show them the way. Do this and in 3 to 5 years then they will have a great team on their hands. Great jerseys by the way!

St. Louis Blues

  • First NHL Season: 1967
  • Arena: Enterprise Center
  • Stanley Cups: 1 – 2019
  • All-Time Notable Players: Al MacInnis, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko, Chris Pronger
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 44
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Bernie Federko, 1073 Goals: Brett Hull, 527 Assists: Bernie Federko, 721

Analysis: I love, love the forward depth of the St. Louis Blues. They might not have any players who are going to finish in the top 10 scoring in the league, but 1 through 9 of their forward group is fantastic. There is not one weak link among them. Look for Robert Thoms to continue his ascension to the best Blues forward. Their defence and goaltending is their weak point. It’s not too weak, but it holds them back when they go up against the best teams like the Avalanche. They are still considered an upper tier playoff team with a fighting chance at the Stanley Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • First NHL Season: 1992
  • Arena: Amalie Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 3 – 2004, 2020, 2021
  • All-Time Notable Players: Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 13
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Steven Stamkos, 972 Goals: Steven Stamkos, 481 Assists: Martin St. Louis, 588

Analysis: They finally lost in the Stanley Cup finals. This is an amazing team. It would be hard to see them going back to the finals this year, because going to any finals takes such a toll on your body – let alone three in a row. However, it would not be hard to see this team win the Stanley Cup again in the next few years – their core is just so good. How many hall of famers is this group going to produce? Stamkos, Point, Kucherov, Hedman, Vasilevsky – at least 5.

Vegas Golden Knights

  • First NHL Season: 2017
  • Arena: T-Mobile Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 0
  • All-Time Notable Players: TBD
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 4
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Jonathan Marchessault, 291 Goals: Jonathan Marchessault, 122 Assists: Jonathan Marchessault, 169

Analysis: After their first few amazing years in the league this team seems like they have finally ran into some adversity. Now, they are still a great team, but they are simply not winning all their hands. Their starting goaltending is a big question mark after getting rid of Fleury and now Lehner is gone for the season. A full season of Eichel will help, but they do not seem to be the team they once were. I still think they will contend for the Pacific division title – they are just not as feared as they used to be.

Washington Capitals

  • First NHL Season: 1974
  • Arena: Capital One Arena
  • Stanley Cups: 1 – 2018
  • All-Time Notable Players: Rod Langway, Mike Gartner, Dale Hunter
  • NHL Playoff Appearances: 31
  • Franchise Scoring Leaders: Points: Alexander Ovechkin, 1410 Goals: Alexander Ovechkin, 780 Assists: Nicklas Backstrom, 74

Analysis: The Caps are one of those aging teams that are still good, but it is hard to seem them doing anything more than getting into the playoffs. They may win a playoff round, but the Stanley Cup? No chance. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they miss the playoffs. At some point these teams who have been good for so long start to miss the playoffs, and that time is coming soon for the Caps. While Ovi is still amazing I am not sure how long he can keep this thing afloat.

How the American Teams divided into the NHL divisions?

Note: Bolded Teams are the Canadian NHL Teams

Central
Arizona Coyotes
Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues
Winnipeg Jets
Pacific
Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Seattle Kraken
Vancouver Canucks
Vegas Golden Knights
Atlantic 
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Detroit Red Wings
Florida Panthers
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Metropolitan
Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals

Alphabetical List of American NHL Teams 

Arizona Coyotes

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

Carolina Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars

Detroit Red Wings

Florida Panthers

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota Wild

Nashville Predators

New Jersey Devils

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

San Jose Sharks

Seattle Kraken

St. Louis Blues

Tampa Bay Lightning

Vegas Golden Knights

Washington Capitals

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