Which American hockey players in the NHL have the most career points right now?
The United States has really started to ramp up its hockey factory. In the past, when we thought of NHL stars we always thought Canadian.
This is starting to change as the U.S. National Training and Development program is one of the world’s best and the results are clear for all to see. The hockey program has given rise to some exceptional stars.
Given the amount of a success that the American hockey players had in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, we decided to take a look at which active NHLers are sitting in the top ten of American players, based on overall career points.
Most Career Points by American Hockey Players in the NHL
10. Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler of Livonia, Michigan went from being a ten-year Canuck to a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2014.
A strong start with the Ducks took a turn after his second season with the franchise. Health issues have plagued Ryan Kesler and have clearly affected his numbers.
At this time, it’s unlikely that Ryan Kesler will return for the 2019-20 season due to undergoing hip resurfacing surgery back in May. He’s working hard to recover, though, and it’s likely that he’s running his mouth somewhere, so, for now, he will take a place on this list of active American hockey players in the NHL.
Not to be forgotten, Kesler is a four-time Selke Trophy finalist and one-time winner. He took the award in 2010-11 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
9. Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown, from Ithaca, New York, has played in the NHL for 14 seasons, entirely as a member of the L.A. Kings.
Few players have the makeup of Dustin Brown. On top of Brown’s on-ice ability, he plays a highly physical game, priding himself on his style of play, as well as delivering clean hits. Most impressive is the fact that Brown’s has had multiple runs of not missing one season game, despite going hard on the ice.
Brown’s dedication to the game of hockey, combined with strong leadership skills, would see him named as team captain of the L.A Kings in 2008. Dustin Brown would help take a good team to greatness, winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and again in 2014. Anze Kopitar would succeed him in 2016.
8. Paul Stastny
A Canadian-born American, Stastny was birthed in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Stastny comes from a family with roots that extend far across the realms of hockey. Stastny’s father Peter is a Hockey Hall of Famer who played for the Quebec Nordiques and the St. Louis Blues. His older brother and his two uncles have also enjoyed time on an NHL rink.
Similar to his father, Stastny is a smart playmaker who has an inherent knack for finding the puck. Suffering a knee injury in in 2018, Stastny would miss 30 games of the season but would still manage to come out of 2018-19 with 42 points in just 50 games.
7. Blake Wheeler
Plymouth, Minnesota gives us Blake Wheeler, captain and right wing of the Winnipeg Jets.
Blake Wheeler set the ice on fire in his very first season and he hasn’t looked back. First-game goals, hat tricks, and being named MVP of the NHL YoungStars competition were amongst Wheeler’s accomplishments in 2008-09.
With skills comes paydays and Blake Wheeler has a lot of skills. In 2013, the Jets signed him to a deal of $33.6 million, with a cap of $5.6 million per season, for a term of six years. In 2018, the Jets gave Wheeler 41.25 million more reasons to stick around Winnipeg for another five years.
Wheeler has had his two best seasons of his twelve year career in the NHL in 2017-18 and 2018-19, tallying up 91 points in each.
6. Jason Pominville
Although Jason Pominville was born in Rempentigny, Quebec, Canada, he holds dual citizenship and therefore snaps up a spot on this list.
Not only that, he turned his back on the chance to represent his country of birth in 2008 and instead played for the United States in the IIHF World Championships. That decision solidified that any participation in future international events by Pominville would be as an American.
The USA is smart to call Pominville one of their own. Not only is the Buffalo Sabres’ right wing is deadly on the ice, he’s an ultra-durable ironman. Jason Pominville is amongst only a dozen players to have competed in eight 82 game seasons in all of the league’s history.
In November of 2018, Pominville would play in his 1,000th NHL game, scoring a goal in the process.
5. Matt Cullen
Despite bouncing around like a loose puck over the course of his NHL career, Minnesota native Matt Cullen has managed to post up big numbers and snag three Stanley Cup championships.
Cullen played for the Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers before capturing a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. A free agent thereafter, Cullen would play for the New York Rangers for one season before being traded back to Carolina.
Far from the end of the shuffle, Cullen would move again from Carolina to the Ottawa Senators to the Minnesota Wild, and over to the Nashville Predators. Next he’d move to the Pittsburgh Penguins and win two more championships before being reacquired by the Minnesota Wild.
One season later brought him to the 2018-19 season and back to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he currently plays center.
4. Zach Parise
Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Zach Parise does his home state proud as the alternate captain of the Minnesota Wild.
Bringing home a gold medal after securing victory at the 2004 World Junior Championships was a definite career highlight and was named MVP of the tournament for his efforts.
Parise’s numbers during the 2018-19 season are also an impressive note as he had just been through back surgery in 2017. Despite the setback, Parise would tally 61 points, scoring 28 goals and locking down 33 assists. This total put him behind only Joe Pavelski as the player with the highest points amongst NHL forwards aged 34 and older.
Apparently, this second-generation NHLer was gifted with strong hockey genes. His father, J.P. Parise, played for the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders before finding his stride as a Minnesota North Star. J.P. Parise’s success as a Star led to him being a big part of the 1972 Summit Series.
3. Joe Pavelski
Scoring a goal in his first NHL game back in 2006, Joe Pavelski set the tone for a successful stretch with the San Jose Sharks.
A veteran of the team, Pavelski has played his entire career with the Sharks and was made captain in 2015. Pavelski’s strong leadership also brought him the role of captain of Team USA, bringing them to a silver medal at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
More recently, Pavelski was caught attention for taking a wicked crosscheck from Cody Eakin that took him out of Game 7 of round one in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. This instance lit a firestorm of controversy and led to a major upset.
It was a big deal for a number of reasons. Firstly, Pavelski was seriously injured. Secondly, Eakin received a five minute major for the hit. Thirdly, it spurred the Sharks and allowed them to score four goals in five minutes, win the game in overtime, and move on to the second round of the playoffs.
2. Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel was born in Madison, Wisconsin. Kessel is a dog-loving, testicular cancer survivor who plays right wing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Whether hot or cold, Kessel loves his dogs. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has filled up the prestigious trophy with each variety. Upper Deck commemorated both occasions in 2017 with the release of an exclusive hockey card featuring two great shots. On the card’s face Kessel poses with the Cup stuffed with street meet and on the back of the card his dog Sadie sits inside the prestigious trophy.
A cancer diagnosis in his rookie year would attempt to disrupt the rising star’s performance but Kessel did not allow it. Three weeks from diagnosis, he would return to the ice cancer-free. That same year, Phil Kessel was awarded the Bill Masterson trophy which is given to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey,” as per the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association.
1. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane was born in Buffalo, New York. The Chicago Blackhawks right winger sits at the top of the list of active American hockey players in the NHL, and justifiably so.
In 2016, Patrick Kane was voted by 27 of the league’s 30 coaches as the NHL’s best player in a poll conducted by TSN. Move to 2019 and Kane became the fifth player from the USA to rack up 900 career points before playing in 900 games.
Beyond points, Patrick Kane has brought some big time bragging rights back home to Buffalo and the United States overall. Prior to Kane, no American NHL player had ever won the Art Ross Trophy or the Hart Trophy. Patrick Kane would snag them both in 2016.