With Hockey Weekend Across America taking place last weekend, we here at LAKings.com were inspired by the event and Nick Nickson’s piece in the upcoming edition of Royal Reign to tackle the very difficult task of creating a Kings All-American Team.
Why is this difficult you may ask?
Well say someone like a Jack Johnson or a Patrick O’Sullivan - both American-born players - betwixt the two of them, they have just under 175 games, 21 goals and 38 assists.
Nothing to write home about yet, the duo are still finding there way in the NHL…but five years from now, different story, they each appear to be a big part of the Kings future.
So do they go on the Kings All-American team? I say yes.
Then you have a Jeremy Roenick, who is one of the greatest American-born hockey players in the history of hockey and well, America. But his one-year stay in Los Angeles was not exactly memorable.
But does he go on the list? I say yes.
So the best U.S. born players in Kings history…our team consists of twenty of the best…12 forwards…six defensemen…and two goaltenders.
To steal from that Nickson piece, “The criteria we use are based mostly on their accomplishments at the NHL level with consideration for their performances representing the U.S. in International competition. Some choices are rather obvious and their names always came up first when we talked with players, coaches and administrators who have been involved with USA Hockey (Olympics and International competitions) and the NHL for many years.”
|Schneider has played for the United States on multiple occasions. |
Mathieu Schneider and Aaron Miller will be our first pairing. You have the offensive, puck moving defenseman in Schneider and the prototype stay-at-home-defenseman in Miller.
Schneider scored 37-87=124 in 193 games over three seasons in a Kings sweater, which still ranks 11th amongst defensemen in Kings history. Selected by the Canadiens in the third round (44th overall) in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, he won a Stanley Cup in 1993, ironically, over the Kings. For his career, he has posted 1176 games, 208 goals and 483 assists.
That is enough in itself, but he also played for the United States in the World Cup of Hockey in the summer of 1996, where the US won the tournament. Two years later, he was selected to join the US team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan as well as the 2006 Olympics.
Miller, currently a member of the Vancouver Canucks, was on the 2002 U.S. Olympic silver medal-winning hockey team. He also played in the 2006 Olympic games and was a member of the 1991 U.S. National Junior Team. With the Kings, he played in 305 games over six seasons, including a career-high 82 in 2006-07. For his career, he has played in 673 games, scoring 25-94=119 with 422 PIMs, since being selected by the New York Rangers in the fifth round, No. 88 overall, in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.
The second pairing has current Kings Johnson and Tom Preissing.
Johnson has tallied 3-6=9 in 66 games as he makes his way in the NHL. His international resume is already impressive as he earned a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2007 World Junior Championships (7 GP, 3-0=3) and tied for the team lead in goals at the tournament.
Johnson was also an All-Star selection at the 2006 World Junior Championships where his six points (1-5=6) in seven games helped Team USA to a fourth-place finish. In addition, he earned gold medals with Team USA at the 2005 World Junior Under-18 Championships (6 GP, 0-2=2, 35 PIM), the 2005 Five Nations Tournament (U.S. Under-18 Team) and the 2004 Compuware Four Nations Cup (U.S. Under-18 Team), while also skating with Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Under-18 Championships (6 GP, 2-0=2, 18 PIM).
Preissing, in his first year in LA, has tallied 25-93=118 in 279 games, including 5-13=18 in his first year in Los Angeles. He advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with Ottawa a year ago and had a plus-40 rating with the Senators, which was second overall on the club, tied for first among all league defensemen and tied for third overall in the NHL.
He got his start at the NCAA level at Colorado College where he earned WCHA First Team All-Star honors in 2003, NCAA West First Team All-American kudos in 2003 as well while being a WCHA Student Athlete of the Year and a Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2003. He also led the nation in points scored by a defenseman (42 GP, 23-29=52) in 2002-03 while being tied for first in the nation in power play goals (17) in 2002-03 and serving as his team’s captain.
|Jack Johnson is a big part of the Kings future as well as Team USA's. |
Our final pairing is Joe Corvo and Doug Zmolek.
Zmolek was drafted seventh overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and played in 467 career NHL games, scoring 11 goals and 53 assists for 64 points, while compiling 905 penalty minutes in his career. His LA career saw him play in 119 games with the Kings from 1995-98, racking up 249 PIMs.
Corvo played in 203 games with the Kings, scoring 27-50=77 over three seasons.
He was drafted by the Kings in the 4th round of the 1997 NHL entry draft. He advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Senators a year ago as well and on Oct. 26, 2006, he broke a Senators record for points for a defenseman in a game with one goal and five assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also participated in the 1997 World Junior Championships in Switzerland, where he was named the top defenseman of the tournament.
This might be the most difficult position for the Kings, but we found two…hopefully Kings prospects Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Quick will make this position have some bulk in the future.
For now, we settled on Robert “Bob” Janecyk and Robb Stauber as our Robb and Bob goaltending duo.
Janecyk played for the Kings from 1984-89, posting a 41-44-12 mark with a 4.15 GAA, while also appearing in three playoff games in 1984-85, however, he went 0-3.
Here is his list of accomplishments: In the NCAA, he was named to the West All-American Team three times (1976, 1977, 1978); in the IHL he earned: Second-Team All-Star status (1980) and was a Ken McKenzie Trophy (U.S.- Born Rookie of the Year IHL) (1980) winner. In the AHL, he was a First-Team All-Star (1982, 1983), and a Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award (fewest goals against AHL) winner in 1982 (shared with Warren Skorodenski.)
Interestingly, he was traded, kind of, with the Braves’ Tom Glavine, as he was dealt to Los Angeles by Chicago with the Blackhawks’ first (Craig Redmond), 3rd (John English) and 4th (Glavine) round choices in 1984 Entry Draft for Los Angeles' 1st (Ed Olczyk) and 4th (Tommy Eriksson) round choices in 1984 Entry Draft, June 9, 1984.
So he was involved in a trade for a future hall of fame baseball player…points in my book.
Stauber was drafted in the sixth round, 107th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft and posted a 19-20-9 mark with the Kings and a 3.81 GAA with a .892 SV%. He also went 3-1 in the 1992-93 playoffs.
He is currently a goalie coach at the University of Minnesota, where he played hockey as a youngster, winning the Hobey Baker Award for top men's collegiate hockey player during the 1987-88 season. Interestingly, he was traded (along with Alexei Zhitnik, Charlie Huddy, and a draft pick) to the Buffalo Sabres (for Grant Fuhr, Denis Tsygurov, and Philippe Boucher) during the 1994-95 season.
|Kevin Stevens tallied 248-244=492 over his career. |
The No. 1 line consists of LW Kevin Stevens, C Jeremy Roenick and RW Tony Granato. This trio combined for over 1,000 goals and nearly 3,000 NHL games between the three of them.
Stevens, drafted by the Kings in the sixth round (108th overall) in 1983, saw his best years as being the left wing for Mario Lemieux during the Penguins' Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992 season. He finished his career tallying 248-244=492 in 774 games with four consecutive 40-goal campaigns from 1990-94. With the Kings he played in just 89 games, scoring 17-30=47. Stevens also played for the U.S. National team, scoring 45 points in 44 games.
Roenick played one brief season with the kings scoring 9-13=22 in 58 games. But for his career, he has notched 504-686=1190 in 1302 games.
He has played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings over the course of 18 NHL seasons and represented Team USA in numerous international tournaments. He became the 3rd American (Joe Mullen and Mike Modano the other two) to score 500 goals on Nov. 10, 2007 and played in nine NHL All-Star Games - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004.
He is also decorated in international achievements, having played for the United States in the 1988 and '89 World Junior Championships , the1991 World Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup (silver medal) and the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games.
Granato was drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (120th overall) in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft and scored 329-397=726 over his 874-game NHL. With the Kings, he had three 30-goal seasons, scoring 148-157=305 in 380 games in Los Angeles. He also coached the Colorado Avalanche and was the Bill Masterton Trophy Winner 1997.
Our second line goes LW Dustin Brown, C Neal Broten and RW Patrick O’Sullivan.
|Kings fans have come to expect the hits that Brown delivers. This season, he is on pace for 30-plus goals. |
O’Sullivan is listed as a center, but plays just about everywhere for the Kings this season and center is stacked for the Kings as we still have not hit Bobby Carpenter, Neal Broten or Jimmy Carson. Plus he and Brownie are currently playing together and you can’t under estimate chemistry.
We have not seen the best of Brown as of yet. He is putting together his first 30-plus goal campaign as he leads the Kings in goals in 2007-08. He also leads the NHL in hits this season and has tallied 58-65=123 in 248 games.
Expect big things from him in the future.
Just writing Broten’s career stats down, you see why he made this list, scoring 289-634=923 in 1,099 games over his career. He is the only player to have played on teams that won the NCAA hockey championship, the Olympic Gold Medal and the Stanley Cup.
And that Gold-Medal Winning team was the one from 1980, yeah that one, he was a member of the United States Olympic team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics, known as the Miracle on Ice. If you are unfamiliar, check out the Disney movie, “Miracle.” He was also a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments as well as the 1990 Ice Hockey World Championship.
His NHL career saw him play 17 seasons and he was the first American to score more than 100 points in a single season (1985-86) as well as making appearances in two NHL All-Star Games in 1983 and 1986. He won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, where he scored the game-winning goal in Game Four against the Detroit Red Wings which clinched the title.
You want awards: WCHA First All-Star Team (1981), NCAA West First All-American Team (1981), Hobey Baker Memorial Award (Top U.S. Collegiate Player) (1981) and a Lester Patrick Trophy winner (1998).
O’Sullivan is having a career year with the Kings in 2007-08, scoring 14-19=33 this season and playing in just about every situation imaginable.
He already has the international resume, playing for the United States in the World Juniors in 2003, 2004 and ’05, scoring 6-8=14 in 20 games and one World Championships in 2006, scoring one goal in three games.
|Bobby Carpenter was traded to the Kings for Marcel Dionne. |
The third line has LW Craig Johnson, the U.S. Hall of Famer Carpenter at center and Bob Kudelski at RW.
Johnson’s stats line reads like this: 75-98=173 in 557 games. He might be most famous for being traded for Wayne Gretzky when the Kings dealt the Great One to St. Louis.
Carpenter’s career spanned 18 years, playing in 1,178 games, scoring 320 goals and 408 assists for 728 points. He has the distinction of being the first U.S. Citizen to be drafted into the National Hockey League directly out of high school and the first U.S.-born hockey player to be selected within the top five picks of the NHL Draft.
He played in the NHL All-Star Game (1985) and was traded to the Kings for Marcel Dionne. He played with the United States team at the 1987 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Moscow and represented the U.S. nationals for the final time in the 1987 Canada Cup. Had three seasons of 30 plus goals and one 50-goal campaign. His three seasons in LA had him score 32-51=83 in 120 games.
Kudelski tallied 139-102=241 in 442 NHL games after being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1986 NHL Supplemental Draft.
After playing three seasons at Yale University, where he was an ECAC First All-Star in 1987, he led the Nighthawks to the Calder Cup finals in his second professional season, before making the Kings in 1989, scoring at least twenty goals in the next three years.
Kudelski was traded to the Ottawa Senators during their inaugural season of 1992-93, and made an immediate scoring impact, finishing only four goals behind Sylvain Turgeon for the team lead despite playing 25 fewer games for the Senators. In 1993-94, he scored a career-high 40 goals and was selected to play in the 1994 All Star Game.
Interesting note: Kudelski holds the NHL record for games played in a single season with 86, after the Senators traded him to Florida and Ottawa had played more games than the Panthers at the time he was dealt.
|Before George Parros joined the Anaheim Ducks, he was drafted by the Kings and had 138 PIMs for Los Angeles in 2005-06. |
Here is a fourth line that packs a scorer’s punch and a real one too with Jimmy Carson at the center position, Mike Donnelly on the left wing and why not George Parros at RW, since he did wrack up 138 PIMs in 57 games for the Kings in 2005-06 and was a fan favorite for his fights...and his mustache.
Carson was drafted by the Kings in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft as the second overall pick and he scored 37 goals as an 18-year-old rookie in the 1986-87 NHL season. The following season, he scored 55. He also holds the distinction of being traded for Wayne Gretzky, as he and Martin Gelinas were part of the Aug. 9, 1988 blockbuster trade that sent them, the Kings' three first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993, and $15 million cash to the Edmonton Oilers for Gretzky, Marty McSorley, and Mike Krushelnyski. Carson finished his career scoring 275-286=561 in 626 games.
Donnelly played with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Kings, Dallas Stars and New York Islanders, appearing in 465 games where he scored 114 goals and added 121 assists. Here are some of his awards: CCHA First All-Star Team (1986), NCAA West First All-American Team (1986), NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1986), NCAA Championship Tournament MVP (1986) and he was once traded for a pick that ended up being Alexander Mogilny.
Parros won the Cup with the Ducks last season, he played four years at Princeton University, where he totaled 52 points and 119 PIM in 111 games and was named team captain for his senior season in 2002-03. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the eighth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and finished the 2005-06 season with two goals, three assists, and 138 PIM in 55 games. For his career, he has posted 4-7=11 with 378 PIM in 141 games.
So that’s our team. We probably missed a few people, so feel free to email us your thoughts, suggestions etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org
Either way, let the debate begin.
Jason Blake…. I know there are more but that one rings a winners bell when I think U.S. born Players who have passed through Los Angeles.
Mario, that was a pretty good nominee, and someone we definitely considered. I don't think Blake, who played left wing, should be on the list ahead of Kevin Stevens and Dustin Brown, so that would put him in contention with Craig Johnson and Mike Donnelly. Johnson played in 429 games with the Kings and to me was a perfect person to be on that third line. Donnelly played in 307 games with the Kings, and had three 20-goal seasons.
Blake, played in just 82 games over three seasons in Los Angeles, scoring 7-21=28 over that span, before being dealt to New York. With the Islanders, he tallied 12-18=30 over the first two seasons on Long Island before running off four straight 20-plus goal seasons, including a career-high 40 last season. With his short time in LA, I put Johnson ahead of him, and since he has similar numbers to Donnelly, I give Donnelly the edge since he played in LA longer.