Skip to main content
NHL Insider

NHL.com staff picks top active U.S.-born player

Patrick Kane of Blackhawks, Auston Matthews of Maple Leafs receive plenty of support in poll celebrating Hockey Across America Week

NHL.com @NHL

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane is the best active United States-born player in the NHL, according to a poll of NHL.com writers.

Kane, 28, received a first-place vote on all 11 ballots for a score of 110. The poll was conducted to help celebrate Hockey Week Across America, which runs through Sunday.

The rankings were calculated by a points-based system based on the votes of the 11 participating staff members. Point values are assigned to each ranking. The point values are assigned as follows: 10 points for a No. 1 ranking, down to one point for a No. 10 ranking.

Kane has 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) this season and is the first American player to score at least 20 goals in each of his first 11 NHL seasons.

Kane is one of three players to be named on each of the 11 ballots. Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel, who finished fourth in the poll, and Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, who finished sixth, are the others.

Video: CHI@BUF: Kane makes several dekes to beat Lehner

Center Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs finished second with 85 voting points, on the strength of his dominant rookie season.

Matthews, 19, has 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists), the second-best rookie total behind Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrick Laine, who has 54 points (30 goals, 24 assists).

San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski is third in the balloting with 75 voting points. Pavelski, 32, in his 10th season with the Sharks, has 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists), tied for the third-best among U.S.-born players with Matthews and Pacioretty.

Kessel, who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins last season, has 56 points (21 goals, 35 assists) this season, four fewer than Kane. Kessel has scored 30 or more goals five times in his 11-season NHL career.

Video: WPG@PIT: Kessel picks the corner for game-tying PPG

Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter finished fifth in the voting with 56 voting points, appearing on nine of the 11 ballots. Suter, 32, has 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists), second behind Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets (39 points) in scoring among U.S.-born defensemen.

Byfuglien did not finish in the top 10, receiving seven points. 

Pacioretty, the Canadiens captain, has 28 goals, tied with Matthews for the most among American-born players.

Pacioretty, 28, is on pace to score at least 30 goals for the fourth straight season and the fifth time in six seasons.
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (27 voting points), New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (22), Jets right wing Blake Wheeler (20 points) and New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (16 points) round out the top 10. 

Matthews, the No. 1 selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, is the only player in the top 10 of voting that did not appear for the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Video: TOR@CAR: Matthews pots fantastic goal while falling

Twenty-two different players were named on the ballots and the positional breakdown was relatively even: Six defenseman, five right wings, four left wings, four centers and three goalies. 

Here is the final voting breakdown (voting points in parentheses)

Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks (110)
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (85)
Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks (75)
Phil Kessel, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (69) 
Ryan Suter, D, Minnesota Wild (56)
Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens (53)
Ryan Kesler, C, Anaheim Ducks (27)
Ryan McDonagh, D, New York Rangers (22)
Blake Wheeler, RW, Winnipeg Jets (20) 
Cory Schneider, G, New Jersey Devils (16) 
Cam Atkinson, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets (9)
T.J. Oshie, RW, Washington Capitals (9) 
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, St. Louis Blues (8) 
Dustin Byfuglien, D, Winnipeg Jets (7) 
Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings (7) points 
James van Riemsdyk, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs (6)
Seth Jones, D, Columbus Blue jackets (6)
Jack Eichel, C, Buffalo Sabres (5)
Zach Parise, LW, Minnesota Wild (5)
Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames (4)
Zach Werenski, (D) Columbus Blue Jackets (2) 
John Gibson, G, Anaheim Ducks (1)

 

How they voted: 

 

Arpon Basu, LNH.com, Senior Managing Editor

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 5. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 7. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames; 8. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres; 9. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 10. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

Video: FLA@SJS: Pavelski ties the game late with second goal

 

Amalie Benjamin, NHL.com Staff Writer  

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 4. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 5. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 7. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets; 8. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 9. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres; 10. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

 

Brian Compton, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 4. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 7. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 8. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; 9. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues; 10. T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals

 

Nick Cotsonika, NHL.com Columnist 

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 4. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 5. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 6. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 7. Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets; 8. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues; 9. Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets; 10. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks

Video: ANA@MIN: Suter scores from below the goal line

 

Lisa Dillman, NHL.com Staff Writer 

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 4. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 6. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 7. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 8. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 9. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

 

Tom Gulitti, NHL.com Staff Writer 

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 3. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 4. T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals; 5. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets; 7. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 8. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 9. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues; 10. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

 

Adam Kimelman, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 4. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; 5. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 7. Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets; 8. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 9. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 10. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues

Video: NYI@NJD: Schneider denies Tavares' penalty shot

 

Mike Morreale, NHL.com Staff Writer 

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 4. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 6. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 8. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets; 9. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 10. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Shawn Roarke, NHL.com Director of Editorial

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 4. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 6. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 7. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 8. James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; 10. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Dan Rosen, NHL.com Senior Writer 

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild; 4. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 6. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 8. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 9. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 10. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Video: ANA@WSH: Kesler buries Fowler's pass to cut deficit

 

Dave Stubbs, NHL.com Columnist

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; 4. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; 6. Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild; 7. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; 8. James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets; 10. T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals

View More