Best British ice hockey players ever in the NHL

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North American players over the years have dominated Ice Hockey. This domination can be credited because the highest grade of organized ice hockey resides with them.

However, some different nationalities have recorded massive success in the NHL. Players from the UK have shown that British nationals have a lot to offer in developing the sport.

Records indicate that 51 previous NHL players have their roots in the United Kingdom and have had notable contributions to the league.

Here is a list of a few of these players who have recorded North America’s National Hockey League’s most successful.

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Peter Lee

Originating from Ellesmere, England, Peter Lee was drafted by Montreal Canadiens in 1976, after which he was sent to play for their farm team Nova Scotia Voyageurs. The right-winger made this move to the Canadiens after recording more than 400 points with the Ottawa 67’s but ended up never played for them.

He enjoyed a stellar campaign with the Ottawa 67’s, where he was awarded the player of the year award in the 1975-76 AHL season.

Peter Lee finally made his NHL debut in the 1977-88 season with Pittsburgh. He recorded 245 points in 421 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Englishman also held the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) career scoring record of 213 goals, which lasted for 33 years before John Tavares broke it in 2009.

Lee later left the NHL for Germany, where he played for Dusseldorfer EG and retired in 1997. For his outstanding achievements, Peter Lee retained a spot in the German Ice Hockey Hall of Fame and was enlisted in 2008.

John ‘Red’ Beattie

Hailing from Ibstock, England, John Bettie registered a 9-year career span in the NHL from 1930-1939. This career was spent with three teams, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Americans.

Playing junior hockey in Vancouver, the left-winger made his NHL career debut in 1930 with the Boston Bruins where he spent a huge majority of his NHL career. He recorded a total of 137 points in the 287 games played for the Bruins.

He later completed a total NHL career point tally of 147 points in 335 league matches.

The Englishman also has a long list of career spells with a host of other Canadian and American teams.

Byron Dafoe

With his origins rooted in Worthing, England, Dafoe was a goaltender who had his career in the NHL span across four teams between 1992-2004.

In his 12 year NHL career, he played for the Washington Capitals, The Los Angeles Kings, The Boston Bruins, and Atlanta Thrashers.

The British-Canadian holds different awards acquired throughout his playing career. Honored with inclusion in the First All-Star team, Hap Holmes Memorial Award, and won the Alder Cup all in 1994 during his spell with Portland Pirates in the AHL.

He also made the Second All-Star Team in the 1998-99 NHL season with Boston Bruins.

Kenneth Raymond Hodge Snr

Born in Birmingham, England, Ken Hodge grew up in Toronto, Canada, and became one of the best NHL players hailing from the UK.

His NHL career spanned three teams between 1964-1978; The Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers.

The right-winger is one player to remember having recorded 800 points in 881 NHL games. He also holds significant honors in different award categories.

Named as part of the First Team All-Stars in 1971 and 1973, Hodge Snr also played in the All-Star games in 1971, 1973, and 1974. He is also a two-time Stanley Cup champion in 1970 and 1972.

Hodge played his final professional career in the 1970-71 AHL season for the Binghampton Dusters in 1980 after coming out of retirement.

Owen Liam Nolan

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Owen Nolan enjoyed a fruitful 18-year career in the NHL.

After being drafted as the first overall by Quebec Nordiques, the right-winger went on to play for a host of NHL teams. Nine to be exact with his NHL career starting with the Nordiques in 1990 and ending at Minnesota Wild in 2010.

The Irish-born Canadian is revered with several OHL and NHL honors and awards. In the OHL, he was made part of the Emms Family Award in 1989 and First All-Star Team in 1990. The Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy is also one of his notable achievements.

Owen Nolan also featured in the NHL All-Star games of 1992,1996, 1997, 2000, and 2002.

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