Best British Ice Hockey players in the NHL

The records show that 51 NHL players were born in the United Kingdom and had significant degrees of success in the league.

The players may have been born overseas, but they all more or less moved to North America as youngsters and launched their hockey careers in the Canada or USA.

Of these 51 players, three were born in Wales with five coming from Northern Ireland, 21 from Scotland, and 22 from England.

There’s no doubt that Great Britain isn’t anywhere near a hockey power, but this list proves that UK-born players have had their fair share of success in the NHL over the years. Here are the most successful UK players in NHL:

Jack Beattie

Five-foot-nine-inch left-winger Jack ‘Red’ Beattie of Ibstock, England played in the NHL from 1930 to 1939. He spent most of his time with the Boston Bruins, but also played with the Detroit Red Wings and New York Americans.

Beattie appeared in 334 regular-season matches and accumulated 62 goals and 85 assists for 147 points. He peaked in the 1935-36 season with 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 48 games.

If boylesports bookmakers 2017, one of the most prominent betting sites today, was operating back in the day of Jack Beattie, there’s no chance that he wouldn’t have been rated as one of the best players of the 1935-36 season.

Adam Brown

Brown hailed from Johnstone, Scotland, and played on the left wing for the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, and Boston Bruins between 1941 and 1952.

He appeared in 391 regular-season contests and contributed 217 points on 104 goals and 113 assists while serving 378 minutes in penalties.

Peter Lee

Right-winger Peter Lee of Ellesmere, England, was drafted 12th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976 after scoring more than 400 points with the Ottawa 67’s, including a 161-point campaign in his final year of junior.

He scored at about a point-per-game pace in the AHL for a year and a half and then made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh in 1977-78.

Byron Dafoe

From Worthing, England, Dafoe was a pretty good NHL goalie with the Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, and the Atlanta Thrashers between 1992 and 2004.

He was taken 35th overall by Washington in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft after playing out west as a junior with Portland and Prince Albert.

Dafoe appeared in 415 regular-season NHL games and posted a record of 171-170-56 with a goals-against average of 2.69 and a save percentage of .904 along with 26 shutouts.

Ken Hodge

Hodge was known as one of the toughest wingers in the NHL from 1964 to 1978 when he played with the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers.

He hailed from Birmingham, England and starred as a junior with the Saint Catharines Blackhawks, scoring a league-leading 63 goals and 60 assists in his final season.

Hodge’s NHL career lasted 881 regular-season games which saw him score 328 goals and 472 assists for 800 points to go along with 779 minutes in penalties.

Owen Nolan

Hard-nosed and high-scoring, Nolan (pictured above) was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and patrolled the right wing from 1990 to 2010 with the likes of the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, and Minnesota Wild.

Nolan was a first-overall draft pick by Quebec in 1990 from the Cornwall Royals.

He scored 423 goals and 463 assists for 885 points for his career. Nolan also chipped in with 40 points in 65 post-season contests.

Nolan was also a rough and tumble guy who served 1,793 minutes in penalties – he was a feared fighter. The power forward represented his adopted Canada at several tournaments and won an Olympic gold medal in 2002.

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