New Jersey Devils: Team America

As the NHL prepares to send its stars to the Olympics in 2014, I thought it would be worthwhile and interesting to put together a list of the best U.S. born players in New Jersey Devils history.  Presently the Devils have six American-born players on their NHL roster (Ryan Carter, Mark Fayne, Stephen Gionta, Andy Greene, Peter Harrold and Cory Schneider) and a few guys on the farm, including Tim Sestito, Keith Kinkaid and potentially Cam Janssen, Dan Kelly, Jeff Frazee and Jay Leach.

Much of that stems from having possibly the best U.S. born General Manager, in Lou Lamoriello.  The team has also employed some very notable U.S. coaches, headlined by Herb Brooks and augmented by the likes of Robbie Ftorek, John Cunniff and even Lamoriello himself.

When it comes to piecing together an all-American Devils squad, here’s my take, in all of its patriotic glory:

Scott Gomez – C: Won the 1999-00 Calder Trophy and two Stanley Cup titles in New Jersey.  Also played for the 2006 U.S. Olympic team, totaling five points in six games.

Scott Gomez Canadiens

Scott Gomez has played in many variations of the red white and blue. (Icon SMI)

Brian Rolston – C: Had seven double-digit goal seasons with the Devils and was a member of the 1995 Stanley Cup winning squad.  Played on three U.S. Olympic teams (1994, 2002, 2006) garnering ten goals and 14 points in 20 games.

Brian Rolston Bruins

Brian Rolston, thrice a U.S. Olympian. (Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

Neal Broten – C: Scored for game winning goals in the playoffs during the Devils first Stanley Cup run in 1995.  Scored two goals and added one assist for the “Miracle On Ice” U.S. Olympic squad in 1980.

Jim Dowd – C: The Brick, New Jersey native scored the game winning goal in Game Two of the 1995 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings.  Scored the first goal in Albany River Rats franchise history in 1993.

(Jim Dowd/Wikipedia)

Brick, New Jersey native, Jim Dowd. (Wikipedia)

Zach Parise – LW: A five-time 30-goal scorer and one-time 40-goal scorer with the Devils, Parise captained New Jersey to the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Final.   Parise played on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team, tallying four goals and four assists in six contests.

Zach Parise scores on Lundqvist

Zach Parise lights the lamp. (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Chorske – LW: Netted 57 goals across four seasons in New Jersey.  A member of the 1995 Stanley Cup championship team.

Aaron Broten – LW: In eight seasons with the Devils, Broten potted 147 markers.

Aaron Broten enjoyed a lengthy and successful career with the New Jersey Devils, even playing for the team in their Colorado Rockies days (vintageminnesotahockey.com)

Aaron Broten enjoyed a lengthy and successful career with the New Jersey Devils, even playing for the team in their Colorado Rockies days (vintageminnesotahockey.com)

Jay Pandolfo – LW: Solid defensive forward and penalty killer, also scored 99 goals (including seven short-handed) for the Devils.  A member of the 1999-00 and 2002-03 Stanley Cup championship teams.

jay pandolfo

Jay Pandolfo, penalty killer extraordinaire. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Gionta – RW: Totaled six double-digit goal seasons for New Jersey, including a 48-goal campaign in 2005-06.  A member of the 2002-03 Stanley Cup champion Devils.  Scored four goals in six games for the 2006 U.S. Olympic team.

brian gionta

Brian Gionta, once netted 48-goals for the Devils. (James Guillory-USPRESSWIRE)

Bill Guerin – RW: Posted five double-digit goal season for the Devils.  A member of the 1995 Stanley Cup winning squad.  Played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1998, 2002 and 2006, scoring five goals in 16 contests.

Bill Guerin/Photo by Dan4th - Flickr

Bill Guerin/Photo by Dan4th – Flickr

Jamie Langenbrunner – RW: Former Devils captain, posted seven double-digit goal campaigns in New Jersey.  A member of the 2002-03 Stanley Cup championship team.  Played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1998 and 2010, notching one goal in nine games.

Doug Brown – RW: Had five seasons of double-digit goals for New Jersey.

Brian Rafalski – D: A two-time All-Star (2004 and 2007) and two-time Stanley Cup champion (1999-00 and 2002-03) with the Devils.  A member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 U.S. Olympic squads, posting 13 points in 17 games.

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Rafalski. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Paul Martin – D: Registered a +/- rating of + 55, in six seasons with the Devils.

Paul Martin

Paul Martin.  (Icon SMI)

Mark Fayne – D: A solid, self-sacrificing defenceman.  Has also recorded nine goals in three years with New Jersey.

Andy Greene – D: Now an alternate captain, Greene has 20 goals and 97 assists in seven seasons with the Devils.  Greene’s + 12 rating paced New Jersey in 2013.

(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Andy Greene with a thundering check. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Kurvers – D: Registered 15 goals and 50 assists in 1988-89 season for the Devils.  Wound up being traded to Toronto for the pick that eventually netted the Devils Scott Niedermayer.

Phil Housley – D: Recorded 16 points in 22 games for New Jersey in 1995-96.  Played for the 2002 U.S. Olympic team, posting five points in six games.

A Phil Housley Jets card, early in his tenure with the team.

A Phil Housley Jets card, early in his tenure with the team.

Cory Schneider – G: Future franchise goalie for New Jersey, has a career record of 55-26-8, with a goals against average of 2.20.

Cory Schneider

Cory Schneider is now a member of the New Jersey Devils (Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE)

Chris Terreri – G: Posted 118 victories and seven shutouts with the Devils.  A member of two (1994-95 and 1999-00) Stanley Cup championship teams in New Jersey.

Scott Clemmensen – G: In 2008-09, saved the Devils’ season, posting 25 wins in 40 games.

Scott Clemmensen Panthers

Scott Clemmensen.  (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

As for the line combinations, a top line of Gomez, Gionta and Parise, reunites two-thirds of the old “EGG line.”  On the second line, you have Rolston, Guerin and Chorske, all teammates on the 1995 Cup winning team.  On the third line it’s both Broten brothers and Langenbrunner, all former members of the Stars as well.  Finally on the fourth line, a rugged and gritty line of Dowd, Pandolfo and Brown.

Back on the blue line, there’s the puck moving skill and speed of Rafalski and Martin.  Then you have current teammates and defensive pairing of Fayne and Greene.  More offense again on the third unit with Housley and Kurvers.

In net I went with the franchise future in Schneider and a franchise leader in Terreri.  Plus, Clemmensen had a larger body of work with the Devils, over such  U.S. Olympians like Mike Dunham and John Vanbiesbrouck.

The NHL regular season schedule was released on Friday. Check out our partners at TiqIQ for the best deals on New Jersey Devils tickets for all 2013-14 games.

Michael Gwizdala
Michael Gwizdala covers the New Jersey Devils for The Hockey Writers. Michael has also written for the Times Union and has been published on numerous outlets on the web. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is also a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
Michael Gwizdala
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