Father-son bloodlines are deeply rooted in the NHL. And with every passing NHL Draft, it seems there’s high-end talent continuing to be passed-on. It’s a family tradition.
Fathers teach their sons the little things that it takes to be an NHL athlete. They benefit from their knowledge, their connections, their coaches and often their financial well being. Scouts know that sons of NHLers have been coached by their fathers–NHLers. While being the son of an NHL player doesn’t make a better player, it has its advantages.
In 2017, Nolan Patrick was taken second overall while Cal Foote was taken with the 14th pick. In 2016, Matthew Tkachuk, Jacob Chycrun and Alexander Nylander all were drafted in the first round. In 2015, Jake Debrusk was selected 14th overall. In 2014, Sam Reinhart, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen were first rounders. All of them have hockey in their bloodline. In 2013, Max Domi was also drafted in the first round.
Starting with honorable mentions, presented below are the Top 5 Father-Son combinations in NHL history.
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The Domis: Tie (father) and Max (son)
Tie Domi was a tough customer, finishing his career with 3,515 penalty minutes. He scored 104 goals and added 141 assists in 1,020 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets.
Max Domi is a different kind of threat: a scoring threat. In only 375 games, he’s already scored 81 goals–more than three-quarters of his dad’s total. Like his old man, Max is willing to drop the gloves, having broken a bone in his hand during a fight in the 2016-17 season. The father-son duo make a formidable combination.
The Tkachuks: Keith (father), Matthew & Brady (sons)
Keith Tkachuk was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He had back-to-back 50-goal seasons in 1995-96 (50 goals) and 1996-97 (52 goals) with the Jets and Phoenix Coyotes franchises. He finished his impressive career with 538 goals and 527 assists in 1,201 games and was inducted in to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Keith’s son, Matthew, was drafted by the Flames in the first round of the 2016 draft. The feisty winger has played 293 games and has 235 points. In Sept. 2019, he signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension. The deal makes him the highest paid player on the Flames’ payroll, even more than captain, Mark Giordano. Though he plays with an edge, he’s proven to be a near point-per-game player.
Brady was drafted by the Ottawa Senators fourth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’s proving to be a solid NHLer as well, putting up 43 goals and 43 assists in his first 142 games. Perhaps not as feisty as his dad and older brother, he’s not afraid to mix it up and play in the dirty areas.
The Patricks: Lester (father) and Lynn, Muzz (sons) and Craig (grandson)
Lester Patrick established himself as both a hockey player and executive when he became the general manager and coach of the expansion Rangers in 1926. The team captured three Stanley Cups and built a foundation of fame in Madison Square Garden. After stepping down coach in 1939, Patrick coached his two sons, Lynn and Muzz, to another Cup a year later.
Lynn Patrick, a forward, spent 10 seasons with the Rangers, finishing with 336 points in 455 games. His son, Craig Patrick played eight seasons in the NHL and was an assistant coach with the famous 1980 U.S. “Miracle on Ice” team that won the gold medal at the Lake Placid Olympics. He then helped build the Pittsburgh Penguins teams that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
Dick Patrick, son of Muzz Patrick, is an owner and president of the Washington Capitals.
The Apps: Syl (father); Syl Jr. (son)
Syl Apps won the first-ever Calder Trophy in 1936-37 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. A captain and perennial all-star, Apps won the Stanley Cup three times. In 423 career games, he racked up 201 goals and 432 points. He also won the Lady Byng Trophy, putting up 41 points in a 38-season without taking a single penalty.
Syl’s son, Syl Apps Jr., played 10 seasons in the NHL, mostly with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a four year span in the 1970s, he averaged 87 points, including a career-best 99-point season. He finished his career with 606 points (183 goals, 423 assists) in 727 games.
The Bowmans: Scotty (father) and Stan (son)
Scotty Bowman has one of the most impressive hockey resumes of any coach in the NHL. He has 1,244 regular-season victories and has been a part of 14 Stanley Cup championship teams as a player or executive, including their with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he’s currently a senior adviser of hockey operations.
Stan Bowman, Scotty’s son, is the vice president and general manager of the Blackhawks. He joined the team in 2001 and became GM in July 2009. Stan was GM for the Blackhawks Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
5. The Folignos: Mike (father), Nick & Marcus (sons)
Mike Foligno had a great NHL career and is now enjoying life as an NHL coach. As a player, he appeared in 1,018 NHL games and scored 727 points, including 355 goals. After scoring 337 points in juniors playing for the Sudbury Wolves, he was drafted third overall in 1979 by the Detroit Red Wings. He donned the red and white sweater for two seasons before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres in 1981, where he scored 30 or more goals three times, including a career-high of 41 in 1985-86.
Mike’s signature “Foligno Leap” celebrated every one of his goals. He played 10 seasons with the Sabres before being traded to the Toronto Maples Leafs in 1991. He then played parts of three seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs before wrapping up his career with the Florida Panthers. He retired after the 1993-94 season and has spent time as an assistant coach and scout.
Foligno has two sons in the NHL, Nick and Marcus. Nick was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2006 draft and played five seasons there before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets after the 2011-12 season. In 2014-15, he had a breakout year for the Jackets, scoring 31 goals and 73 points in 79 games and was named the team’s captain after the season. His production has trailed off, but he’s still a dependable player and a tremendous leader.
Marcus Foligno, roughly four years younger than Nick, was drafted by the Sabres in the fourth round (No. 104) in 2011. He played six seasons in Buffalo before being traded to the Minnesota Wild. The hard-nosed winger is signed through the 2020-21 season.
4. The Parises: J.P. (father) and Zach (son)
The Parises are without a doubt one of the best father-son combos ever seen in NHL history. They both play with a grind-like mentality and possess the skills of a first-line player. They’re players that their teammates loved to play with and opponents hated to play against.
The late J.P. Parise played 14 years in the NHL, mostly for the Minnesota North Stars. Though only 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Parise was one of the league’s best cornermen. He had seven 50-plus point seasons. The left winger retired in 1979. While running the hockey program at Shattuck-St. Mary’s school, he was able to coach his son, Zach, and future NHL superstars Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. He played in 890 games while accumulating 594 points and 706 penalty minutes. He was a great ambassador of the game.
Zach Parise was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He scored 30 or more goals in five of seven seasons for the Devils and reached the Stanley Cup Final with them in 2012 (losing to the Los Angeles Kings). The left winger signed a whopping 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012. He has 386 goals and 406 assists in 1,015 games and is still one of the best American players in the game today.
3. The Stastnys: Peter (father) and Yan, Paul (sons)
Peter Stastny and his brother Anton Stastny were the first major hockey stars from the Eastern bloc to play in the NHL. They left their homeland of Czechoslovakia in 1980 to follow their dreams of playing in the NHL. Peter made an immediate impact, winning the Calder Trophy in 1980-81 as the league’s top rookie for the Quebec Nordiques. He was a force in the 1980s, totalling 986 points, second only to Wayne Gretzky who put up an incredible 1,700 points. He went on to play for the New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues, finishing his NHL career with 450 goals and 789 assists for 1,239 points in 977 games. In 1998, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The third brother, Marian, also joined Peter and Anton, forming an all Stastny line.
Peter’s two sons, Yan and Paul both played in the NHL. Paul was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche with the 44th pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. Like his father, he won the Calder Trophy in his rookie season, posting 78 points. He’s now in his 14th season in the league and his fourth team, the Vegas Golden Knights. He played for the silver-medal winning Team USA at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He has 726 points in 945 games.
Yan Stastny was chosen by the Boston Bruins in the eighth round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Over his five-year NHL career, he saw minimal action (91 games total) for the Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues.
2. The Howes: Gordie (father) and Mark, Marty (sons)
At the young age of 87, Gordie Howe is still known as one of the greatest ambassadors in hockey history. He is the epitome of loyalty and is one of the most beloved members of the hockey community. Howe played a remarkable 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and won four Stanley Cups during that time. He is nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” and with 801 markers held the goal scoring record until Wayne Gretzky came along. Even for more recognition, when a player records a goal, an assist, and a fight in a game, it is known as a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick.” Gordie Howe owned many of the NHL’s major records by the time he retired from the Detroit Red Wings in 1971. Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, and in 2007 the Red Wings unveiled a statue in his honor outside of the Joe Louis Arena.
Gordie’s son Mark had a fantastic NHL career. He is most known for spending 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011. He began his career in the WHA, where he played 426 games and posted 504 points. He then went on to play 929 NHL games, scoring 197 goals and 742 points as a defenseman. Mark helped the Flyers advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1985 and 1987, but he never won it all during his time as a player. However, he earned himself a few rings as a pro scout for the Detroit Red Wings during their four championship seasons in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Marty Howe didn’t put up the kind of numbers as his father and brother, but he still played 197 NHL games while collecting 99 points mainly with the Hartford Whalers. The most interesting moment between the three was when Gordie joined his both his sons while playing on the Houston Aeros of the WHA.
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1. The Hulls: Bobby (father) and Brett (son)
Bobby Hull was known as “The Golden Jet” and is one of the greatest players of all time. His ability to carry the puck through the zone and unleash a devastating shot was both feared and respected by the hockey world.
Hull’s career started in 1957 with the Chicago Blackhawks, accumulating 47 points and finishing second to the Frank Mahovlich in the Calder Trophy race. He put up 604 goals and 1,153 points in 1,036 games in his 15 explosive years with the Blackhawks. He’s second on the Blackhawks’ career games played list, first in franchise goals and second in franchise points. His place in Blackhawk history is permanent–his statue sits outside of the United Center.
Hull then moved to the WHA to play for the Winnipeg Jets where his point totals continued to skyrocket. He collected 913 goals and 1,808 points in his 23-year career, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
Not to be outdone, Bobby’s son, Brett carved himself just as good of a career while the NHL had begun to modernize itself during that time. He is one of five members to score 50 goals in 50 games, and he won two Stanley Cups in his 20-year career. Brett was just as loyal as Bobby, as he stayed with the St. Louis Blues for over 11 seasons along with teammate Adam Oates. As a free agent, he inked a deal with the Dallas Stars then played for the Red Wings and Coyotes.
In 1,269 games, Hull scored 741 goals and 1,391 points. The 741 goals by Hull puts him in third place all-time behind Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. He captured both the Hart and Lady Byng trophies as well as led the NHL in goals three consecutive seasons (1989-92).
In the history of the NHL, only one father-son duo is comprised of two players to achieve 50-goal seasons and net 600 goals in their respective careers. They were also the first pair to both make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and they are the only pair to each score over 1,000 points in the NHL. These stats put the dynamic Hull duo at the top of the list.
Jeff has been covering the NHL for over a decade for various sites. He’s been with The Hockey Writers as a lead Sabres writer three years, while also writing a satire column called “Off the Crossbar.”