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"Born To Be Hockey Players" Wisconsin's Greatest

We will add players as we do our research so don't worry if one is missing. If you have anyone that you think should be listed let us know (contact@nhlinwisconsin.com). But I thought who better to be our first player introduced than truly one of the greatest players and ambassadors to the sport, and not just from Wisconsin...

Mark Johnson

nhl in wisconsin Mark Johnson

  • Attended Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI
  • Played for his father Bob Johnson for the Wisconsin Badgers from 1976-1979
  • Won a National Championship in 1977 on UW
  • Won the WCHA rookie of the year in 1977
  • UW's 2nd All Time Leading Scorer (256 points, 125 goals, 131 assists)
  • 2-time All American
  • Won a Gold Medal at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid
  • Scored 2 Goals in the famed "Miracle on Ice" game
  • Played 669 Games in the NHL from 1980-1990
  • Played for the Penguins, Star, Whalers, Blues and Devils
  • Scored 203 goals and had 305 assists in the NHL (508 points)
  • Currently coaches the Badger Women's hockey team which he has lead to a record of 210-39-22 and 3 National Championships (2006, 2007, 2009) in 8 full seasons
  • Coached the Women's US Olympic hockey team in 2010 to the Silver Medal in Vancouver
  • In 2002, he was selected to the WCHA's Top 50 Players in 50 years
  • Inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, into Wisconsin's Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001


Gary Suter

nhl in wisconsin gary suter calgary flames

  • Born in Madison, WI, 1964
  • Played 2 seasons with the Badgers from 1983-1985
  • Was drafted in the 9th round of the NHL draft in 1984, 180th overall
  • Played in 1145 games, over 17 seasons in the NHL from 1985-2002
  • He was a member of the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, and San Jose Sharks
  • Won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989
  • Received the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1986
  • Played in 4 All-Star Games
  • Scored 203 goals and had 641 assists (844 points, good for 13th overall as an American, 4th overall for American defensive players, 14th on the all-time defense list, and 115th on the all -time all-time)
  • His 641 assists put him at 60th on the All Time
  • Was a member of 8 US teams from the World Juniors to the Olympics
  • Won Silver Medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake
  • Logged 1349 minutes in the penalty box


Craig Ludwig

nhl in wisconsin craig ludwig

  • Born in Rhinelander, WI
  • Attended Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, WI
  • Walked on to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux where he won 2 National Championships from 1979-1982
  • North Dakota MVP 1982
  • Played on the USA Hockey Junior team 1980-81
  • Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 6th round (51st overall) of the 1980 entry draft
  • Awarded the Montreal 4th Star (Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy, Unsung Player) 3 times, 1983, 85, 86
  • Won 2 Stanley Cups (Canadiens 1986, and Dallas Stars 1999)
  • Scored 38 goals and had 184 assists (222 points) in his career duing the regular season, 4 goals and 24 assists in the playoffs
  • Inducted into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame in 2002
  • Constructed his own specially designed shin pads
  • Played in 17 seasons from 1982-1999 in 1256 games (68th All Time) and 177 playoff games
  • Was a member of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Minnesota North Stars (and made the move as the Dallas Stars)
  • Logged 1437 minutes in the penalty box
  • Worked as an assistant coach for the Utah Grizzlies (IHL) and Dallas Stars after retirement, also did scouting for the Stars
  • Currently is an assistant coach on the Junior A Texas Tornado team


Chris Chelios

nhl in wisconsin Chris Chelios

  • Born in Chicago, IL (Raised in Evergreen Park)
  • Played 2 seasons with UW-Madison from 1981-1983
  • Won the WCHA Rookie of the Year for the 1981-82 season
  • Was a part of the 1983 National Championship team
  • On the All-Tournament team 1983
  • Drafted by Montreal in the 2nd round of the 1981 Entry Draft (40th Overall)
  • Over his storied career was a member of the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL
  • Played in 1651 games over 26 seasons (ranked 4th all-time, and 1st among American born players)
  • Won the James Norris Memoral Trophy for the NHL's best Defenseman 3 times (89, 93, 96)
  • Scored 185 goals and had 763 assists (37th All Time), 948 points total (87th All Time)
  • Won 3 Stanley Cups (2 with Detroit, 1 with Montreal)
  • During the 2004-05 strike season played on the UHL team the Motor City Mechanics
  • Played in 268 playoff games (1st All Time), making the post-season 24 out of the 26 seasons
  • Was a member of 4 U.S. Olympic Teams (his last in 2006 was 22 years after his first in 1984)
  • Hockey News ranked him the 40th greatest NHL player of All Time, and many say one of the best American born players of All Time
  • Played in 11 All Star games
  • Finally retired from professional hockey August 2010 at the age of 48 (second oldest behind Gordie Howe)


Brian Rafalski

nhl in wisconsin brian rafalski

  • Born Dearborn, MI 1973
  • Member of the Madison Capitols of the USHL during the 1990-1991 season scoring 12 goals and 11 assists
  • Played 4 seasons with the Wisconsin Badgers from 1991-1995
  • Scored 45 points in 43 games as a senior on UW in 1995
  • WCHA Defensemen of the Year 1995
  • NCAA West First All Star Team 1995
  • Spent 4 years in European leagues from 1995-1999, winning the Pekka Rautakallio Trophy twice for best defensemen, the Matt Keinonen Award for best +/- on points, and the Kultainen kypara award (first non-Finnish) for best player all in the SM-liinga league
  • 1999 Sporting News named him the best player not in the NHL
  • In 1999 was signed by the New Jersey Devils and played in the NHL since then
  • NHL All Rookie Team 1999-2000 Season at the age of 26
  • Selected to 2 All Star Games
  • Played in 154 playoff games with 27 goals and 70 assists
  • Has 79 goals and 422 assists through 813 games in 11 seasons
  • Has 16 game winning goals
  • Won 3 Stanley Cups in his career (00, 03 Devils, 08 Red Wings)
  • Played in 5 Stanley Cup finals
  • Ranked 79th all time with a 177 +/-
  • Represented Team US in 3 Olympic games (02-Silver, 06, 10-Silver)
  • Named best Defensemen of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver
  • Currently is still playing in the NHL so all these stats will only improve, and did all this going undrafted

Roger "Broadway" Jenkins

Roger Jenkins

  • Born November 18, 1911 in Appleton, WI
  • Position Defense
  • The first Wisconsin born person to play in the NHL
  • Played 8 seasons in the NHL from 1930-1939 with 6 different teams (Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Americans, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Montreal Maroons)
  • Won 2 Stanley Cup's, both with the Blackhawks in 1934 and 1938
  • After the 1934 Stanley Cup parade he pushed Charlie Gardiner around the Chicago Loop in wheelbarrow as part of a bet he had with the goaltender.
  • Logged 327 regular season and 27 playoff games in the NHL
  • Scored a total of 16 goals and had 46 assists
  • Played an additional 467 regular season and 44 playoff games over 12 seasons in other leagues such as the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL), American Hockey League (AHL), International Hockey League (IHL), International American Hockey League (IAHL), Canadian-American League (Can-Am), and Edmonton Junior (EJrHL) scoring a total of 102 goals and 304 assists
  • In 3 seasons from 1940-1943 with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, scored 29 goals and 92 assists over 193 games
  • While with the Seattle Ironmen of the PCHL scored 29 goals and 42 assists in 2 seasons and 76 games
  • Passed away May 4, 1994

David Maley

david maley NHL

  • Born in Beaver Dam, WI April 24, 1963
  • Position Left Wing
  • Played 4 years at UW-Madison
  • Helped win a National Championship for UW in 1983
  • Scored 65 goals and 100 assists (165 points) in his career as a Badger
  • Drafted 33rd Overall in 1982 by the Montreal Canadiens
  • Over 9 season in the NHL played for the Canadiens, Devils, Oilers, Sharks, and Islanders
  • Won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1986
  • Played in 466 career NHL games, scoring 43 goals and 81 assists
  • Established the Rollin' Ice Arena in San Jose, CA in 1996 hosting roller hockey events and clinics
  • After a 3 year hiatus from hockey Maley played his final professional season in 1999 with the Albany River
  • Currently works in broadcasting for the San Jose Sharks

Louis "Bob" Blake

david maley NHL

  • Born in Ashland, WI August 16, 1914
  • Position Left Wing/Defense
  • Began his professional career at the age of 17 with the Hibbing Miners of the Central Hockey League
  • Logged only one season in the NHL with the Boston Bruins in 1935-46, 12 games and no goals or assists
  • Although his NHL career only lasted a handful of games Blake would prove to be a powerful force in many of the other professional leagues featured in America at the time
  • Played 16 seasons in leagues such as the Canadian-American League, Central Hockey League, American Hockey Assoc., American Hockey League, US Hockey League and International American Hockey League, a couple of seasons were played concurrently with one another
  • In those 16 seasons played in a total of 661 regular season games, and 68 playoff games
  • Before being signed by the Boston Bruins, won the Can-Am championship with the Boston Cubs in 1935 in his first season
  • Played a 2nd season with the Cubs and was one of the leagues top 10 scorers
  • In 3 seasons and 128 games with the Minneapolis Millers of the AHA, he scored 35 goals with 68 assists
  • But arguably had his most successful stint with the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL, playing 7 seasons, scoring 26 goals, and 61 assists
  • Voted most popular player on Buffalo for the 41-42 and 42-43 seasons, also won the Calder Cup with the team in 1943 and 1946
  • Won the Loudan Trophy with the Houston Huskies (USHL) in 1948, while rated as one of the best defensemen in the USHL
  • During his storied career also a member of the Cleveland Barons (IAHL), Pittsburgh Hornets (IAHL), Cincinnati Mohawks (AHL), and New Haven Eagles (AHL)
  • Ended his career with 116 goals, and 217 assists
  • Served with the Air Force in the Pacific Theater during World War II
  • Coached High School hockey in Fort Erie, Ontario shortly after his retirement
  • Inducted in the US Hockey Hall of Fame 1985
  • Passed away November 26, 2008

Barry Richter

david maley NHL

  • Born in Madison, WI September 11, 1970
  • Position Defense
  • Drafted by the Hartford Whales out of high school in the 2nd round of the 1988 Entry Draft (32nd Overall)
  • Played 4 years at UW-Madison
  • Member of the 1990 UW National Championship Team
  • As a freshman, scored 13 goals and 23 assists during that season with the Championship run
  • 1992 NCAA Championship All Tournament Team
  • 1993 WCHA First All-Star Team
  • 1993 NCAA West First All-All American Team
  • By the age of 28 was a member of Team USA 8 times, including 2 World Juniors, 4 World Championships, and 1 Olympic (94)
  • Had his best year statisically with the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL in 1995-1996 scoring 20 goals and 61 assists over 69 games
  • 1996 AHL First All-Star Team
  • 1996 Eddie Shore Award for Most Outstanding Defensemen in the AHL
  • From 1995-2001, played 151 games over 5 seasons in the NHL as a member of the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens
  • Scored 11 goals and 34 assists in his NHL career
  • Played 7 seasons in the AHL overlapping with the NHL, logging 327 games (additional 30 playoffs) and scoring 65 goals with 208 assists.
  • In 2001 he began his European career with the Swedish Elite League as a member of the Linkopings HC
  • From 2003-2008 played in the Swiss league with the EV Zug and was the top scoring defensemen on the team each season scoring a total of 409goals and 119 assists

Paul Ranheim



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