10 Best Hockey Players to Come Out of Chicago
The Chicago Blackhawks have a long legacy here in Chicago. Founded in 1926, the team has won six Stanley Cup championships and seen its share of great hockey players. At Gunzo’s Hockey Headquarters, we recognize that playing hockey successfully requires elite skill and talent, which is why we want to take a moment to recognize the effort and abilities of these incredible athletes by compiling a list of the 10 best hockey players to come out of Chicago.
Image via Flickr by Nicole Yeary
Duncan Keith is arguably one of the greatest defensemen in Chicago Blackhawk history, and for many years, you could even make the argument that he was the best defenseman in the NHL. He is known as a two-way defenseman, a hockey player capable in both shutdown and offensive roles. He helped the Blackhawks bring home the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015, and he was named one of the 100 greatest hockey players in history.
Toews joined the Blackhawks in 2007 and was immediately nominated as NHL Rookie of the Year. He became captain the following year, making him the second-youngest captain in the history of the league. He helped the team bring home the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Toews won the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2014-2015, and he’s considered to be one of the best captains in the NHL. He is widely known for his two-way game, although he also has a strong defense. Like Keith, his name is on the list of the top 100 hockey players in history.
The late Stan Mikita was one of the best Blackhawks players of all time. A great playmaker who was known for his powerful offense, he led the NHL in scoring to win the Art Ross Trophy on four separate occasions.
In his 1,396 games, he achieved 541 goals and had 926 assists for a total of 1,467 points. It’s no surprise that he joined the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. After 22 seasons, Mikita retired from the Chicago Blackhawks. This elite player, however, is still the all-time leading scorer for the team.
While Bobby Hull is without a doubt one of the best hockey players to play for the Blackhawks, he is also arguably one of the best players in NHL history. Highly decorated as a Blackhawks player, Hull won the Stanley Cup in 1961, the Art Ross Trophy three times as the leading scorer for the league, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and the Hart Memorial Trophy twice for being the league MVP. During his 1,063 games, he achieved a total of 1,170 points, with 610 goals and 560 assists.
Kane’s career took off fast when he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie in the league after being the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2013 playoffs. He also had the honor of representing the U.S. in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
Most recently, on January 19, 2020, he became the youngest player to reach 1,000 career regular-season points. There’s little doubt why, in 2017, he was added to the list of the 100 greatest NHL players of all time.
The late Keith Magnuson was a defenseman who helped the Blackhawks reach the Stanley Cup Finals in both 1971 and 1973. He played a total of 589 games during his career, scoring 14 goals and 125 assists for a total of 139 points.
Though he wasn’t known for scoring goals, he excelled at protecting his teammates. He accumulated a total of 1,440 penalty minutes, mainly due to fighting majors. The strength of his leadership led him to become captain for two years and earned him a reputation as one of the best defensemen in the NHL.
Many people regard Belfour as an elite goaltender, one of the best of all time, and his 484 wins put him fourth all-time among NHL goaltenders. He played eight seasons with the Blackhawks, helping the team get to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992. Belfour is one of only two hockey players to have won an NCAA championship, the Stanley Cup, and an Olympic gold medal.
Roenick was a big point producer for the Blackhawks in the 1990s, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992 and scoring over 100 points during three of his eight seasons. He was well known for his rough and energetic playing style, which helped him get past opponents and drive the net for the chance to score.
From the day he began his professional career as a defenseman with the Blackhawks, he became a preeminent star. He won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 1963, 1964, and 1965 for being the NHL’s most outstanding defenseman. He was also a runner-up for the trophy in 1962, 1966, and 1965.
His hard work and dedication took him far, as he was on the First or Second All-Star Team every year from 1960 to 1967. When he retired in 1969, he was the second leading defense scorer in the league’s history. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975 and added to the list of the 100 greatest hockey players in 1997.
Esposito is the best goaltender in the franchise. During his first full season, he won 38 games and put up 15 shutouts. In addition to holding the lead in all major franchise goalie stats, he was also one of the first to use the butterfly style of goaltending, which is now a widely used technique. He retired from professional hockey in 1984 and joined the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. The Blackhawks retired his number, 35.
So, there you have it—the 10 best hockey players to come out of Chicago. Did we miss any of your favorite players? If so, leave us a message and let us know! And if you’re in town for a game, stop by and see us. We have a large selection of hockey equipment to make sure you’re ready for your next game.