January 10, 2013

100 Greatest Players from New England: 50-26

By Jesse Connolly

50. Jack O’Callahan
Olympic star
Defense | Charlestown, Mass. | July 24, 1957

O’Callahan captained BU to a national title in 1978, winning the NCAA tournament MVP. He was an integral member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team.

NHL career: 1982-1989
NHL totals: 389 games, 131 points

49. Keith Aucoin
AHL legend
Center | Chelmsford, Mass. | Nov. 6, 1978

Aucoin (pictured right) managed to climb from Div. 3 Norwich to the game’s highest level. He ranks 10th in points (809) and fifth in assists (579) in AHL history. 

NHL career: 2005-present
NHL totals: 102 games, 37 points

48. Bob Sweeney
Swoop
Center | Boxboro, Mass. | Jan. 25, 1964

The former BC star spent the first half of his NHL career with the Bruins. His 14 points in 23 playoff games helped Boston reach the finals in 1988.

NHL career: 1986-1996
NHL totals: 639 games, 288 points

47. Dick Rodenheiser
American hero
Forward | Malden, Mass. | Oct. 17, 1932

An All-American at BU, Rodenheiser won a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics and gold in 1960 at Squaw Valley. 

College career: 1951-53
College totals: 43 games, 91 points

46. Brian Boucher
Postseason performer
Goalie | Woonsocket, R.I. | Jan. 2, 1977

 A Calder Cup champ, Boucher has a 2.36 GAA in 43 NHL playoff games. His shutout streak in 2004 of 332 minutes, 1 second(five-plus games) is a modern-day record.

NHL career: 1999-present
NHL totals: 324 games, 120-137-45 record

45. Brian Lawton
Hyped high schooler
Left Wing | Woonsocket, R.I. | Jan. 29, 1965

Lawton (pictured right) led Mount Saint Charles to consecutive championships and was the first U.S.-born player taken first overall (1983, Minnesota).

NHL career: 1983-1993
NHL totals: 483 games, 266 points

44. Jim Carey
Net Detective
Goalie | Dorchester, Mass. | May 31, 1974

The Catholic Memorial alumnus’s short pro career saw him win the AHL’s Baz Bastien and Red Garrett awards in ’95 and the NHL’s Vezina Trophy in ’96.

NHL career: 1994-1999
NHL totals: 172 games, 79-65-16 record

43. Bob Kudelski
Consistent scorer
Right Wing | Springfield, Mass. | Mar. 3, 1964

A former Yale standout, Kudelski topped 20 goals five times in the NHL, including a career-high 40 in 1993-94 when he was an All-Star.

NHL career: 1987-1996
NHL totals: 442 games, 241 points

42. Phil Bourque
Gifted grinder
Wing | Chelmsford, Mass. | June 8, 1962

Undrafted, Bourque transitioned from ‘D’ to forward and helped Pittsburgh win the Cup in 1991 and 1992. He topped the 20-goal mark twice.

NHL career: 1983-1996
NHL totals: 477 games, 199 points

41. Andy Brickley
Multitalented forward

Left Wing | Melrose, Mass. | Aug. 9, 1961
Brickley was a gifted, versatile forward and very productive NHLer when healthy (113 points in 177 games as a Bruin). He notched 349 points in 309 AHL tilts.

NHL career: 1982-1994
NHL totals: 385 games, 222 points

40. Doug Brown
Two-way forward

Right Wing | Southborough, Mass. | June 12, 1964

A BC alum, Brown was a solid secondary scorer for the Devils, Penguins and Red Wings. He won two Cups in Detroit and finished his career plus-112. 

NHL career: 1986-2001
NHL career: 854 games, 374 points

39. Scott Lachance
Steady blueliner
Defense | Bristol, Conn. | Oct. 22, 1972

Lachance, picked fourth overall, was a staple on the Isles’ blue line throughout the ‘90s. He played for Team USA in the ’92 Olympics and in three World Championships.

NHL career: 1991-2004
NHL totals: 819 games, 143 points

38. Tom Rowe
Sharpshooter
Right Wing | Lynn, Mass. | May 23, 1956

Rowe became the first American-born player to score 30 goals in an NHL season in 1978-79 and found the net often during a fairly short run in the pros, spent primarily with the Capitals.

NHL career: 1976-1983
NHL totals: 357 games, 185 points

37. Jeff Norton
Power play Quarterback
Defense | Acton, Mass. | Nov. 25, 1965

In his prime, Norton was one of the game’s best playmaking defenders, especially on Long Island where he had 50-plus points twice.

NHL career: 1987-2002
NHL totals: 799 games, 384 points

36. Jack Garrity
Tremendous Terrier
Forward | Woburn, Mass. | Apr. 1, 1926

A U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Garrity holds the BU single season records for goals (51) and points (84), and those for goals (7) and points (9) in one game.

College career: 1949-51
College totals: Two seasons (appx. 44 games), 141 points

35. Garth Snow
Unbeatable Black Bear
Goalie | Wrentham, Mass. | July 28, 1969

Snow (pictured right) led the NCAA in wins three years in a row and helped Maine go 42-1-2 en route to a national championship in 1993. He ranks 62nd all-time in saves by an NHL goalie.

NHL career: 1993-2006
NHL totals: 368 games, 135-147-44 record

34. Jay Pandolfo 
Team player
Left Wing | Burlington, Mass. | Dec. 27, 1974

A longtime depth forward for the Devils, Pandolfo always came through in the playoffs and helped New Jersey win two Cups.

NHL career: 1996-present
NHL totals: 881 games, 226 points

33. Ron Wilson
Record setter
Defense | Riverside, R.I. | May 28, 1955

With 250 points in 111 games, Wilson is unquestionably the greatest PC Friar ever. As a pro, he was a productive NHLer and a tremendous scorer in Europe.

NHL career: 1977-1988
NHL totals: 177 games, 93 points

32. Tom Fitzgerald
Hard-working leader
Right Wing | Billerica, Mass. | Aug. 28, 1968

The 17th overall pick (Isles) in 1986 helped Florida reach the finals in 1996, captained the Preds and finished his career in Boston.

NHL career: 1988-2006
NHL totals: 1,097 games, 329 points

31. Tom Poti
Balanced blueliner
Defense | Worcester, Mass. | Mar. 22, 1977

A standout at BU, Poti has always been reliable in his own zone and potent in the other. His career-high 48 points in 2002-03 sent him to the All-Star Game.

NHL career: 1998-present
NHL totals: 808 games, 325 points

30. Steve Heinze
Secondary scorer
Right Wing | Lawrence, Mass. | Jan. 30, 1970

An All-American at BC a ’92 Olympian and longtime Bruin, Heinze could always be counted on for 15 to 25 goals. He ranked 10th in the NHL in shooting percentage twice. 

NHL career: 1992-2003
NHL totals: 694 games, 336 points

29. Marty McInnis
Two-way winger
Right Wing | Weymouth, Mass. | June 2, 1970

Known primarily as a top-notch defensive forward and penalty killer, McInnis buried 18-or-more goals five times and ranked in the top 10 for shorthanded goals twice.

NHL career: 1992-2003
NHL totals: 796 games, 420 points

28. Bryan Berard
Perseverant point man
Defense | Woonsocket, R.I. | Mar. 5, 1977

A first overall pick and Calder Trophy winner, Berard (pictured right) missed an entire year due to a devastating eye injury but flourished as an offensive d-man upon his return and won the Masterton Trophy in 2004.

NHL career: 1996-2008
NHL totals: 619 games, 323 points

27. Darren Turcotte 
Gifted goal scorer
Center | Boston, Mass. | May 2, 1968

A lethal presence on the Rangers’ power play, Turcotte scored 113 goals in his first four seasons with the Blueshirts and was an All-Star in ’91. 

NHL career: 1988-1999
NHL totals: 635 games, 411 points

26. Ted Donato
Hometown stalwart
Left Wing | Dedham, Mass. | Apr. 28, 1969

After helping Harvard win the Beanpot in 1989, Donato led the Crimson to a national championship and was tournament MVP.  He spent a good chunk of his pro career in Boston, where he topped 20 goals three times.

NHL career: 1991-2004
NHL totals: 796 games, 347 points

Check back tomorrow for Nos. 25-1.

Lawton photo courtesy of Mount St. Charles. All other photos courtesy of Getty Images.

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of New England Hockey Journal.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com