January 9, 2013

100 Greatest Players from New England: 75-51

By Jesse Connolly

The countdown continues as we unveil Nos. 75-51 on our list of the 100 greatest players from New England.

In case you missed it: 50 runners-up | Nos. 100-76

75. Keith Yandle
All-Star d-man
Defense | Milton, Mass. | Sept. 9, 1986

The Cushing Academy product and Coyotes alternate captain (pictured right) ranks among the top NHL d-men with 102 points in the last two seasons.

NHL career: 2006-present
NHL totals: 365 games, 187 points

74. David Emma
Leading Eagle
Right Wing | Cranston, R.I. | Jan. 14, 1969

Prior to bouncing around in the pros, Emma notched 234 points to become BC’s all-time leading scorer and won the Hobey Baker Award in ’91.

NHL career: 1992-2001
NHL totals: 34 games, 11 points

73. Mike Mottau
Resilient rearguard
Defense | Avon, Mass. | Mar. 9, 1978

BC’s all-time leading scorer among d-men won the Hobey Baker in 2000 and worked hard to become an NHL regular for the past five seasons.

NHL career: 2000-present
NHL totals: 313 games, 58 points

72. Chris Nilan
Punishing pugilist
Forward | Boston, Mass. | Feb. 9, 1958

A Bruin from 1990-92, Nilan (pictured right) spent nearly a decade as the Habs’ enforcer and won the Cup in ’86. He ranks ninth in NHL history with 3,043 penalty minutes.

NHL career: 1979-1992
NHL totals: 688 games, 225 points

71. Rob Gaudreau
Phenomenal Friar
Right Wing | Cranston, R.I. | Jan. 20, 1970

Gaudreau racked up 211 points in 146 games at Providence College. He scored the first two hat tricks in San Jose Sharks history before retiring at 27.

NHL career: 1992-96
NHL totals: 231 games, 105 points

70. Bobby Sheehan
Seal of approval
Center | Weymouth, Mass. | Jan 11, 1949

A Cup winner as a rookie in 1971 with Montreal, Sheehan shined in a short stint as a Golden Seal. He had 185 points in 241 WHA games.

NHL career: 1969-1982
NHL totals: 310 games, 111 points

69. Paul Fenton
Well-traveled winger
Left Wing | Springfield, Mass. | Dec. 22, 1959

Dominant at the AHL level (291 points in 273 games), Fenton’s NHL highlight came in 1989-90 when he led the Jets with 32 goals.

NHL career: 1984-1992
NHL totals: 411 games, 183 points

68. Carl Voss
Calder Trophy winner
Center | Chelsea, Mass. | Jan. 6, 1907

Then a Red Wing, Voss was named the NHL’s first Rookie of the Year in 1933. He retired in 1938 after winning it all with the Blackhawks.

NHL career: 1926-1938
NHL totals: 261 games, 104 points

67. Paul Stanton
Two-time champion
Defense | Boston, Mass. | June 22,1967

Drafted out of Catholic Memorial, Stanton patrolled the blue line for the Penguins during their Cup-winning seasons in 1991 and 1992.

NHL career: 1990-1995
NHL totals: 295 games, 63 points

66. Shawn Bates
Swift pivot
Center | Medford, Mass. | Apr. 3, 1975

The fleet-footed Bates (pictured right) led BU to a national championship in 1995 and enjoyed pro success with the Bruins and Islanders.

NHL career: 1997-2008
NHL totals: 465 games, 198 points

65. Ryan Whitney
Offensive defenseman
Defense | Scituate, Mass. | Feb. 19, 1983

Whitney was picked fifth overall by the Pens in 2002, has reached the Calder Cup and Stanley Cup finals, and won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

NHL career: 2005-present
NHL totals: 440 games, 246 points

64. Louis Trudel
Defensive winger
Left Wing | Salem, Mass. | July 21, 1913

Broke into the NHL with the Blackhawks in 1933 and went on helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 1934 and again in 1938.

NHL career: 1933-1941
NHL totals: 305 games, 118 points

63. Bob Corkum
Dependable pivot
Center | Salisbury, Mass. | Dec. 18, 1967

Corkum had 142 points in 159 games during four years at Maine. He had a career year with 51 points for the Mighty Ducks in 1993-94.

NHL career: 1990-2002
NHL totals: 720 games, 200 points

62. Joe Sacco
Reliable winger
Right Wing | Medford, Mass. | Feb. 4, 1969

BU’s leading goal scorer in 1989-90 played in six World Championships for the U.S. Sacco suited up for five NHL teams, topping the 10-goal mark five times.

NHL career: 1990-2003
NHL totals: 738 games, 213 points

61. Ralph Cox
UNH legend
Wing | Braintree, Mass. | Feb. 27, 1957

UNH’s all-time leading scorer was the last player cut from the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. He was named to the list of ECAC Hockey’s 50th anniversary top 50 players.

College career: 1975-1979
College totals: 128 games, 243 points

60. Todd Krygier
Feisty forward
Defense | Northville, Mass. | Oct. 12, 1965

Krygier put up crazy numbers at UConn (200 points in 101 games) before becoming a gritty role player and seven-time double-digit goal scorer in the NHL.

NHL career: 1989-1998
NHL totals: 543 games, 243 points

59. Chris Clark 
Respected leader
Right Wing | South Windsor, Conn. | Mar. 8, 1976

Clark (pictured right) captained the Capitals and had seasons of 20 and 30 goals. He was an AHL champion in 2001 and helped Calgary reach the Cup finals in 2004.

NHL career: 1999-2011
NHL totals: 607 games, 214 points

58. Stephen Leach
Homegrown Bruin
Right Wing | Cambridge, Mass. | Jan. 16, 1966

A standout at UNH, Leach was drafted 34th overall by Washington. He was traded to Boston and had 31 and 26-goal seasons for his hometown team.

NHL career: 1986-2000
NHL total: 702 games, 283 points

57. Dave Silk
Gold medalist
Forward | Scituate, Mass. | Jan. 1, 1958

A national champ with BU in ’78 and a key contributor to the “Miracle on Ice,” Silk had pro success with three Original Six teams, including Boston.

NHL career: 1980-86
NHL totals: 249 games, 113 points

56. Chris Terreri
Devils netminder
Goalie | Providence, R.I. | Nov. 15, 1964

Terreri was MVP of the 1985 NCAA tourney despite his Friars falling in the finals. He was a member of two Cup winners with the Devils.

NHL career: 1986-2001
NHL totals: 406 games, 151-172-43 record

55. Larry Pleau
WHA star
Center | Lynn, Mass. | June 29, 1947

Pleau spent time in the NHL but is best known for his WHA career. The three-time All-Star won it all with the Whalers in ’73 and ranks 21st in league history with 372 points.

NHL career: 1969-72
NHL totals: 94 games, 24 points

54. Bob Miller
Clever forward
Wing | Billerica, Mass. | Sept. 28, 1956

Miller is one of UNH’s all-time greats and was a solid Bruin with 51 goals in his first three seasons. He represented the U.S. a number of times internationally.

NHL career: 1977-85
NHL totals: 404 games, 194 points

53. Brian Noonan
Big-game player
Right Wing | Boston, Mass. | May 29, 1965

Noonan put up points when it mattered most. His offensive contributions in the playoffs helped Chicago make the finals in ’92 and the Rangers win it all in ’94.

NHL career: 1987-99
NHL totals: 629 games, 275 points

52. Art Chisholm
Hallowed Husky
Center | Arlington, Mass. | Nov 11, 1934

A three-time team MVP, Chisholm still holds Northeastern’s record for career goals (100) and season goals (40). He played in three NHL games for Boston.

College career: 1958-1961
College totals: 73 games, 181 points

51. Rick DiPietro
Burdened backstop
Goalie | Winthrop, Mass. | Sept. 19, 1981

Synonymous with his 15-year deal and injury woes, DiPietro (pictured right) was picked first overall by the Isles in 2000 after earning Hockey East Rookie of the Year honors at BU.

NHL career: 2000-present
NHL totals: 315 games, 130-133-36 record

Check back tomorrow for Nos. 50-26.

All 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