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Greater Opportunities For American Players

from the Star Tribune,
As a hockey player who once aspired to be a dentist, Lou Nanne never has been fond of stereotypes. Case in point: Most NHL general managers in the early 1980s dismissed American players as too soft, too timid or too inexperienced to make it in their league. Nanne didn't buy it, and the North Stars general manager backed up his belief by making Brian Lawton the first American-born player chosen No. 1 overall in the NHL draft. That 1983 decision still is remembered as a risk that backfired, given Lawton's nine average seasons in the league. But Nanne's confidence in U.S.-born players has been rewarded handsomely since then. A record 12 Americans are ranked as potential first-round picks in Saturday's NHL draft, led by projected No. 1 pick Erik Johnson of Bloomington.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com