- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 185lbs
- Date of birth: March 3, 1968
- Birthplace: Corpus Christi, TX
- NHL Debut: 1988
- Last Game: 2005
- Shot: Left-handed
- Position: Defenseman
Brian Leetch is among the greatest American-born professional hockey players, the greatest player in New York Rangers history and one of the NHL's greatest offensive defensemen.
After growing up in Connecticut and starring in both baseball and hockey for his high school, he was drafted in the first round by the New York Rangers in 1986. After playing one year at Boston College, Leetch made his NHL debut the next year and in 1988 won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Over his 18-year career, his virtuosic skating, dexterous stick-handling and laser-like passes made him one of the league's top rushing defensemen, and he grew into greatness as the Rangers were emerging as an NHL force in the early 1990s.
In 1992, Leetch became the fifth defenseman in history and the only American defenseman to record 100 points in a season and was awarded the Norris Trophy as the league's best defensemen (the first of two such awards). In 1994, he scored 23 goals as he led the Rangers to the Presidents'Trophy, then elevated his game to stratospheric levels to help undo the team's 54-year Stanley Cup championship drought.
The Rangers'seven-game victory over the Vancouver Canucks was highlighted by Leetch's brilliant two-way play, including one of his patented “spin-o-rama" goals, and he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. Leetch garnered his second Norris Trophy in 1997 and became team captain after Mark Messier was traded.
In 2004, after numerous dismal seasons, the Rangers dumped many of their veteran players, and traded Leetch, the most popular player in team history, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the league lockout in 2004-5, Leetch was signed by the Boston Bruins to a one-year, $4-million contract. During this season with the Bruins, he scored his 1,000th career point. That was his final season. He sat out 2006-2007, rejecting several offers to un-retire.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Two-time Norris Trophy winner
- 10-time NHL All-Star
- Career totals of 247 goals and 1,028 points
- Conn Smythe Trophy: 1995
- Member of silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic team: 2002