Five Americans who have been New York Rangers captains

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The New York Rangers made a significant announcement on Tuesday as they named Jacob Trouba of Rochester, Michigan as their 28th captain in franchise history. Trouba, a defenseman, becomes the fifth American in Rangers franchise history to be captain. Let us take a look at the five players in Rangers history who have been counted on in a leadership role. Interestingly, the last four Rangers captains have been Americans.

Brian Leetch

The native of Corpus Christi, Texas was the Rangers captain from 1997 to 2000. The Hall of Fame defenseman won the Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, and the Norris Trophy in 1992 and 1997.

When Leetch became the Rangers captain however for the 1997-98 season, he had a career-worst plus/minus of -36, and was a -59 overall. That statistic is significant when you consider Leetch was a +24 in his 1129 games over 17 seasons with the Rangers overall. When Leetch was named captain, he took over from Mark Messier, who had signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks.

Chris Drury

The native of Trumbull, Connecticut was the Rangers captain from 2008 to 2011. The center was also known for winning the Little League World Championship with Trumbull, Connecticut in 1989. After productive seasons with the Colorado Avalanche (where he won the Calder Trophy in 1999 and Stanley Cup in 2001), the Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres, Drury joined the Rangers for the 2007-08 season. In his last three seasons with the Rangers, Drury was team captain, where he had 37 goals and 56 assists for 93 points in 182 games.

Ryan Callahan

The native of Rochester, New York was the Rangers captain from 2011 to 2014. While in a leadership role with the Rangers, he had 56 goals and 54 assists for 110 points in 166 games. Callahan, a right winger, was the Rangers captain up until he was traded on March 5, 2014 to the Tampa Bay Lightning with a first round draft pick in the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry Drafts, a seventh round draft pick in 2015 for Martin St. Louis and a second round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Callahan retired in 2020 and is now a studio and game analyst for the NHL on ESPN.

Ryan McDonagh

The native of Saint Paul, Minnesota was the Rangers captain from 2014 to 2018. Like Callahan, McDonagh was traded from the Rangers to the Lightning. On February 26, 2018 the veteran blueliner was traded to Tampa Bay with fellow American J.T. Miller of East Palestine, Ohio for Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, Vladislav Namestnikov, a first round pick in 2018 and a conditional second round pick in 2019. McDonagh made hockey headlines earlier in the offseason when he was traded from the Lightning to the Nashville Predators for Philippe Myers and Grant Mismash.

Jacob Trouba

The native of Rochester, Michigan has played the three seasons with the Rangers after being traded from the Winnipeg Jets for Neal Pionk and a first round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2021-22 NHL season, Trouba had 11 goals and 28 assists for 39 points in 81 games. He was a +25 with 88 penalty minutes, four power-play points, one game-winning goal, two shorthanded goals, 204 shots on goal, 177 blocked shots, 207 hits, 24 takeaways and 63 giveaways.


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