Washington Capitals: Top 5 All-Time American-Born Players

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 22: John Carlson #4 of Team USA makes his way towards the ice during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 against Team Czech Republic at Air Canada Centre on September 22, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/World Cup of Hockey via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 22: John Carlson #4 of Team USA makes his way towards the ice during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 against Team Czech Republic at Air Canada Centre on September 22, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/World Cup of Hockey via Getty Images) /
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#1 Rod Langway

MONTREAL, CANADA – CIRCA 1980: Rod Langway #5 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck during a game against the Montreal Canadiens Circa 1980 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA – CIRCA 1980: Rod Langway #5 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck during a game against the Montreal Canadiens Circa 1980 at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Although he was born in Maag, Taiwan, Rod Langway was born to an American serviceman that was stationed in Taiwan, thus making him qualified for rounding out this top five list. Langway was raised in Randolph, Massachusetts.

Langway didn’t play hockey until he was a teenager but suited up for his high school hockey team, the Randolph Blue Devils and helped lead them to the state tournament three years in a row from 1973-75. He was also a quarterback for the varsity football team and played catcher for the baseball team.

The football recruiter at the University of New Hampshire convinced Langway to play both hockey and college football for the school, which led to Langway’s college decision after high school. In hockey, Langway led New Hampshire to the NCAA hockey Frozen Four in 1977 and hockey ended up being the direction he would go professionally.

Langway was drafted at 36th overall by the Montreal Canadiens but was acquired by the Capitals in a blockbuster trade along with Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, and Brian Engbolm as part of the “Save the Caps” campaign prior to the 1982-83 season. This trade saved the Capitals from a possible relocation.

BOSTON, MA. – 1980’s: Rod Langway #5 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Boston Bruins at the Boston Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA. – 1980’s: Rod Langway #5 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Boston Bruins at the Boston Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In Washington’s first eight seasons, they failed to make the playoffs. When Langway came on board, the Capitals made the playoffs in each of his 11 seasons in the Nation’s Capital. Langway earned the nickname “Secretary of Defense” for his leadership as team captain.

MONTREAL, CANADA- 1983: Rod Langway of the Washington Capitals poses with the Norris Trophy after being named the Top Defenseman in the NHL during the 1983 season at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA- 1983: Rod Langway of the Washington Capitals poses with the Norris Trophy after being named the Top Defenseman in the NHL during the 1983 season at the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Langway played in 726 games with the Capitals and recorded 202 points (25 goals, 177 assists). He won the Norris Trophy his first two seasons in Washington as the league’s top defenseman and came second to Wayne Gretzky in the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 1984.

11/26/97 – CREDIT: Joel Richardson/TWP – US AIR – CANADIANS BEAT THE CAPITALS- ROD LANGWAY TALKS TO THE FANS AFTER RECEIVING A SET OF GOLF CLUBS AND GOLF CART WHEN HIS NUMBER WAS RETIRED (Photo by Joel Richardson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
11/26/97 – CREDIT: Joel Richardson/TWP – US AIR – CANADIANS BEAT THE CAPITALS- ROD LANGWAY TALKS TO THE FANS AFTER RECEIVING A SET OF GOLF CLUBS AND GOLF CART WHEN HIS NUMBER WAS RETIRED (Photo by Joel Richardson/The Washington Post/Getty Images) /

The Capitals retired Langway’s number on Nov. 26, 1997 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. He’s a regular at just about every Capitals home game and when the team salutes the troops in the middle of the game, you can spot him shaking the hands of the military members thanking them for their service.

Next. Brendan Leipsic's road to D.C.. dark

That concludes our top five list of the top American Capitals players in franchise history. Happy 4th of July Capitals fans!