The state of Minnesota has yet to produce a hockey player as revered and accomplished as Neil Broten. After a successful high school career with the Roseau Rams, he went to play for the University of Minnesota's Gophers under the direction of Herb Brooks.
In his first season, Broten was selected as rookie-of-the-year while helping his team win the 1979 NCAA championship. He then took a season off to join the U.S. National Team, an experience that culminated in a gold medal victory at Lake Placid.
He then returned to the University of Minnesota in 1980-81 where he was selected to three All-Star teams and received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top U.S. collegiate hockey player.
From there, he advanced to the NHL, joining his hometown North Stars in time for a playoff run to the Stanley Cup finals. For Broten, it marked the start of more than 13 seasons with the Stars that included a 105-point campaign in 1985-86?becoming the first American-born player to break the 100-point plateau.
Broten remained with the Stars until being traded to the New Jersey Devils in 1994. By the following season, he had his first and only Stanley Cup in hand. He closed out his pro career with the Kings in 1996 followed by a brief return to the Dallas Stars where he retired in 1997.
All told, Broten remained with the Stars' organization for 15 of his 17 big-league seasons. He is the franchise's all-time leader in scoring, assists, games played, seasons, shorthanded goals, playoff games and playoff assists. His number 7 was retired by the Dallas Stars in 1998. As well, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in the year 2000.