Right-winger John MacLean played nearly 1,200 NHL games between 1983 and 2002. He was a gritty competitor with an above average touch around the net.
Born in Oshawa, Ontario, MacLean played junior with the home town Generals of the OHL. After scoring 47 goals and helping the club reach the Memorial Cup final in 1983, he was chosen sixth overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. The club returned him to junior for most of the next year before recalling him for 23 games.
MacLean was a tireless foot soldier as the club struggled to rise above also-ran status in the mid-80s. On the last night of the 1987-88 regular season he scored an overtime goal in Chicago which propelled the Devils into the post-season. He went on to record 18 points in 20 games at the club came within a game of reaching the finals. Following this breakthrough year, MacLean notched three straight 40-goal seasons before he was forced to miss the 1991-92 season due to a serious knee injury.
The feisty veteran returned to score 24 goals and play a solid defensive game on the club in 1992-93. He jumped up to 37 goals the next season and helped the club come within a game of the finals once again before they lost to the New York Rangers. Following a lockout, New Jersey jelled at the right time and the veteran winger counted 18 points in 20 post-season games when the Devils won their first Stanley Cup.
By the late 90s, New Jersey introduced a few new faces into the lineup and MacLean was dealt to the San Jose Sharks. Prior to the 1998-99 season, he signed with the New York Rangers and was one of the few new faces to make an impact on the under-achieving squad. In February 2001, MacLean was sent to the Dallas Stars where he contributed experience and a few goals though the St. Louis Blues brushed the team aside in the second round of the playoffs. Following this elimination, MacLean brought his lengthy career to an end.
In 2002-03 MacLean was hired as an assistant-coach with the Devils.