Reed Larson is the pure product of the Minnesota youth hockey program. High school hockey reaches a fevered pitch each year during their annual tournaments. It was in this context that Larson burst onto the high school scene as an all-city and all-state player. Three seasons under coach Herb Brooks at the University of Minnesota molded the young defender into one of the steadier defensemen of his generation.
Larson broke into the NHL via the Detroit Red Wings where he was a runner-up for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. The acknowledgement was no fluke. In the ensuing years he recorded five 20-goal seasons and eight 60-point campaigns. He was the first American-born player and the sixth defenseman to score 200 career goals.
After ten seasons as a fixture on the Red Wings blueline, Larson became more nomadic, joining the Bruins for two and a half seasons before rounding out his NHL days with the Oilers, Islanders, North Stars and Sabres.
Larson then headed overseas to play and coach in Italy for four years. Afterwards, he returned to Minnesota to play nine games for the Moose of the IHL before hanging up his skates for good. The finishing touch to his career came with his election to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.