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Brian Rafalski

Hockey

B Rafalski
  • 2002
  • 2010

The Short List

  • Member of the 2010 Olympic Team
  • Member of the 2002 U.S. Olympic silver medal team
  • Hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils
  • Only member of Team USA never drafted by an NHL team

Did You Know?

  • Joined the New Jersey Devils as a 26-year-old NHL rookie and played a key role for the Devils' 2000 Stanley Cup championship team
  • Bypassed in the NHL Draft, Rafalski played four seasons oversees; first with IF Brynas Gavle of the Swedish league, and then with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League. He was named the best defenseman in Finland for both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seaso
  • Led University of Wisconsin to a NCAA title in his senior year
  • Rafalski and his wife, Felicity, are the parents of two children. Their first child, Danny, was born in Finland while Brian was playing overseas
  • Enjoyed bowling and cross-country skiing while he lived in Finland

It's Every Day
Despite being a standout in college and the U.S. amateur ranks, Rafalski didn't draw interest from NHL scouts because he was considered too small to be a NHL defenseman. A player with his accomplishments would have been drafted nowadays, but in 1992, scouts were insistent on size, which Rafalski lacked. Therefore, he left the States to prove himself overseas as a professional. 

Quote
About his selection to the U.S. Olympic squard: "This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I watched the 1980 U.S. Olympic team win the gold medal at Lake Placid. We have a chance to do it again on American soil."


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