College hockey alumni named to U.S. Hockey Hall

The United States Hockey Hall of Fame will enshrine three college hockey alumni this fall with the announcement Monday that Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk will make up three of the five new members.

Mike “Doc” Emrick and Ed Snider are the other two that will be formally installed into the Hall in Chicago this fall. No date has been announced for the ceremony.

“It’s an extraordinary class,” USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio said in a statement. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”

Chelios, a Chicago native, won a national championship at Wisconsin in 1983 and followed that with a 26-year professional career, including three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies, with Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. He is the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman in National Hockey League history (1,651). Chelios also won a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic team in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Additionally, Chelios was one of only two male players to represent the United States at four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006) and captained his final three Olympic squads. He also helped the U.S. defeat Canada to win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Suter’s 17-year NHL career spanned 1,145 games with Calgary, Chicago and San Jose after playing at Wisconsin from 1983-1985. He tallied 68 points (18 goals, 50 assists) en route to winning the Calder Trophy in 1986, which marked the first time an American-born player was named the NHL’s top rookie. Suter, from Madison, Wis., was also on the 2002 Olympic team and 1996 World Cup squad.

After being drafted 19th overall by Winnipeg in the 1990 NHL draft and playing the next season at Boston University, Tkachuk played 19 seasons in the NHL and is one of only four American-born players to score 500 career NHL goals. Tkachuk made his NHL debut at the age of 19 and was named captain of the Jets by his second season with the team.

Tkachuk, a Melrose, Mass., native, recorded a career-high and NHL-leading 52 goals during the 1996-97 campaign with Phoenix, the first time an American-born player led the NHL in goals. He also skated with St. Louis and Atlanta and joined Chelios and Suter at the Salt Lake City Olympics and World Cup.