A fine playmaker with a dangerous shot, Brian Rafalski attained success in college and Europe before making his mark on the NHL.
Born Dearborn, Michigan, Rafalski starred for four years with the University of Wisconsin where he was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team in 1995. After graduating he opted to join Brynas of Sweden then spent four years in Finland before signing with the Devils.
In 1999-00 Rafalski notched 32 points, was named to the NHL All-Rookie team and helped the Devils win their second Stanley Cup. He improved to 52 points the next year and was a solid +36 while playing in all situations. In 2001-02 Rafalski represented the U.S. at the Salt Lake City Olympics and continued to play a key role on the New Jersey blueline.
Rafalski earned his second Stanley Cup ring in 2003 as his Devils staved off the Mighty Ducks in a hard-fought seven-game final. He would continue to compete for the Devils until after his seventh season with the club when he signed a five-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings on July 1, 2007. In his first season with his new club, he set a career high 13 goals and helped the Red Wings capture yet another Presidents' Trophy. In the ensuing playoffs, he saw action in 21 games and helped the team he grew up rooting for to their eleventh Stanley Cup championship.
Rafalski has gone to represent his country at the 1992 World Junior Championships and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Rafalski was selected to represent his homeland once again in the Winter Olympics in 2006, but the Americans returned without a medal. In 2010 however, he was part of the US Olympic team that brought home the silver medal in a thrilling overtime final at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.