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2008 Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen of Sweden, Nicklas Lidstrom of Sweden Brian Rafalski celebrate Rafalski's goal during the third period of game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on June 2, 2008. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
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Brian Christopher Rafalski (born September 28, 1973) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Prior to joining the Red Wings, Rafalski played seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils. After struggling to enter the NHL, spending four seasons in European leagues before entering the NHL, Rafalski has won the Stanley Cup three times and become an effective defenseman in the league. In his ten-plus seasons in the league, Rafalski has played in five Stanley Cup finals (2000, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2009.) Rafalski has also played in three Olympic ice hockey tournaments, most recently in 2010.

Rafalski played for the Madison Capitals of the USHL and scored 23 points with 12 goals and 11 assists

Rafalski played for four years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a proficient player, scoring 45 points in 43 games in his senior year. He won several awards that season; he was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team, the NCAA West All-Star Team, and the WCHA Defenseman of the Year. With no immediate NHL prospects, Rafalski travelled overseas. He spent the 1995-1996 season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish elite league. After scoring only 9 points in 22 games in Sweden, he then moved to Finland. He played a season for HPK of the SM-liiga, and scored 35 points. He travelled to HIFK in 1997, where he spent two successful years. In his final year in Finland, he scored 19 goals and 53 points in 53 games, and won the Kultainen kypärä, which is the SM-liiga trophy for best player as voted by his fellow players. Notably, he also became the first non-Finnish player to win the award.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brian Rafalski."
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