Ronald Martinez - Getty Images
Eddie Olczyk was the first American to be drafted in the first round by his hometown team.
Eddie Olczyk was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, along with fellow greats Mike Modano and Lou Lamoriello.
Olczyk was drafted by his hometown Chicago Blackhawks, the very team he dreamed of playing with throughout his childhood. In 16 NHL seasons, Olczyk scored 342 goals and earned 794 points in 1,031 games. Over the years, he played with Chicago, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets, the New York Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Today, Olczyk may be best known for his role on NBC as their lead hockey analyst. He and his partner Doc Emrick are widely viewed as one of the most exciting announcing tandems in the NHL.
Along with his professional accomplishments, Olczyk is known for his class and strong character. Of all the praise he received on Monday, Olczyk is perhaps most proud of that.
"In the elevator of life we all ascend to different heights. It takes a lot of hard work to get there. But as you ascend in the elevator of life you see a lot of the same people on the way up as you do on the way down," Olczyk said. "I've been to a lot of floors. I've seen a lot of the same people. And I'd like to think that all those people respected how I treated them in the elevator of life."