Minnesota's Hockey Hotbed

Nearly 1,300 Minnesota natives played pro, college or junior hockey last season. But what city produced the most players?

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

Here in Minnesota, hockey is strongly woven into our fabric of life. Learning to skate, shoot and stickhandle is a rite of passage for countless Minnesota kids every winter in cities and towns across the state.

 

Hockey in Minnesota is about trudging through the snow to reach the warming house at the local park. It’s about skipping school or work to go to or watch the state high school tournament.

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Former Wild goalie Carruth signs with Blackhawks

Former Wenatchee Wild, NAHL and current Portland Winterhawks goaltender Mac Carruth has signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. He was drafted by Chicago in the seventh round, 191st overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, following his final season in the NAHL.

Carruth, a native of Shorewood, Minn., will be entering his 20-year-old season in 2012-13, meaning he could play for Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, or come back to Portland for his final season of junior eligibility.

Carruth played two full seasons in the NAHL for the Wenatchee Wild.  He began his junior career as a 16-year-old in the NAHL during the 2008-09 season, in which he appeared in 26 games, posting a 18-7-1 record, a 3.04 goals against average and a 90.4% save percentage.  The next season, Carruth appeared in 16 games before moving onto Portland in the Western Hockey League.

Carruth has played 137 regular season games in three seasons in Portland, compiling a record of 87-39-3-1, with four shutouts, a goals against average of 3.08 and .905 save percentage. His 42 wins in 2011-12 set a new single-season franchise record, and his 87 career wins are second in franchise history.

He’s also backstopped the Winterhawks to two straight Western Conference championships, and in three seasons has posted a record of 33-19 in the playoffs, with three shutouts, a goals against average of 3.10 and 91.4% save percentage. He holds franchise records in playoff wins (33), games (54), saves (1744) and minutes (3193), while his three shutouts are tied with Lanny Ramage for the lead in that category.

“Mac has been one of our most valuable players since he joined us in 2009,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “We’d love to have Mac back with us for one more season, but if the Blackhawks assign him to the AHL, then we wish him the best as he pursues a pro career.”



Question of the Week

What position should the Wild select with its first round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft


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