Kevin Kurtt

From college to the NHL


A record 303 former U.S. college players appeared in the NHL during the 2013-14 regular season


By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

If you’ve watched nearly any NCAA sporting event on television in the past several years, you’ve seen the ad. You may even be able to recite the tagline: “There are 380,000 NCAA student-athletes, and just about all of them will be going pro in something other than sports.”

It’s a noble campaign directed at educating the masses that most athletes in college will see their athletic careers come to an end at graduation.

In the world of NCAA hockey, the vast majority of players on the 59 Division I and 78 Division II/III men’s teams will not make the jump to the NHL, AHL, ECHL or any other of the various professional hockey leagues around the world. But for a select few, college hockey is merely a steppingstone to the bright lights of the National Hockey League.

Read more: From college to the NHL

The State of Hockey Players

Beyond the thousands of youth and high school players in the state, nearly 1,500 Minnesota natives are playing hockey in the juniors, college and pros


By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

Pick up nearly any issue of Let’s Play Hockey and you’ll see various lists of Minnesotans in various levels of hockey.

Upon compiling those lists, it became incredibly clear the sheer volume of hockey players that Minnesota produces on an annual basis to numerous hockey leagues is staggering.

Read more: The State of Hockey Players

You might be a hockey fan in Minnesota if ...

There are plenty of ways to tell if you are a hockey fan from the great state of Minnesota


By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

We’ve all seen the ‘You know you’re a Minnesotan’ lists that give us such truisms as ‘You thought Grumpy Old Men was a documentary,’ ‘Your local Dairy Queen is closed from December through February, ‘You know how to say Wayzata, Mahtomedi and Shakopee,’ and ‘You know all four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Construction.’ We get these in our inbox, actually “get” the jokes and immediately forward them to our Minnesota friends and coworkers.

Now it’s time to dive deeper into one of the aspects of what it’s like to be Minnesotan – hockey. Whether you played the game, cheered from the stands or learned the sport from your kids, there are a multitude of ways you can tell if you’re a hockey fan from the great state of Minnesota.

Read more: You might be a hockey fan in Minnesota if ...

The Great Outdoors


By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

The winter sun rises to welcome the day,
The pond’s finally frozen and read for play.
— From “Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey” by Andrew Sherburne


It’s that time of year again in the Upper Midwest. The lakes and ponds are frozen solid. The neighborhood parks have flooded their rinks. The warming houses are open. The sounds of pucks hitting wood boards and chain-link goals fill the air. It’s time for hockey in the great outdoors.

Read more: The Great Outdoors

150 Reasons to Love Hockey

With the season just getting started, it’s time for a reminder of all the reasons we have such a love affair with hockey.

Read more: 150 Reasons to Love Hockey