Kevin Kurtt

The community-based NHL

 

What if the National Hockey League was organized with players playing for their home state/province/country? Who would prevail?

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

Let’s say, just for the heck of it, that NHL teams are organized with players playing for their home American state, Canadian province or European country instead of for a professional franchise. And let’s say, just for fun, that teams in the NHL consist of a total of six players – a starting lineup of three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie.

Who would prevail in this scaled-down, community-based NHL?

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Feeling a Draft: Minnesotans in the 2014 NHL Draft

 

A total of 15 Minnesotans were selected at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, continuing the state’s proud tradition of developing NHL-caliber players

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

When the Columbus Blue Jackets selected former Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School defenseman Ryan Collins with the 47th pick in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on June 28, a notable streak continued. For 46 straight years now, a Minnesotan has heard his name called at the NHL Draft. In all, 15 Minnesotans, were selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

Read more: Feeling a Draft: Minnesotans in the 2014 NHL Draft

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

From college to the NHL

 

A record 305 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.

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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