Kevin Kurtt

Minnesota's Hockey Capital

From tiny Taconite to mighty Minneapolis, Minnesota is full of hockey-mad cities. But who should be named the capital of Minnesota hockey?

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor


Each fall in Let’s Play Hockey, we bring you a not-quite-comprehensive list of what it means to be a hockey fan in Minnesota. Atop that list is the following item: “You might be a hockey fan in Minnesota if … you get ticked off when you hear Detroit call itself ‘Hockeytown USA.’”

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Feeling a Draft

 A total of seven Minnesotans were selected at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, continuing the state’s proud tradition of developing NHL-caliber players

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor


After a two-year hiatus, Minnesota returned to the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. When the Vancouver Canucks selected former Burnsville High School forward Brock Boeser with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on June 26, it marked the 12th time in the last 16 years that a Minnesota native was drafted in the first round. Since 2000, a Minnesotan has gone in the first round in all but four drafts (2001, 2011, 2013, 2014).

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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.

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From college to the NHL

 

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 79 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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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.

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