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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.

Without taking into account the thousands upon thousands of youth, high school, club and recreational hockey players that exist throughout the state, Minnesota develops an amazing number of elite hockey players.


From our calculations, there are 1,476 Minnesotans currently playing hockey at the pro, college and junior  level in North America and Europe.

The Minnesota Wild got it right – this state really is the State of Hockey. The impact that Minnesota has on hockey throughout the nation is staggering. One look at the numbers proves it.

For the current hockey season, 36 Minnesotans have earned a roster spot in the National Hockey League, while 49 have suited up in the American Hockey League. Another 57 have played in one of the other minor hockey leagues in North America, while 23 women are currently playing pro hockey, bringing the total number of Minnesota natives playing pro hockey in the U.S. and Canada to 165.

In addition, 66 Minnesotans have taken to the ice in one of the numerous professional hockey leagues in Europe, Asia and Australia.

College hockey leagues have seen 826 men and women from Minnesota suit up for their respective school, including 314 in Division I and 512 in Division III. The numerous junior hockey leagues in the U.S. and Canada boast 419 Minnesota natives on their rosters.

And the numbers will only continue to grow. At last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, nine Minnesotans were selected by various NHL teams, including three picks in the first four rounds. The NHL Central Scouting Service’s midterm rankings for the 2013 Entry Draft list 17 more Minnesota natives who have a decent shot at hearing their name called this June.

This season alone, 112 players that call Minnesota home have made commitments to a Division I hockey program. That total will surely increase as the season progresses, and does not take into account the incredible number of Minnesotans that wind up playing hockey at a Division III institution.

On top of all of that, colleges and universities in the North Star State produce substantial number of non-Minnesotan professional hockey players. This season, 67 former Minnesota collegiate players have played pro hockey, including six in the NHL.

And don’t forget about collegiate club hockey. Nearly 400 Minnesota natives are currently playing Division 1, 2 or 3 men’s or women’s club hockey around the nation.

Finally, a good number of Minnesotans have won major pro and college hockey awards. At the top of the list are the 29 Minnesotans who have their name incribed on the Stanley Cup (37 times). In the college ranks, seven Minnesota men have won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, while one Minnesota woman received the Patty Kazmaier Award.

Sure, Canada will continue to be the major supplier of players to North America’s various hockey leagues, but Minnesota’s contribution to the sport has been immense. Not only is Minnesota the State of Hockey. It’s also the State of Hockey Players.

Check out the lists below of Minnesotans in hockey and let us know if we missed anybody be e-mailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


2012-13 Minnesota-Grown Pros

2012-13 Minnesota-Grown Collegians

2012-13 Minnesota-Grown College Commitments

2012-13 Minnesota-Grown Juniors

Minnesotans on the Stanley Cup/Minnesota-Grown Award Winners


Minnesota in Hockey: By the Numbers

Professional Hockey  
National Hockey League 36
American Hockey League 49
The ECHL 35
Central Hockey League 13
Southern Professional Hockey League 6
Federal Hockey League 3
European/Asian leagues 66
Western Women’s Hockey League 20
Canadian Women’s Hockey League 3
Totals 231


On the Stanley Cup  
Minnesotans 28 names, 37 times


2012 NHL Draft  
Minnesotans 9


College Hockey  
Division I 314
Men 184
Women 130
Division III 512
Men 235
Women 277
Totals 826


College Club Hockey  
Men's Division 1 40
Men's Division 2 204
Men's Division 3 53
Women's Division 1 26
Women's Division 2 65
Totals 388


Division I Commitments  
Men 73
Women 39
Totals 112


College Award Winners  
Hobey Baker Memorial Award 8
Patty Kazmaier Award 1
Totals 9


Junior Hockey  
North American Hockey League 111
North American 3 Hockey League  73
United States Hockey League 65
Minnesota Junior Hockey League 56
Superior International Junior Hockey League 41
American West Junior Hockey League  19
British Columbia Hockey League  10
Western Hockey League 8
Western States Hockey League  8
Manitoba Junior Hockey League 7
National Team Development Program 6
Eastern Junior Hockey League South 3
Alberta Junior Hockey League 2
Ontario Junior Hockey League 2
Atlantic Junior Hockey League 1
Eastern Junior Hockey League  1
Empire Junior Hockey League 1
Keystone Junior Hockey League 1
Maritime Junior Hockey League 1
Northern Pacific Hockey League 1
Pacific International Junior Hockey League 1
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League 1
Totals 419


NHL Central Scouting Rankings  
Skaters 16
Goaltenders 1
Totals 17


Minnesota College Products  
National Hockey League 6
American Hockey League 20
The ECHL 7
Central Hockey League 8
European leagues 26
Totals 67