When it comes to ice hockey in the United States, there are a few areas across the country that are factories for players. While their teams aren’t all at the same level as some of the best, they still manage to churn out some extraordinary players.
If you are familiar with hockey odds, you will know that some of these states are the place to be if you want to make it to the big league.
Minnesota is, without a doubt, the state that has produced the most pro players in recent history. Not only have they produced dozens and dozens of pro players over the years, but their high school and college systems are the most dominant in the country.
Not to mention the fact that Minnesotans live for hockey, with almost every pro, amateur, and college game being sold out. Their pro team, the Minnesota Wild, may not have had much success yet, but they are slowly becoming a team to be feared.
While Minnesota may be the best, New York isn’t far behind. Considering they have one of the largest populations, it is no surprise that great hockey players emerge seemingly all the time. The fact that New York has three highly competitive pro teams is a testament to the number of quality players going around.
While the city is a hotbed for talent, that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the rest of the state; Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and many others have their fair share of great players too.
Unsurprisingly, Michigan is another ice hockey factory that keeps giving. Ryan Miller and Ryan Kesler are only a couple of players that have called the Great Lake State home. Michigan State and the University of Michigan are also two of the best teams in college hockey.
While the Detroit Red Wings may not be at the top of their game as of late, they are easily one of hockey’s favorite teams with a rich history and are never short of support, not to mention the fact that many young players dream of playing for them.
Many would agree that Massachusetts may not provide the biggest names in the game, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t pumping out incredible NHL and minor league players. Once again, they shine in the college hockey department.
While the Boston Bruins may not be filled with Massachusetts natives, they are one of the best teams in the league, with some of the most passionate supporters around.
When you think of great hockey states, Alaska probably isn’t in your top 10, maybe even your top 20. However, whether it is something in the water or being so close to Canada, Alaska continues to produce stars.
As a surprise to no one, Anchorage is the city many players come from, and while Alaska may not have an NHL team just yet, a franchise like the Alaska Aces could easily get to pro level in the next few years if this is the type of talent they are producing.
Connecticut is a bit of a mixed bag; they don’t produce the same high volumes of top players as other states, but the ones they do create are at the top of their game. This is due to their high school hockey strength, which is right up there with some of the best in the country.
Connecticut is also slowly building its high-level hockey scene again, and we could soon see a pro team out of the state. With players like Jonathan Quick, Ron Hainsey, Max Pacioretty, and many others coming out of the Constitution State, we know they aren’t short on talent.
While Wisconsin isn’t famous for much other than cheese and the Green Bay Packers, they’re also not too shabby and producing incredible hockey players. Wisconsin is another state without a pro team, but the University of Wisconsin more than makes up for it.
Currently ranked as the sixth-best college for ice hockey, they draw tons of players from across the state each year, with a good number of them making it into the minor leagues and a solid group reaching the NHL.
New Jersey is often overlooked as being a great hockey state. The New Jersey Devils aren’t the best team around, but the state has been making huge strides in recent years and is slowly climbing the ice hockey ladder.
Considering many players often move to New York or a nearby state to pursue their careers, more and more are choosing to stay in Jersey, which shows.