Minnesota takes a LOT of pride in the sport of hockey. Heck, the Minnesota Wild have used a "State of Hockey" slogan since their inception despite the fact that the state of Minnesota has never won a single Stanley Cup.

St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Three
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What Minnesota lacks in NHL championships it makes up for ten-fold with its high school and college hockey culture. Heck, the boys hockey state tournament outsells some NHL teams on a given night.

Which Minnesota city can lay claim to being the capital of the State of Hockey?

Here are some contenders:

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
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The list of NHL'ers to come out of Warroad is pretty impressive.

-Henry Boucha is a member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame and helped the USA to a silver medal in the 1972 Olympic games.

-Gordon Christian won a silver at the 1956 Olympics, Roger and Bill Christian were on the 1960 gold medal-winning Olympic team, Roger is in the US Hall of Fame and Bill is enshrined in both the US and IIHF Halls of Fame.

- T.J. Oshie is a longtime NHL veteran perhaps most known for his shootout heroics at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.

- Brock Nelson currently plays for the New York Islanders

In addition to the NHL players, Gigi Marvin is also a Warroad native who has won three Olympic medals (two silver and one gold) in her illustrious career.

Warroad has won four boys state championships (1994, 1996, 2003, 2005) and has been runner-up eight times, while the girls hockey team boasts four titles of their own (2010, 2011, 2022, 2023) and five runner-up finishes.

Neal Broten Northstars
Neal Broten via Getty Images


Roseau is well represented in terms of NHL alumni as well, the most famous of which are perhaps the Broten brothers Aaron, Neal and Paul.

Neal played for the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey team, played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and starred for his home-state Minnesota North Stars.

Broten helped the Gophers to an NCAA Championship in 1979, won a gold in the 1980 Olympics and a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995.  In 2009 Minnesota Wild fans voted him the greatest Minnesota-born hockey player of all time.

Other Roseau notables include Dustin Byfuglien, Butsy Erickson, Aaron Ness and Mike Baumgartner.

Roseau has won the boys hockey state tournament seven times (1946, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1990, 1999 and 2007) and has been runner-up five times.

Drew LeBlanc PHOTO: Dave Overlund
Drew LeBlanc PHOTO: Dave Overlund


There have only been two NHL players to come out of Hermantown in former SCSU Huskies Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc, who played a pair of NHL games for Chicago, and current Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk.

Where Hermantown really shines is on the high school rink. The Hawks boys hockey team has won four titles (2007, 2016, 2017 and 2022) and has been a runner-up seven times.

The Hermantown girls co-op with Proctor won the state title in 2021 and was runner-up in 2022.

2019 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championships
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Duluth has boasted success in both the high school and college ranks and also has graduated 19 players into the NHL over the years.

NHLers Cade Fairchild, Derek Forbort, Stan Gilbertson, Mark Heaslip, Randy Heath, Sean Hill, Phil Hoene, Jamie Langenbrunner, Rick Mrozik, Robb Stauber, Dean Talafous, Dominic Toninato, Jim Watt, Tom Williams, Warren Williams and Andy Welinski were all born in Duluth.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs men's hockey team won NCAA titles in 2011, 2018 and 2019, while the women's team has won five championships since the tournament began in 2001.

Duluth East High School has won three boys hockey state championships and has nine(!) runner-up finishes.

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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The Spuds have produced several NHL players including Jason Blake, former SCSU Husky Will Borgen, former SCSU standout and three-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Cullen, Ryan Kraft, Brian Lee and Chris VandeVelde.

While Moorhead has surprisingly not won a boys hockey title, they have finished as runners-up eight times in school history.

New York Islanders v Chicago Blackhawks
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Edina has sent 21 players to the NHL including Will Acton, Kieffer Bellows, Travis Boyd, Ben Clymer, Brad Defauw, Mike Farrell, Joe Finley, Jeff Frazee, Ben Hankinson, Casey Hankinson, Justin Holl, Mike Lauen, Anders Lee, Jamie McBain, Casey Mittelstadt, Craig Norwich, Mark Parrish, Jeff Teal, Daniel Trebil, Sammy Walker and J.T. Wyman.

Of course, some of those players were -born- in Edina but played elsewhere.

Edina has won a ridiculous 13 boys hockey titles and has been runners-up five times. The girls hockey team has won four titles since 2017 and has three runner-up finishes in its history.

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