At the professional level, Canadians continue to account for more than half of all NHL players, more than two and a half times the number of American players. What makes that figure even more remarkable is that Canada has one-tenth the population of the United States.
In 2016-17 there were 24 Canadian players in the NHL, compared with only 12 American players. The majority of these Canadian players are from Quebec, where there are almost as many men's hockey players playing in the NHL today (10) as there are football players (11). However, there are also several players from other provinces who have been able to make their way into the league.
The most famous Canadian player ever was Wayne Gretzky, who played for three decades and is considered by many to be the best hockey player of all time. He dominated the league with his hard shot, exceptional puck handling skills, and ability to read and react to the play. The Toronto Maple Leafs claim to have drafted him first overall in 1979, although some people believe he had already signed with them before the draft took place. In any case, he spent most of his career with the Maple Leafs, becoming one of the team's greatest-ever players. He was also named an all-time great by both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the National Hockey League Foundation in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
In comparison, there were 253 U.S.-born players in the NHL, or 25.9 percent, in 2019/2020, implying that Europe has surpassed Canada as the second largest source of NHL talent in just one year. (There were 286 Americans and 278 Europeans in 2018/2019.)
The number of European-born players has increased by 22.2 percent since 2013/2014, when there were 199 U.S.-born players out of a total of 1,145 NHL players. There were more than twice as many European-born players as U.S.-born ones back then.
Almost half of all NHL players are now born outside of Canada or the United States. The most common countries of birth are: Canada (26.3%), Russia (13.4%), the United States (11.7%). There are currently more than 50 players from eight different countries of origin on an NHL roster.
Here's a list of every NHL player who was born in another country:
Alexander Alexeyev, Russian-Canadian center who plays for the New York Rangers
Alexander Barkov, Finnish right wing who plays for the Florida Panthers
Arron Asham, Canadian left wing who plays for the Vancouver Canucks
Hockey is a global sport, and the NHL is made up of players from all over the world. America is one of the countries with the highest proportion of NHL players. What proportion of NHL players are Americans? During the 2019-2020 season, players born in the United States account for 24.8 percent of all NHL players.
The most common country of origin for an American player is Canada (9.1 percent). However, since the 1980s (when the NHL started allowing foreign players), many new American stars have emerged: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Modano, Ron Francis, Joe Thornton, Patrick Kane, and Nathan Drake among others. In addition, there are several other countries that produce large numbers of American players including Mexico (1.4 percent), Sweden (0.9 percent), and Russia (0.8 percent).
There are two major factors that help make the United States such as environment for hockey. The first is the presence of international competitions that attract young players to become athletes. The second factor is the huge number of amateur teams in the US which allows children to grow up with hockey.
In conclusion, hockey is popular in the United States, and many American players come from good backgrounds for hockey. They often go on to play for US colleges or junior teams before making it into the NHL.
Toronto is an original NHL franchise and the home of the Hall of Fame, thus even with a team that has won much less games than Montreal, the city has a strong connection to hockey. Canada also has the most current and retired NHL players, which is amazing given that it has one-tenth the population of the United States and fewer total hockey players. The number of Canadians in the league during certain periods of time was high because many were eager to see how well they stacked up against the American stars.
The NHL began as a Canadian sport and remains so today. In fact, if you add up all the people who work in the league (players, coaches, managers, officials), you'll come up with more than 100 Canadians living in the Toronto area. There are probably more because many families with young children move to where the hockey is better - in this case, mostly in America but also in Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
The League has expanded into several other countries, but none like Canada or the United States. If anything, some people think the NHL should be called "the French Hockey League" because there are actually more fans in France than in America.
The truth is that the NHL is a very popular sport in Canada not only because there are so many good players but also because there's something for everyone on the ice. There are tough guys who love to fight, there are skill players who love to score, and there are big players who love to hit others.