The NHL now features players from states other than California (eight), Missouri (four), North Carolina (two), and Texas (two). Auston Matthews is a native of Scottsdale, Arizona, and is expected to be the first overall choice in the 2016 draft. Other top prospects coming from outside of the traditional hockey hotbeds include Patrik Laine (Minneapolis), Jesse Puljujarvi (Helsinki), Kaapo Kakko (Turku/Finland), Matthew Tkachuk (Saskatoon), and Alex Turcotte (Fort Wayne)
In addition to these eight new franchises, three former teams have new homes: The Montreal Canadiens moved to the American city of Washington, D.C., and their name was also passed on to two other nearby cities in Maryland and Virginia (Montreal is also the name of a Canadian city 400 miles away in Quebec). The Winnipeg Jets left for New York City, while the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to become the newest member of the Florida Panthers family.
Before the start of the season, four more teams will join the fray: The Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, and Minnesota Wild. All four are based in the Midwest and West Coasts.
One team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is based in Florida but plays its home games in Nova Scotia because of financial problems at the time of their creation.
The great majority of gamers, however, are from North America and Europe. There are two main sources of draft-eligible athletes in North America: Canadian major junior hockey and NCAA hockey. In the United States, most players come from the Minnesota high school hockey league and the New England prep school hockey season.
In Canada, major junior hockey is the primary source of talent for the NHL. In fact, almost without exception, all first-round picks have been major junior stars. The only exceptions were Eric Lindros, who was selected first overall by the Flyers in 1997, and Jonathan Drouin, who was picked first by the Canadiens in 2013. Both players had American college educations and were therefore eligible to be drafted by any team that chose them.
The majority of top prospects come from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). It's a common misconception that young players go straight to the NHL from minor professional leagues like the American Hockey League (AHL) - this does happen, but it is rare. Most top prospects play their initial seasons in major junior before being given a chance to prove themselves at the professional level. For example, Patrick Kane played four years in the USHL before being taken with the fifth overall pick in 2008 by the Blackhawks.
Percentage of NHL Players Active by Birth State-Career Stats
Ryan Hartman of South Carolina Despite growing up and playing minor hockey in the Chicago area, Hartman is the only South Carolina native to play in the NHL. The Blackhawks selected the Hilton Head Island native in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He has played two seasons with the team and has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 79 games.
Other notable South Carolinians who have played in the NHL include Scott Stevens, who played for the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers before retiring in 1999; and Bill Guerin, who played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins before being suspended for 20 games in 2007 for testing positive for steroid use.
There are currently no active NHL players from South Carolina. However, one recent player was drafted from the state and another played for an American Hockey League team based in South Carolina. In addition, a third-round pick is scheduled to be made by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2015 NHL Draft. The pick will come at number 103 overall and is expected to be used on forward Hunter Shinkaruk from Columbia University. He has been ranked as high as second among North American skaters by some scouting services and could go early in the draft if he falls far enough.
South Carolina has produced several famous athletes who played other sports before moving on to hockey.
The WHL produced 28 of the 78 players chosen from the Canadian Hockey League in the 2020 NHL Draft. The other 50 players came from outside the WHL (including three players selected in the supplemental draft).
In addition to having more than one-third of all drafted players, the WHL has had at least one player picked in every NHL Draft since it first began in 1963. The only other league to achieve this distinction is the QMJHL with four picks in the first round over the last five drafts.
The WHL also has two brothers playing in the NHL right now: Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dylan Bennett. Both played major junior hockey in Canada before joining the NHL. There are also two other brothers who have played in the WHL but not the NHL yet: Logan and Tyler Staats. They are sons of former NHL player Todd Staats.
There have been several notable players who started their careers in the WHL, including Alex Tanguay, Cam Neely, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Kane.
Geography. The NHL's least popular clubs are mostly expansion teams based in the sun-belt of southern US states, such as the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Coyotes. Surprisingly, the New York Islanders, a club with four Stanley Cups and situated in the Northern states, rank 27th.
The most popular teams are located in the larger markets or near major airports, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, and Los Angeles Kings. These are all great places to play hockey if you're looking for fans to cheer for you team!
In conclusion, geography is one of the biggest factors that determine how popular an ice hockey team is. Smaller markets tend to have less success than bigger ones because they cannot generate enough revenue to compete with their more popular counterparts.
Since the NBA Draft expanded to two rounds in 1989, 31 Canadians have been taken in the annual entry draft. At least one Canadian player has been picked in each of the last 10 drafts, with a record six selected in 2019. First-round draft picks include David Wingate of London in 1989, Eric Montross of Sacramento in 1990, Joe Smith of San Antonio in 1991, Mark MacMillan of Miami in 1992, Mike Kelly of Orlando in 1993, and Drew Bledsoe of Dallas in 1994.
The most recent Canadian pick was Kaza Kenechuk of the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The 6'10" center from University of Minnesota went in the second round (44th overall)
Only four countries have more players in the NBA than Canada: USA, Spain, Australia, and France. The list of Canadian players is as follows: Dave Jaworowski, Tony Massenburg, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Mullin, Jerry Stackhouse, James Donaldson, Melvin Evans, Andrew Nicholson, Terrence Ross, Dakarai Allen, Jordan McRae, Will Cherry, Cory Joseph, Nik Stauskas, Joel Vermeer, Kyle Wiltjer, and Kaza Kenechuk.
Canada's first NBA player was Antoine Carr from Montreal who had a short career in the 1950s.
% of Active NHL Players by Nationality-Career Statistics Rk Nationality GP G 1 Canada Players 42.7 percent, 47.0 percent, and 47.4 percent are the percentages. 2 The United States of America 28.0 percent, 26.4 percent, and 25.9 percent are the percentages. Sweden No. 3 9.8 percentage points 9.8 percentage points 9.1 percentage points Russia No. 4 5.2 percent, 4.3 percent, and 5.4 percent are the percentages.
The National Hockey League currently has 295 active players, with Canadians accounting for a hefty 42.8 percent of the roster. This is a considerable decrease in their total representation, given there were few other nations represented until the 1970s.
A few years after the NHL was founded in 1917, 44 (91.7%) of its players were Canadian. The rest of the league was made up of three Americans and one British player, George Carey of the Hamilton Tigers.
Switzerland and Denmark are the seventh and eighth most represented countries, with 13 and 11 NHL players, respectively. Denmark, Germany, Austria, France, Norway, and Latvia are also represented in the NHL, with 2–7 players apiece.