Welcome to another exciting season of hockey in Minnesota!
With the help of the thousands of volunteers we continue to make great strides toward our vision of “creating a positive experience so all participants enjoy, excel and develop a lifelong passion for ice hockey.”
Minnesota continues to lead the nation in the number of players from Minnesota playing in the NHL and college hockey. As important, Minnesota has the greatest number of participants at all levels of play. In 2015-16 Minnesota grew our base of Mite and 8U Girls for the third consecutive year setting an all-time record high number of registered 8 & Under players at 17,685. No state has ever reached the 17,000 mark, so that number is truly remarkable!
By partnering with community hockey associations, districts, programs and leagues, Minnesota Hockey provides the leadership, structure, education and programs to grow participation, develop hockey and life skills of all participants in a positive and safe environment.
In addition to significant growth accomplishments last season the following are some additional accomplishments which we should celebrate. Last spring the Women’s Hockey Association of Minnesota hosted the USA Hockey Girls and Women’s Nationals. Wayzata and Edina Jr. Gold A teams faced off in the USA Hockey High School National Championship game. We expanded our High Performance spring development program to include 14 year old boys and girls. In May we held the first-ever Minnesota Hockey Association Leader Excellence Conference at which 165 community hockey leaders from across the state learned and shared ideas to improve their programs. This fall we expanded our Tier I offering to 14 and 15 year olds who next spring will represent Minnesota at the USA Hockey National Championships. We now have more than a third of our hockey associations who have a partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to conduct parent, coach and leadership workshops in their associations. We also expanded our communications to our members through social media.
In 2016-17 we look forward to building on the accomplishments of 2015-16 by adding the goaltending development program, additional skill development clinics and other exciting programs. Minnesota Hockey, community hockey associations and programs continue to provide all participants the opportunity to experience the excitement and fun of playing hockey, from four year olds to the adult player, the recreational player to the elite player as well as athletes with disabilities. Hockey is indeed for everybody.
We owe a heartfelt thanks to our volunteers, Minnesota Hockey staff and our partners who make it possible for Minnesota Hockey to be the premier hockey program in the United States.
Very best wishes for an exciting, rewarding and fun filled 2016-17 hockey season. Thank you for making Minnesota Hockey…The Home Ice Advantage!
David A. Margenau
President, Minnesota Hockey