When most people think about strength and depth of talent of hockey players in Minnesota, they often point how the state is a leader in producing NCAA Division I players, NHL draft picks or even Olympians. Perhaps an even greater measure of how effective our development model is would be the quality of hockey found in the Junior Gold ranks.
Most players growing up in Minnesota dream of playing for their high school hockey team. Unfortunately, those rosters are limited to 20 players. In some communities, there can be as many as a hundred or more players competing for those coveted spots. Simple math says there will be kids left out who need a place to play.
Junior Gold hockey provides another opportunity for high school age players to continue playing while developing their skills. Junior Gold has grown in a fantastic level of hockey with considerable skill and opportunities for player development. Many players have made their high school team after playing a season or two of Junior Gold, and some Junior Gold players have even gone onto play after high school in junior leagues such as the NAHL.
Interested in finding out more about Junior Gold? Ask your local hockey association if they will be fielding a team this season or contact one of the Metro Hockey League’s Board Members.
Minnesota Hockey's 2015 State Tournament program profiles the rise of Junior Gold hockey.